Four mariachi groups in the Socorro Independent School District will once again represent their schools and district February 23 and 24 at the 2018 UIL State Mariachi Festival in Edinburg, Texas
Eastlake, Americas, El Dorado and Socorro high schools are four of the six mariachi groups in El Paso going to state after earning a Division One, Superior rating at the UIL Regional Mariachi Contest recently.
“Socorro ISD is extremely proud of the accomplishments of our mariachi programs,” said Ronald Pingor, assistant director of fine arts. “Over the past few years, the success level has continued to grow and we are very pleased that four of our high school mariachi ensembles will be representing our district at the state level.”
The mariachi groups will perform their best jaliciense, polka, boleros or other mariachi medleys in under ten minutes. Ensembles also will receive a 30-minute clinic with a nationally recognized mariachi educator at the end of their performance.
Groups that receive an overall Division I rating will receive a group award as well as individual gold medals for each member.
Last year, El Dorado’s Mariachi Azteca was recognized as a top rated group at the festival. The group hopes to excel at the state contest once again.
“I’m glad we made it this far,” said Juan A. Contreras, the mariachi instructor at the school. “We’ve had a difficult year but despite the challenges my students have worked very hard during rehearsals. I am very proud of them and I know we will do well at the state mariachi festival again.”
Americas, Eastlake and Socorro also are working hard to prepare for the event. The young musicians say their great appreciation of music and culture, combined with a strong commitment to their skill and fellow musicians will make them shine when they take the center stage.
“This is our third time going to state and I am really looking forward to competing and showing all the other groups what we’ve got,” said
Priscilla Diaz-Rubio, a violin player and senior at Socorro High School. “I feel prepared and excited. Mariachi gives me the opportunity to be enthusiastic about my culture, something that is not common for someone my age.”
The SISD mariachi teams have been preparing for 18 weeks, during school, after school and on Saturdays.
“Their hard work and dedication speaks well for both the students and the directors,” Pingor said.