History and culture merge at the Annual Mariachi Extravaganza Mariachi Mass. The mass will take place at the Sacred Heart Chaple of the Our Lady of the Lake University. This event is free and open to the public. Early arrival is recommended to ensure a seat.
Mariachi Mass – Nov. 23
Serenata en el Rio – Nov. 30
Mariachi Extravaganza participants convene on the San Antonio River Walk for the annual Serenata en el Rio at the Shops at Rivercenter lagoon. The event puts many in the Christmas spirit as dozens of mariachi groups and vocalists from throughout the U.S. perform on a bridge next to a giant Christmas tree while dozens of river boats pass by. This is a fun, relaxing, outdoors event that is free and open to the public.
Mariachi Workshops – Nov. 30 – Dec. 1
The Mariachi Workshops attract over 1,000 mariachi musicians and directors to learn from excellent mariachi maestros. Workshops focus on expanding student’s knowledge of mariachi music and techniques. The workshops offer a rare opportunity to acquire hard-to-find, original, one-of-a kind mariachi compositions that can be used in the classrooms. This is music that will be cherished throughout a lifetime. Pre-paid registration is required to participate.
National Mariachi Extravaganza Original Songwriting Competition – Dec. 1
The National Mariachi Extravaganza Original Songwriting Competition calls all songwriters and composers to present original mariachi lyrics and arrangements for submission. Songs are judged on lyrics, musical arrangements, creativity and originality. This is a time for self-expression through music. Registration and a recording are required to enter this competition.
National Mariachi Group Competitions – Dec. 1
The National Mariachi Group Competitions are like the Super Bowl of Mariachi. This is where premiere student mariachi groups go head-to-head for the chance to open at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza finale concert. Considered by many to be the toughest mariachi competition in the world, emotions run high as ensembles put their all into performances onstage. Wristbands are required for entry into this dynamic event.
National Mariachi Vocal Competitions – Dec. 2
The National Mariachi Vocal Competitions showcase around 40 of the top mariachi vocalists in the nation in fierce competitions from elementary to college age. Students compete for the title of Grand Champion Vocalist and open for Vargas at the Mariachi Extravaganza concert. Competitions are judged by Mariachi Vargas members and are based on vocal technique, projection and intonation among other elements. The prize package exceeds $5,000 in gifts, scholarships and travel opportunities. The winner also represents the Mariachi Extravaganza for a year. Wristbands are required for competition entry.
National Mariachi High School Group Finals – Dec. 2
The National Mariachi High School Group Finals feature the best of the very best among mariachi groups in the high school category – the largest category in the competitions. Final scores in this event are so close that fractions of a point are what differentiates rankings between first, second and third place winners. Top winners open for Vargas and represent the Mariachi Extravaganza when travel opportunities arise. Note: Bragging rights are included!
Student Jam Sessions – Dec. 1-2 (Following competitions)
Student Jam Sessions offer the opportunity for mariachi musicians around the world to play in a casual and relaxed environment. It’s a great way to savor and share the talents of many until the wee hours of the morning and make a few connections and friends along the way. Wristbands are required for entry.
Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Concert – Dec. 2
The Mariachi Extravaganza Concert is a life-changing experience that concludes the weeklong festivities. It’s where the cream of the crop showcase their talents on stage. Reigning school ensembles and vocalists from the Extravaganza competitions serve as opening acts for some of the best mariachi groups in the world. Discerning audiences from across the nation make their annual trek to San Antonio to see this extraordinary showcase of outstanding performances that exude excellence in every way imaginable. It’s a show you don’t want to miss! Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.