For a group of young mariachi performers from all over the county, the chance to study their musical craft under some of the best national mariachi performers in the country was the chance of a lifetime.
The Fourth Annual Mariachi National Summer Institute at Cal State LA Aug. 5-8 drew 175 mariachi performers from low-income families around the country.
No student was turned away, regardless of their ability to fund their experience.
The mariachi performers studied traditional Mexican music under the tutelage of nationally known mariachi performers and educators such as Jose Hernandez and Mariachi Sol de Mexico.
The young people also performed at Grand Park in downtown L.A. and participated in an adjudicated festival competition at Cal State LA’s State Playhouse Theater on Saturday night, where the two top mariachi bands and the winning vocalist were announced.
The first place band was Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista which received $2,500. Second place went to Mariachi Juvenil Alma de Mexico from San Jose, receiving $1,500.
The winning vocalist, was 11-year-old Joe Fata from Mariachi Juvenil: he received $1,000.