Valley teams are set to make a strong showing at the 2020 State UIL Mariachi contest, which will be hosted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in February.
Teams that have qualified for the competition so far represent McAllen, Mission, PSJA, Edinburg, La Joya, Rio Grande City, Roma, Valley View, Sharyland and Vanguard districts, according to the UIL.
McAllen High Mariachi Oro, which has won five state titles since 2014, qualified for the event after earning a Division 1 superior rating at the regional UIL contest, a statement from the district said.
“This is an incredible UIL State Festival where we will be competing with more than 80 of the top Mariachi Ensembles from across the state of Texas,” McAllen High Mariachi Oro instructor Alex Treviño wrote. “McHi Mariachi Oro currently stands as the only high school group in the entire state, across all classifications (1A-6A), to have attained straight Division 1 Superior Ratings four years in a row and also received entire Group Outstanding Performer accolades three times.”
Trevino attributes the group’s success to their passion for mariachi.
“We are very proud of their dedication and love for the music that makes this possible and we will continue to put in the work to maintain that level of musical excellence,” Treviño wrote.
PSJA will be sending three mariachi groups to state, after they too earned a Division 1 superior rating at the regional contest, a release from the district stated.
“We take pride in providing quality fine arts opportunities at PSJA ISD, and are so proud of our students for this tremendous accomplishment,” PSJA Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo wrote. “Thank you to our parents, teachers and administrators for their hard work and dedication.”
The Veterans Memorial High School Mariachis Toros de Plata also earned a division 1 rating last week and will also be competing in February.
“In order to advance to state competitions, the mariachis must show exemplary understanding and application of tone, technique, and musicianship,” a statement from the district read. “The Toros de Plata impressed the judges with their interpretations of ‘El Son de la Prima,’ ‘Ya Los Se que Tu Te Vas,’ and ‘La Morena.’”
This year will be the group’s fifth trip to state competitions, the release says.
The 2020 UIL State Mariachi Festival is slated to be held on Feb. 21 and 22 at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg.