All about mariachi week

By Enrique Lopetegui

[email protected]

Updated on 11/17/09

Six-year-old Angélica Vargas (left) and 10-year-old Mary Luévano, contenders at the Mariachi Vargas Vocal Competition, Saturday at the Municipal Auditorium.

Twelve-year-old Christopher Pérez, another competitor.

If you need a good reason to stop by Municipal Auditorium on Saturday at 9 am, get this name down: Angélica Vargas. The six-year-old, one of the contenders in the vocal competitions to take place Saturday morning, stole the show Monday at the press conference of the 15th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. She's cute, funny, and has a tremendous voice. True, her dad Manuel is an accomplished mariachi, but let's face it: To sing rancheras, either you have it or you don't, and she's got it in spades. If there is another little girl who beats her, I want to know her now.

But the vocal competitions and Mariachi Vargas show Saturday night are only part of a long list of activities that began Sunday with a noon Mariachi Mass at Mission San José and a 'Serenade to San Antonio' at 3 pm at the Empire Theater.

The following are the remaining events:

Tuesday, November 17: Mariachi Mujer Internacional performs at the St. Frances Nursing Home, 2 pm.

Also at 2 pm, MV members Arturo Vargas (guitar) and Andrés González (violin) conduct presentations at Irving Middle School, 1300 Delgado St.

At 3:15 p.m., Vargas and González will be at Whittier Middle School, 2101 Edison Dr.

Wednesday, November 18: At 11:30 a.m., Vargas and González will be at Jefferson High School, 723 Donaldson Ave.

At 1 pm, they will be at Stephen F. Austin Elementary, 621 W. Euclid Ave.

2 p.m.: Mariachi Mujer Internacional will perform for senior citizens.

St. Francis Nursing Home, 630 W. Woodlawn.

2:45 p.m. Vargas and González will be at Twain Middle School, 2411 San Pedro Ave.

4:30 p.m. Vargas and González at Brackenridge High School, 400 Eagleland.

7 p.m. Vargas and González will play and talk about the ranchera tradition at the Instituto Cultural de México, 600 Hemisfair Plaza, 7 pm (free).

Thursday, November 19: Serenata en el Río (Serenade by the River) by several mariachi students at the Rivercenter Mall Lagoon, 849 E. Commerce, 5:30 pm.

Friday, November 20: Mariachi workshops by members of Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Caporales at the Henry B. González Convention Center, 200 E. Market Street, 8 am.

Also, the Mariachi Group Competitions take place at 5 pm at the Municipal Auditorium, 100 Auditorium Circle.

Saturday, November 21: Mariachi Vocal Competitions at the Municipal Auditorium, 9 am.

At 1 pm, Patricia Greathouse will read from her book Mariachi at the Memorial Branch Library, 3222 Culebra Rd.

Finally, the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán (the most respected mariachi orchestra in the world) will perform at the Municipal Auditorium at 7:30 pm, with the winners of the group and vocal competitions opening the show, and Los Angeles' Nydia Rojas (arguably the best female mariachi singer in the country) as special guest.

Sunday, November 22: Almuerzo con Mariachi (mariachi lunch) with Mariachi México de Noche at Estela's Mexican Restaurant, 2200 W. Martin (1 pm-3 pm).

For more information, go to


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