Every year the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza draws talent from around the nation for both the solo and group competition and year after year Starr County schools manage to bring back some of the top honors.
The national vocal competition is a traditional mariachi vocal competition for elementary, middle school, high school and college or university students. Those interested must submit a recording to audition for the preliminary phase of the competition. These are reviewed and about 40 finalists are selected.
This year Jelayna Barrera (Ramiro Barrera Middle School), Nayelli Peña (La Grulla Middle School), Melody Quiroz (Veterans Middle School), Victoria Rosa (Roma Middle School), Alec Vazquez-Kanhere (Roma Middle School), Velia Canales (RGC High School), Kassandra Falcon (RGC High School), Francisco Garcia Jr. (Roma High School) and Arely Molina (Roma High School) represented Starr County in the vocal competition.
In the middle school division Starr County had two talented students placed; Nayelli Peña (1st) and Jelaya Barrera (2nd).
It was a clean sweep for Starr County in the middle school division Mariachi Juvenil Santander (Ramiro Barrera Middle School) received 1st, Mariachi Escandon (Roma Middle School) was awarded 2nd place and Mariachi Juvenil Grulla de Plata (Grulla Middle School) brought home the third prize.
Perhaps one of the most competitive categories, the high school division, also included a local school; Mariachi Nuevo Santander (Roma High School) placed 2nd.
Congratulations to all of this year’s students, parents, directors and those that promote the growth of this unique blend of culture and performing arts.