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Mora County Notebook: Music department performs concerts

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By Ruth Fort

The Mora Schools Music Department presented two concerts last week.

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On Tuesday evening,  the mariachi concert was held with 29 participants and Joaquin Maestas-Manuel directing.

On Wednesday evening, the bands of the Mora Schools held another concert.

During Wednesday’s concert, the beginning band played several numbers and did very well. Then the intermediate band played several numbers. They were all very well trained and followed the director. The last part was the high school band that went from one number to the next without having to have a director in the front, although he was directing from the side where he was also playing an instrument. The songs were happy, rousing numbers that had the audience on their feet. As usual the gym was filled with supporters of the great music program that is available for the community to enjoy.

At the mariachi concert on Tuesday evening the audience was surprised and happy to see the students come out with their brand new uniforms. They did a  crowd pleasing rendition of some of the old songs that everyone loves such as: El Rey, Las Mañanitas, Cielito Lindo, Una Paloma Blanca and many more. Many of the students sang the traditional songs and all of them did very well. The new uniforms were striking with green and gold trim and green ties.

The introduction was given by Kristy Wolf. In her presentation she gave a short history of the Mariachi De Lo De Mora.

A few years ago when Maestas-Manuel came to teach music he found some violins and guitars in the music room. He then got the idea to have a mariachi group. At that point, school superintendent Dora Romero ordered more violins and guitars and the group was started as an after school program. Because there were so many other after-school programs it did not do well. The principal Danny Chavez and Maestas-Manuel then had the mariachi class put into the regular school schedule and the program grew.

The mariachis of Mora stand out as one of the best performers along with bigger schools.

They were invited to the La Fiesta Hispanidad at New Mexico Highlands University and to the two-day conference at Robertson High School.

They were the only ones there without special uniforms. Wolf said that they would have to see to that and proceeded to work on getting uniforms made. A friend suggested a woman in Mexico that could make the uniforms at a decent price. Wolf and her staff at her restaurant, Kristy’s Korner, began to tell the customers about the need and they and many others generously responded. Before long they had enough money to buy the material and have the uniforms made in time for the spring concert. Everyone was so generous and willing to help it was possible to have the uniforms.

The last concert was for the Mora Senior Citizens center.

Maestas-Manuel and the mariachis wish to thank all of those who worked and gave to make the very attractive uniforms.

Several Mora natives graduate
This past weekend was filled with college graduations throughout the state.

Mora people were going to graduations in many different colleges and universities including Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico  Tech, University of New Mexico, Luna Community College and Highlands University.

Students were receiving associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and one doctorate degree.

One Chacon couple was happy and proud because two of their children received their bachelor’s degree from Highlands University at the same time.

Congratulations to all of those who have worked hard and earned the degrees.

Ruth Fort is a Mora County correspondent. She may be reached at (575) 387-6523 or ruthfortchacon@yahoo.com.