Photo: "Mariachi High" Follows a Year in the Life of a High School Mariachi Band in South Texas
Next week, America will have the opportunity to see a unique and uplifting story about a Mariachi band made up of South Texas high school students coming of age as Mexican-Americans in a border state.
Mariachi High documents a year in the life of competitive high school mariachi musicians in the top-ranked ensemble Mariachi Halcon in the small border town of Zapata, Texas – a flash point for the complex issues facing the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US. As President Obama sounds a call to lower Latino dropout rates, the highest in the country, MARIACHI HIGH turns a positive lens on the dreams and challenges of Mexican American teenage-hood.
In this spirited coming-of-age story, authentic college-bound Latino role models compete to be the state’s champion band while experiencing the trials and triumphs shared by all American teens. From nerve-racking band auditions to the thrill of the 2010 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, graduation and beyond, MARIACHI HIGH provides much-needed affirmative screen time for teens who are inspired by cultural pride and striving for excellence.
“You can’t go up there and play something and not feel it. That’s what makes it beautiful,” one of Mariachi Halcon’s members expresses.
Check out a preview of Mariachi High below (second video) and be sure to tune in when it kicks off the PBS Arts Summer Festival on Friday, June 29th at 9 p.m. ET.
(The first video is Mariachi Halcon performing at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in 2007. The students here may be out of high school, but the expert-level talent remains.)