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Mariachi Extravaganza

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Workshop draws crowds

By Mercy Lopez

Mariachi music has been alive and well in the area for years.

This past week the strumming of the guitars, guitarrones, vihuelas, violins and trumpets filled music rooms with their melodies and rhythms during the Second Annual Youth Mariachi Conference.

Mariachi Tenampa taught more than 130 students at the three-day conference held at New Mexico Highlands University.

“I loved it! Mariachi Tenampa was amazing, and my students learned so much and fell more in love with mariachi music,” Valley Middle School music teacher Melissa Vigil-Herrera said.

Students from Las Vegas, Mora, Pecos, Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque and even some from Texas attended the conference.

“We had a great time,” Vigil-Herrera said.

Beginning mariachi music students had their own sessions on Wednesday followed by workshops on Thursday and Friday for intermediate and advanced students.

Martin Sena, music teacher for Las Vegas City Schools, called the conference a big success.

“The kids learned the music that was presented by Mariachi Tenampa,” Sena said.
“Everyone enjoyed the conference immensely.”

The conference, organized by Maricela Hidalgo, included a jam session, workshops, concerts and a banquet.

“Since last year the conference has been a big success,” Sena said. “This year we got new schools involved. We plan on continuing this annual conference and making it better.”

About 130 students performed during the final conference Friday evening.