About the UTPB Mariachi
The UTPB Mariachi has been in existence for over ten years. It is sponsored by the University. They perform at school and community events around the Permian Basin.
UTPB offers a Mariachi scholarship for eligible students. In order to receive a scholarship, students must try out for the group and must attend required course, practices and performances.
The Mariachi performs for campus events, for area schools, and community events. To schedule a performance of the Mariachi, please contact the Office of Senior Associate Vice President for Student Services at 432-552-2600.
The mariachi group is directed by Albert Madrid. Students who play in the mariachi learn to play in the style of the traditional mariachi. The first mariachis were likely from the State of Jalisco, Mexico and originated in the latter part of the 18th century. These first groups were actually string ensembles, usually consisting of a two violins, a vihuela (which is a miniature 5 string guitar), and a harp. Originally, they played regional folk songs and did not include vocal parts. Gradually, the guitarrón (which is a bass guitar with six strings) replaced the harp, as trumpet, vocal parts and other instruments were added. In Mexico, professional mariachi groups study classical music as a part of their training.
A modern mariachi includes guitars, guitarrones, violins, trumpets, vihuelas and sometimes accordions. Typically, mariachis play a large repertoire of songs on request (often they are paid by the song or by the hour). A variety of songs are performed by mariachis, including sones, love songs, country or ranchero style songs, polkas and waltzes. Like the UTPB mariachi, most mariachi groups wear Charro suits, which were the traditional dress of cowboys from the State of Jalisco.