For Sofia Cruz, a member of the SFA choir, mariachi is something new and gives her the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, especially the traditional guitar and vihuela.
She said she had always loved mariachi music and its culture, calling it a beautiful work of art that can be very powerful.
Cruz, who will be starting eighth grade in the fall, said she was glad she had summer camp to gain a foundation in her instrument and the musical genre, and also to get to know more students from SFA and Davila who are interested in mariachi.
“If I had started just during the school year, I don’t know how really bad I would be at this,” she said. “I think I would crash and burn.”
Now, she said, she can be ready and be more confident when the school year begins and after school mariachi practices begin.
Unlike Cruz, his classmate Marlen Soto joined Mariachi with two years of orchestral and violin experience and spent a few months playing with the SFA ensemble, Mariachi Palomino.
Soto said she has wanted to try mariachi for years but thinks she should wait until high school.
It can be difficult, she says, but she enjoys it.
Garcia said it “level the playing field” to have the three classical music ensembles represented in the mariachi style. The choir students learn to play an instrument and the instrumentalists learn to sing, and all the students help each other in this learning.