By Margaret McKinney
The New Mexico Highlands University Mariachi Vaqueros de la Sierra presents a concert at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in the university’s Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.
The award-winning mariachi group will perform a variety of musical selections, including huapangos, rancheras, boleros and sones. The group will also perform a number of classic mariachi Christmas songs as well as arrangements of Christmas songs for mariachi.
“This is a talented group of mariachi musicians who love what they do,” said Emily Maestas, adjunct music faculty member. “Those who enjoy and appreciate mariachi are in for a real treat with this concert, and we welcome newcomers to join us and experience this beautiful music.”
Maestas teaches mariachi at Highlands and is directing Mariachi Vaqueros de la Sierra for the first time this year. The Las Vegas native sings and plays trumpet for the Mariachi Buenaventura and is an elementary music teacher for Las Vegas City Schools.
Featured vocalists for the concert include Rachel and Cyrena Ridgeway, Ben Lucero, Jimmy Sanchez, and Maxine Ortiz, all of Las Vegas, and Timothy Martinez of Mora. Maestas is also a featured vocalist.
Some of the concert songs include Jesusita en Chihuahua, Feria de las Flores, Mariachi Loco, Amor Eterno, En mi Viejo San Juan, La Llorona, Ojitos Verdes, Noche de Paz, El Pastor, Amarga Navidad, Popurri Navideno, and Feliz Navidad.
Maestas said mariachi is the best-known form of folk music from Mexico. The 13-member Mariachi Vaqueros de la Sierra plays all the traditional mariachi instruments, including violins, trumpets, flutes, guitars, guitarrónes, a bass guitar, and vihuelas, a five-string guitar with a higher pitch.
Tickets for the mariachi concert are $5. Highlands University students with valid IDs are free.