South Texas is rich in culture and musical traditions. That’s why the program at Tuloso-Midway Middle School decided to take up the time-honored practice of mariachi music.
In August, TM Middle School Band Director, Ernesto Constante, took on the task of forming a traditional mariachi ensemble, but weather created a challenging start.
“We had a little bit of a set back because of Hurricane Harvey, we were off for two weeks," said Constante. "We came back, the kids were awesome they were ready to work.”
Enthusiasm was critical, as the mariachi ensemble was set to perform three songs for the school board who had already approved the program.
As a professional mariachi himself, Constante insists that work ethic is inspired through the music.
“It’s a genre of music that just hits you really hard," said Constante. "It grabs on and you want to become better at it and you want to hear and play it more.”
After performing the three songs for the school board, Tuloso-Midway Middle School mariachi members and school board members discussed the enthusiasm that the students have for the program, as well as plans for the future.
“The school board loved it, they loved having us play for them,” said Marysa Lozano, an 8th grade classical guitarist.
“Since I was four, I always wanted to learn how to play and be in a mariachi group,” said 7th grade, Vihuela player, Alexis Guevara.
Students like Alexis can now get a chance to learn and appreciate the historical instruments specialized for mariachi.
“I love how when you do the jalon, whenever you stretch the strings in and you let them out, it makes this deep warm sound and just vibrates through the whole thing,” said Guitarrón player Isaias Quintanilla.
And although the music has historical ties to Mexico,band director, Ernesto Constante says it’s quality entertainment for everyone.
“Doesn't matter if you are Hispanic, Anglo or whatever race, it just grabs on to you and you develop a passion for it,” Constante said.
Mariachi music is popular with the older generations, but Constante believes implementing this new program will encourage a younger wave of enthusiasts.
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