For the past three years, we here at the Mariachi Conservatory have noticed that the majority of our students have been girls and women, even though our program is open to all ages and genders. We hold immense joy in helping these young ladies hold their own in the male dominated genre of mariachi. They all have put in tremendous effort in mastering their instruments and take great pride in this beautiful art form. And now, their efforts will be in full display! Catch The Mariachi Conservatory All Female Ensemble as they take center stage on Friday March 27th, for the International Mariachi Women’s Community Showcase at Plaza Cultura y Arte located on Main St. in Placita Olvera. For more event info click on the facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/774147469742313/
On Sunday September 17th The Mariachi Conservatory Community Ensemble made their debut appearance at Plaza Cultura y Arte located in the historical Plaza Olvera to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration was filled with delicious mexican food, Mexican Handicrafts, and of course mariachi music. The crowd watched in amazement as the young students from The Mariachi Conservatory beginning and intermediate voice class belted out their rendition of Arboles de La Barranca, Yo No Fui, Rosa Maria, Viva México, and Guadalajara. Many spectators energetically clapped along with the young mariachi vocalists while they put on smiles, danced and yelled “Viva México”! Soon after they finished their stellar performance, the crowd grew silent as four foot 9 year old Ariana Mendieta steadily walked up center stage to deliver her powerful solo introduction of “El Cascabel”, a traditional son jarocho from the Mexican state of Veracruz. The afternoon was filled with joy, celebration, and pure family fun. We would like to congratulate our amazing students and also thank Ximena Martin of Plaza Cultura y Arte for inviting The Mariachi Conservatory students.
Photo Credit: Bob Bernal Jr.
On Friday July 15th The Mariachi Conservatory Youth Ensemble participated in the 2017 Mariachi Spectacular Showcase Competition held at Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was the first time a youth group from Boyle Heights participated in the showcase competition in the Open Category and all six students along with their Directors Esperanza Juarez and Richard Mata performed their song selection titled “La Noche”. The evening was spectacular and memorable as the audience and showcase judges applauded their heartfelt performance. Despite being the smallest student mariachi group participating in the showcase, the judges awarded The Mariachi Conservatory Youth Ensemble 2nd place. Students were surprised and overwhelmed with joy and emotions. We would like to congratulate the families of the students as well as all participating students for their outstanding dedication and commitment. View video by clicking on the following link The Mariachi Conservatory YouTube Video Albequerque Competition
On February 4th, The Texas Association of Mariachi Educators held their State Champion Conference in South San Antonio High School in San Antonio, Texas. The State Mariachi Competition hosted a total of thirty-eight schools from both middle and high school student mariachi groups and several mariachi adjudicators. The judges for the 2A, 3A, 4A Middle School groups were Francisco Loera from McAllen, TX, Miguel Guzman from San Antonio, TX, Dr. Noe Sanchez from Roma, TX, Gabriel Garcia from Crystal City, TX, and Antonio Briseño from Brownsville, TX. The judges for the 5A and 6A High School mariachi groups were Dr. Jeff Nevin from San Diego, CA, Richard Mata from Los Angeles, CA, Mark Fogelquist from Chula Vista, CA, Cirilo Campos from San Antonio, TX, and Robert Martinez from Chicago, IL.
The State Mariachi Competition drew many spectators and with good reason. Many of the competing mariachi schools spend endless and tireless hours perfecting their performance. A variety of groups in both middle and high school divisions demonstrated near perfect performances with superb musicianship in both vocal and instrumental technical ability. Several groups also delivered a very engaging performance filled with choreography and showmanship. Throughout the morning and afternoon many spectators which included family, students, teachers and administrators cheered on their respective schools with great pride. It was truly an event filled with tradition and admiration for the art form of mariachi music. We would like to congratulate the Texas Association of Mariachi Educators for their continued support and work for mariachi education and all participating mariachi educators and stakeholders that support their mariachi students throughout their musical journey.
The Mariachi Conservatory founding Family “The Mata’s” will be featured in a new KCET documentary highlighting the significant impact female mariachi musicians have achieved in a male dominated mariachi genre. Founding members Esperanza Juarez and daughters Angelica and America Mata are the leading women with a leadership role in not only directing the day to day operations of The Mariachi Conservatory a Non-Profit organization but also in coaching, mentoring and empowering the young female mariachi students at The Mariachi Conservatory. Since its inception in January of 2007, The Mata Family have served their community of Boyle Heights by providing mariachi music classes with a mission in preserving the art form of mariachi music. The KCET Mariachi Documentary will be featured in their Artbound programming and is scheduled to premiere earlier this year 2017.
On Friday September 16th, The Mariachi Conservatory Community Ensemble along with Mariachi VoZ de America celebrated Mexican Independence Day at Amoeba Music Hollywood with some traditional mariachi music and a small twist of Blink 182’s “All the Small Things”. That’s right mariachi punk! In collaboration with Mariachi VoZ de America whom had been hired by Blink 182 in 2009 to cover six of their hits for their kick off tour, the group decided to make a surprise reprise of their cover of “All the Small Things” with the students of The Mariachi Conservatory from Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. It was the first time TMC students had set foot at Amoeba Music and they were simply in awe of the aisles of music surrounding them and the roar of applause as they finished their stellar performance.
On Friday April 1st, 2016 The Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts Theatre hosted The Annual CCSD (Clark County School District) Advanced Mariachi Festival. The festival program included 10 middle school mariachi groups and 9 high school mariachi groups and 3 adjudicators. The 2016 festival adjudicators included mariachi educators Dr. Jeff Nevin of Chula Vista, CA, Josue Eduardo Lopez of Los Angeles, CA, and Ramon Rivera of Wenatchee, Washington.
The mariachi festival really marked an extraordinary achievement and feat for all CCSD mariachi student groups and mariachi educators. Many of the participating groups demonstrated mastery levels of performance with impeccable precision and at times near virtuosic execution. We would certainly like to congratulate all participating mariachi schools and mariachi educators. The CCSD Advanced Mariachi Festival is surely a labor of love to help strengthen community, academic achievement, citizenship, and the preservation of the mariachi art form.
Audio Track Credit: Mariachi Internacional (Las Vegas Academy)
Richard Mata is an advocate of Mariachi music. It is a universal music that is embraced by Asia, Europe and South America. A musical form with humble beginnings and now recognized for its musical complexity that demands virtuosity and versatility.
Originally a “metal head”, Richard found Mariachi as an adolescent, it became his passion and a life-changing event.
Richard Mata founded The Mariachi Conservatory in 2007, with his wife Esperanza Juarez. Their efforts are captured in the documentary titled: “Canto de Familia”. The mission of the Conservatory is to teach the art form, preserve it and develop musical talent in Boyle Heights and its surrounding communities.