A Mariachi Celebration In Southeast Michigan
Take a look back at an unforgettable week of celebration in Ann Arbor, Flint, and Detroit, featuring the inspiring and award-winning students of Mariachi Nuevo Santander…
1. Champion Musicians Head to Ann Arbor
Last December, the incredibly talented young musicians from Mariachi Nuevo Santander of Roma, TX won the 2019 National Mariachi High School Group Competition at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio. This prize also earned them a trip to Ann Arbor courtesy of the University of Michigan Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to perform as an opening act for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and participate in meaningful community and engagement activities.
2. An In-School Cultural Learning Experience
For five weeks leading up to Mariachi Vargas’s School Day Performance, UMS partnered with Ann Arbor’s Scarlett Middle School to design a full interdisciplinary unit about mariachi music. Alongside learning about the history and culture of the Mexican tradition, students designed and painted a special mural with Elton Monroy Duran, a UMS teaching artist and Mexican-American muralist whose work can be seen throughout Southwest Detroit.
3. ‘Engaging Performance’ Class at U-M
Mariachi Nuevo Santander led a discussion of mariachi music and its significance in Mexican culture with the “Engaging Performance” class at U-M. UMS offers this class each winter semester in collaboration with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
4. Visit to Flint, MI
After “Engaging Performance,” the group headed up to Flint, MI, giving a family-friendly mini-performance at Educare Flint thanks to a partnership with Michigan Medicine and Hurley Children’s Hospital. They also participated in a performance exchange and dinner with members from El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil and UM-Flint’s Music Department and Latin American Student Association.
5. Southwest Detroit Community Dinner
Mariachi Nuevo Santander spent a fun day enjoying the sights and sounds of Detroit and joined Ballet Folklórico de Detroit in performance at a dinner hosted by UMS for community members of Southwest Detroit and participants from Living Arts Detroit.
6. School Day Performance in Hill Auditorium
Special guests Mariachi Nuevo Santander joined the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for a packed School Day Performance at Hill Auditorium!
In total, more than 3,000 K-12 students from 28 schools across Southeast Michigan attended.
7. U-M Student Dinner
Catalina Ormsby, U-M Associate Director for the Center for Educational Outreach, introduced the Michigan experience to Mariachi Nuevo Santander, who met with representatives from Latinx student organizations across campus (La Casa, Corazones Unidos Siempre, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Lambda Theta Phi, Latin Fraternity, Inc., and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies).
8. Final Goodbye at Scarlett Middle School…
Celebrating the conclusion of their six-week immersive curriculum, students of Scarlett Middle School participated in workshops with members of Mariachi Nuevo Santander.
At the end of a school-wide assembly and performance by more than 300 kids, Scarlett Middle School Principal Gerald Vazquez reinforced that Scarlett is a safe space for all students — that “you, this generation of diverse students, are what makes America great.”
9. …And an Encore at UMMA
Before taking off for their flight back to Texas, Mariachi Nuevo Santander gave a free pop-up performance at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
A special thank you to our sponsors and to all those who invest in UMS with an annual gift — making it possible for us to bring immersive learning opportunities beyond the stage for students throughout Southeast Michigan each season.