The Mariachi Tesoro, the student musicians in the City of San Fernando Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (MMAP) won first place at the Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque (MSA) Showcase Competition Concert held on Saturday, July 16.
The students traveled on a bus to Albuquerque New Mexico for the competition held at Civic Plaza Amphitheater. The city’s younger students, the Mariachi Tesoritos placed 3rd in the open division. “We are so proud of their accomplishment,” said program director Virginia Diediker, “What made me most proud was that our groups were also awarded the Best Spirit Award for 2016, which is the highest compliment for any mariachi musician,” she said.
The San Fernando students from area middle and high schools were able to participate through grants awarded to the MMAP program from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the California Arts Council (CAC)
The Showcase Competition Concert provides an opportunity for musicians from around the country to attend workshops and a three-day Mariachi conference where student musicians work with master mariachi musicians. They perform for the people of Albuquerque in an open air theater free of charge. Competing groups were limited to a seven minute performance and no piece of music was repeated if already played.
“Students were able to ‘rub elbows’ and learn on a one to one basis with the ‘maestros’ gaining a musical experience and direction unheard of in few other musical environments,” said Diediker.
“This experience allows students to observe and perform with the most prestigious mariachi ensembles in the world.”