Mariachi Los Tigres de San Fernando High School serenaded their way through the local outside mall and local businesses last weekend to raise much needed money for instruments, suits and equipment to keep their much-loved music program running.
The school’s fundraising campaign for its music department fills many financial gaps that aren’t provided to them by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Music teacher Sergio “Checo” Alonso said the fundraising campaign specifically supports San Fernando High’s performance ensembles: the Mighty Tigers Marching Band and Mariachi Los Tigres de San Fernando.
“Although we don’t have a specific fundraising goal, all proceeds will go directly to instruments and equipment for both ensembles,” Alonso said.
On their musical stroll that was more like a trek, the talented group of young musicians performed its way throughout the City of San Fernando. Those passing by stopped to listen to the big sounds of the mostly female group which played in front of Mission Photography and Video, Jim’s Western Wear, La Michoacana, the San Fernando Valley Sun, La Casa del Pescador, the Libray Plaza, U Crave Grill and other local businesses.
Tres Hermanos and El Abuelo invited the students to play for their customers inside their restaurants.
At the end of the day, they happily raised $900 from people who, after listening to them, reached into their pockets to offer a cash donation which brought big smiles to the faces of the students and their teacher.
It was also a true lesson for the students to see how much even small donations together can add up to make a sizable difference.
As he stood proudly dressed in the matching mariachi traje alongside his students, Alonso said he wanted to “thank everyone.”
“We’re grateful for all of the wonderful gestures of support we received — we passed out our brochures and people were very receptive,” Alonso said, noting the “win-win” situation the creative day of fundraising brought.
“It’s important that San Fernando’s music program also gives back to the community.”
Alonso, a long time music teacher at SFHS as well as a parent of a student musician at the school, noted the struggles his students, families and school community have experienced over the last two years.
“In the wake of the pandemic, San Fernando High School is experiencing challenging times so keeping the students focused on positivity and productivity through music making is my way of improving the school culture,” he said.
“Like countless others, COVID-19 adversely impacted San Fernando High Music students’ development. With the absence of socialization, and cooperative interaction, integral parts of music development among young ensemble musicians, students were forced to advance in ‘isolated bubbles,’ each was forced to focus on individual [musical] puzzle pieces with little reference to the whole.
“Although distance learning allowed the development of some skill sets, students had a difficult time drawing on the same kind of motivation and inspiration they had when learning and creating music together,” Alonso said.
With community support and a successful fundraising effort, the musical ensembles hope to make up for lost time by performing regularly again in-person at school and at community events.
You can donate to San Fernando High School’s music program by going to: https://www.snap-raise.com/v2/fundraisers/2022-san-fernando-high-school-band#/