In news that will be music to the ears of students looking for a unique and enriching opportunity, Texas Southmost College’s Fine Arts Department will once again hold their Mariachi Summer Camp, running from July 1-3, 2024 at the TSC Performing Arts Center.

“The summer camp provides a unique opportunity for students to enhance their musical skills and focus on their instruments,” said camp organizer Avigai Gonzalez, who is also TSC’s Music Program Administrator and Director of Mariachi Escorpion. “It’s a non-competitive atmosphere in which students from different school districts can receive guidance from skilled clinicians as they learn, play the same music, and end build new friendships together.”

Over the course of three days, students will participate in exercises and group clinics taught by an assembly of mariachi experts, all of whom are eager to share the benefit of their cumulative years of experience. Among them are master conductor Adrian Vaca, a graduate of Berkeley University and a member of the renowned Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez. Additionally, clinics will also be led by local talent including Karina J Vela, Antonio Delgadillo, Aide de Anda, Anahil Suarez Gaytan, Fabiola Ahuja, Doris Zedillo, and Gonzalez herself.

“One of the great benefits about this camp is that personalized learning experience that students will have with the clinicians,” said Gonzalez. “They work closely with each student, ensuring that they are progressing at a comfortable pace.”

Although the clinicians bring with them several years of experience, Gonzalez stresses that students of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, are encouraged to join in.

“It’s important for students of all levels to participate in the mariachi camp because it creates a perfect opportunity in which they can learn from one another. Regardless of whether one is a beginner or an advanced musician, there is always something to learn, and the true learning experience occurs when we step out of our comfort zones and open ourselves up to learning from others.”

While a large portion of the camp is devoted to teaching students the technical aspects of playing instruments and performing, Gonzalez feels that it creates a perfect opportunity which can help students understand and appreciate the rich cultural history of mariachi and spark a genuine interest in exploring the genre further. “When we think about the concept of cultivating a larger interest in mariachi music, one word stands out: opportunity. Our camp can provide all students with an opportunity to develop a sincere passion for the music as they learn from leading experts in the field.”

With the Mariachi Summer Camp less than a month away, Gonzalez is eager to see a fresh new batch of students join in and contribute to an ever-growing chorus of mariachi appreciation and education. “Music is a field that welcomes individuals of all ages, skill levels, and cultural backgrounds. Even the most renowned musicians in history have undergone music education to hone their skills and achieve success, so please don’t hesitate to give it a try, as I believe that anyone can embark on a musical journey to discover their true potential.”

For more information or to register, please visit the TSC Mariachi Summer Camp webpage or email [email protected].


Mariachi Escorpion

2023 Mariachi Summer Camp student musicians practice as a full ensemble at the TSC Performing Arts Center. This year's installment of the camp will be hosted from July 1 -3 and will broaden the activities that participants have available to them.