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Viva el Mariachi!
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The sounds of trumpets and strums of guitars could be heard echoing through the grand auditorium of Mission High School on March 19, as students from the Bay Area and from Tucson, Arizona performed a medley of mariachi music for an enthusiastic and attentive crowd.

At the beginning of this year, the San Francisco Unified School District approved funding for a student Mariachi pilot program at Mission High School. The goal of the program is to provide students the opportunity to learn more about their rich musical history, as well as encourage continued engagement in the arts and education.

The program was the vision of Superintendent Richard Carranza, who was a student of a similar program in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. Once arriving in the Bay Area, he dreamed of establishing a similar program in San Francisco schools, but was unable to due to lack of funding. This is the first year that funding was secured and the program could be launched.

The performance, which included songs by Joan Sebastian, Pedro Infante and Alejandro Fernandez, was interactive; both performers and audience members sung along, experiencing the nostalgia of the Mariachi music and the memories it brings back.

Performers included the Mariachi de Mission High School, Mariachi Nueva Generacion and dancers from the Ballet Folklorico Cuicacalli, directed by Jesus Cortes, as well as the special guest performers, Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School, directed by Salvador Garcia.
As the students serenaded the crowd with Mexican ballads, the feeling in the room was one of genuine joy as generations old and young were connected over the shared love of Mariachi music.

Story by: Mayra Lopez