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Trinity Joins in Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza

University provides a stage for an annual San Antonio tradition

By Russell Guerrero ’83

On a recent Thursday night, a dozen of Mexico’s best musicians played to an enthusiastic crowd of Trinity faculty, staff, students, and guests of the University.  Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán performed in the Stieren Theater as part of the 14th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, a San Antonio event that celebrates mariachi music and the greatest mariachi band in the world.  The week long celebration included concerts, musical workshops, and a competition among middle school and high school sponsored mariachi bands from across the region.

The Trinity concert was made possible through the work of Eugenio “Dante” Suarez, associate professor of business administration, who worked with the Mexico, the Americas, and Spain program, known as MAS, to host the event. Several academic departments also helped sponsor Mariachi Vargas’ trip to the University.

As enjoyable as the concert was, Professor Suarez said that it was not the main reason for bringing Mariachi Vargas to Trinity.

“I became interested for what the event does for education,” said Professor Suarez.

He explained that in South Texas, a region with one of the highest drop-out rates in the nation, nearly all students who perform in school-sponsored mariachi groups graduate from high school. And several colleges and universities, including Harvard, offer scholarships to student mariachis so they can continue their education.

On the day of the concert, Trinity hosted a workshop by members of Mariachi Vargas for high school mariachi groups from Falfurrias and Zapata, Texas, which had come to San Antonio for the Extravaganza.  After the workshop, the Falfurrias mariachis performed on the Coates Esplanade and the students were given a tour of the University campus.

Professor Suarez said the visit served two purposes: To give Trinity students a good dose of mariachi music and to provide a reason for the high school mariachi players to visit Trinity.  For many of them, it was the first time they had ever been on a college campus.  For Professor Suarez, it was an excellent chance to give the students a look at the opportunities which are open to them once they graduate from high school.


© 2008 Trinity University

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