By Jacquelyn Gutierrez
Pueblo High School’s 17 members of Mariachi Aztlán will be participating in this year’s Tucson International Mariachi Conference (TIMC) later this month and hopefully bringing home an impressive fifth consecutive first place.
The TIMC is a prestigious event that includes participants from mariachi groups all over the country, including world renowned Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan, and this year, Mariachi Sol De Mexico is coming to Tucson from Los Angeles.
Closer to home, Pueblo Mariachi Aztlán member Carmen Membrila, a sophomore, said, “We’re very hopeful in winning for the fifth time this year. We have a very good set list, so the whole Mariachi group and I are very excited.”
This Conference is held at Casino Del Sol for three days—from April 25 through April 28. The Mariachi’s vary in ages—from as young as elementary-aged students to high school.
Pueblo mariachi teacher Mr. John Contreras said, “We’ve been working long hours during and after school. This [conference] is our main focus right now, so I wish us the best of luck.”
Practicing for a couple months now, Mariachi Aztlán has been preparing to keep up the number one record. For the five seniors in this year’s program, they are hoping for another victorious placing.
“Unfortunately this will be one of my last conferences,” said senior Liam Membrila, “but we have been working hard and playing the songs over and over, so I’m confident about how we do at this year’s conference.”
Mariachi Club president Destiny Olea, a senior who has been in the club since her sophomore year, said, “Between now and the conference, our group needs to perfect our set list enough for us to compete—as well as to remember to have fun and not stress.”
“Regardless of the new members this year, our mariachi group is just as dedicated as ever,” Olea said. “Our passion and our originality are definitely assets to our program.”
She added that the group does more than just play mariachi music. Earlier this year, Pueblo’s mariachi group raised approximately $5,000 for school children victimized by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston, Texas area by performing with other local mariachi groups.