Congratulations to the Plaza de la Raza Youth Mariachi Ensemble for winning 3rd Place at California’s Battle of the Mariachis!
Help us extend special thanks to the ensemble’s director Irineo Yanez, and the parents and families of our students. On Saturday, May 21, 2011, the 17-member Plaza de la Raza Youth Mariachi Ensemble was invited to perform and compete as part of the 7th annual Battle of the Mariachis Festival at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The festival is an annual celebration of talent featuring young mariachi musicians throughout California who compete for cash awards before a panel of judges. The festival was emceed by Laura Garciacano Sobrino, who was first dubbed the “Mariachi Queen” in 1995 by the Los Angeles Times. In 1996, an NBC national morning show featured a segment on her as a pioneer female mariachi and as a positive role model for the new generation of mariachi musicians.
Participating for the first time, our ensemble — youth, ages 9-15 years — competed against 14 other college-age groups. They won the hearts of the crowd and received standing ovations, a third-place trophy, and $1,000. Here’s a video of their award-winning performance: