Soledad en masa

Que bonita es esta vida.

with 3 comments

This past weekend I attended the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas. Needless to say, it was a great experience. Here is the text I kept as the trip went on. Enjoy!

Room 733, St. Anthony’s Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
6:23 p.m., November 30, 2007

I’m in San Antonio for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, hosted by none other than el Mariachi Vargas. Mariachi Veritas arrived in San Antonio at 10 p.m. local time after eight hours of flight from Providence, Rhode Island. We had two stops on the way – Philadelphia and Houston. All three landings were rocky, but there were no major problems with the flight. We were the only people who stayed on the plane for the duration of the flight. It had more people flying to Philly than anywhere else. The flight to Houston was the loneliest; there were no more than thirty people on the flight. We landed twenty minutes late, but that was remedied by the fact that we had finally landed and that the mother of one our members not only got each of us a rose as a welcome gift, but also rented a limo bus to take us from the airport to the hotel. We rode in it for around an hour, stopping to eat and get some drinks. This hotel is real swank, by the way. Definitely recommend it.

Today we had a five-hour workshop to practice music we received. Our workshop (college level mariachis) was led by Pepe Martinez, the musical director of Mariachi Vargas. When I saw him in the room, my jaw dropped. The workshop went by fast. All except for one of the songs were original Mariachi Vargas compositions. It was great to finally learn some of their songs, especially their intricate endings. After our workshop, Mariachi Veritas took a picture with Pepe.

After, a teacher from Dallas approached us and thanked us for coming to the conference. He said that the fact that we’re Mariachi Veritas de Harvard adds a lot of credibility to the conference. He wants to get mariachi music to be accepted as part of the music curriculum in his school district and state. He uses mariachi music to hook kids in his school (in a somewhat bad part of Dallas, as he described it) to music and branch out to other forms of music (marching band, choir). We discussed coming over to his school, performing once, and then using the H-Bomb (Harvard) as support for him to get his plan approved. I am more than happy to help him. I credit mariachi with keeping me focused on school. I want more students, especially Mexican students, to play music, particularly mariachi, and succeed in school. It’s a win-win situation.

We’re about to leave to the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium for the mariachi competition. The competition is divided by levels: elementary school, middle school, high school, and university level. We’re competing in the university level against four other mariachis, all from Texas (I think). The performance order was done by drawing numbers. We drew the last number. We get to close the show. Harvard gets to close the competition. We wrote a medley for this competition. It’s nine minutes long and is “Cielo rojo,” “Cielito lindo,” “El relampago,” and “Cuando sale la luna.” Before we go onstage, we have to practice our medley, but we have it done. I’m nervous because the auditorium is really large.

I am confident in our ability. We can win this. We have to do our best. Ignore all the others. So what if we’re from Harvard. So what if we have three Mexicans and four Latinos, making less than half the mariachi Latino. We are able to play just as great as them. We can win this.

We go onstage in two hours.

Room 733, St. Anthony’s Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
11:28 p.m., November 30, 2007

We won third place. Amongst five university mariachis, four from Texas, Mariachi Veritas de Harvard won third place in the university competition. At first there was no clapping for us, but it sunk in and people started applauding for us. It was a good feeling.

We have to continue our intensity for tomorrow’s vocal competition. One of our members is competing and we have to back her. We’re ready.

Room 733, St. Anthony’s Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
4:14 p.m., December 1, 2007

Our vocal competitor did not place in the top three for the university vocal competition. She should have been in the top three because she did not make any mistakes, compared to the third place winner. We just got back from lunch at the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a great place to spend a night and have a meal. This weekend it’s been full of Oklahoma and Mizzou fans for their fame. Right now, I’m watching the UCLA-USC game with other members of the mariachi.

Later tonight is the Mariachi Vargas concert at the Municipal Auditorium. I am stoked for the concert. I’m going to buy some Mariachi Vargas merchandise because I don’t know when I will next see Mariachi Vargas.

There’s a storm over the Eastern Seaboard. We are flying right into it tomorrow. I have a feeling one of our flights will be cancelled or delayed because of the weather. If I don’t get back by Monday, I have another day to do the work I was supposed to do this weekend.


Written by soledadenmasa

December 6, 2007 at 2:44 am

3 Responses

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  1. if you have some pictures could send to me. I would like to put in my website.

    pedro falconi

    December 6, 2007 at 11:05 pm

  2. […] search term that most brought people to my site was “esta vida,” probably leading to this post. The most viewed post was “A set of […]

  3. […] Yearning Jump to Comments Today I’ve felt nothing but a feeling to be back in South Gate. I want Mexican food (¡Birria y buche!), to walk down the streets of the city I grew up (I already feel such a disconnect already), where I hear Spanish everywhere and feel comfortable. Where I can play my music loudly and proudly and not have to worry about annoying those around me (much). I’ve been listening to Los Panchos and have been doing my Spanish work VERY slowly for the past four hours. I began looking into plane tickets to go back home for a few days during Spring Break, but so far, they seem too expensive. I’ll look into flying out of Providence, Rhode Island, on Southwest, but I don’t want to take a bus to Providence… Plus, Southwest makes so many stops on the way and I would probably not be able to have food, like the last time I flew on Southwest (from Providence to San Antonio). […]

    Yearning « Soledad en masa

    February 17, 2008 at 1:32 am

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