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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mariachi Arizona’s spring concert is Wednesday

Mariachi+Arizona+performing+on+stage+with+the+Arizona+Symphony+Orchestra+in+March+2022.+%28Courtesy+Mindi+Acosta+and+the+Fred+Fox+School+of+Music%29
Mariachi Arizona performing on stage with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra in March 2022. (Courtesy Mindi Acosta and the Fred Fox School of Music)

Mariachi Arizona is going to fill Crowder Hall with the traditional sounds of Mexico when they perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 20.

“The expression of the arts has become such a strong cultural identity for folks with Hispanic heritage and the City of Tucson, in particular, has a very strong mariachi tradition.” said Alberto Ranjel, director and instructor of Mariachi Arizona.

Mariachi Arizona is an elective class that has been available to all students, including students from Pima Community College, since it was first introduced to the UA in the early 1990s under the direction of Richard Obregon.

“Mariachi is a way for people to identify with and express their cultural identity through music and song,” Ranjel explained. “Music itself tells stories; it’s allegorical and emotional. It can be used to celebrate both life and death. It’s an iconic music form.”

Ranjel has led the class over the past six years and has found a growing student interest as the class travels to conferences and performs. The ensemble might attend the 40th annual Tucson International Mariachi Conference in May.

“I’d like to take as many students as possible to events, but we did spend a lot of money this year on our specialty concert,” Ranjel added, including buying new uniforms.

Ranjel said he hops to expand Mariachi Arizona “into a multi-level program so that we have at least two different levels of instruction — one for those who are on the beginner side and another for those who are more advanced and want more challenging repertoire.” 

Mariachi Arizona performing on stage with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra in March 2022. (Courtesy Mindi Acosta and the Fred Fox School of Music)
Mariachi Arizona performing on stage with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra in March 2022. (Courtesy Mindi Acosta and the Fred Fox School of Music)

The ultimate goal, though, is to see the Fred Fox School of Music incorporate an emphasis in mariachi to the music education curriculum.

For now, Mariachi Arizona is focused on finishing off the spring semester with Wednesday’s concert featuring traditional mariachi and student selected songs. 

“What I hope for this event is for the audience to have fun and also see how hard the students worked to put this show together for them, and how passionate they are about the music,” Ranjel said. 


*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.


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