For senior Kathleen Espinoza, it is bittersweet to think about Saturday afternoon when the Uvalde High School Mariachi Extravaganza will kick off. The event marks the beginning of the end of her six-year career in Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s mariachi program.
Espinoza is a vocalist, and she plays the violin. She says she loves the escape the program provides from all the hard work of academics.
“I also love its connection to my Hispanic heritage,” Espinoza said.
She is the daughter of Sara and David Espinoza. Her older sister Katrina graduated from UHS last year, and Kathleen is the first person in her family to be involved in a mariachi program.
After high school, she plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio and continue participating in mariachi events.
Along with performing in the event, she also designed the mariachi-themed Coyote for the event poster, something she volunteered to do to help promote the concert, which is slated to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday in the John H. Harrell Auditorium on the campus of Uvalde High School.
The concert will last approximately two hours, and will feature the entire Uvalde High School mariachi band along with the Mariachi Azteca De America, from San Antonio.
The UHS band will perform songs such as “Los Laureles,” “La Cigarra,” and “Hay Unos Ojos.” Espinoza will perform a solo of “Te Quedo Grande La Yegua.”
The mariachi program has been in place at Uvalde High School for about 20 years, said Veronica Ramirez, UHS mariachi director, adding that the group usually holds this concert in October, but this year decided to have it earlier.
In April, the band will be traveling to Robstown to compete in the annual Cotton Picker Mariachi Festival. Admission to Saturday’s event is $10, and will benefit the UHS mariachi booster club.
For more information, contact Ramirez at 830-591-2950.