Downey High School’s New Mariachis Club

Lukas Luna and Clarissa Arceo

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Downey High School’s band program is certainly large, but it’s growth may be hindered by students who see musical experience as necessary to joining. To help grow the program, Band Director, Mr. Guerrero, is advising a new Mariachi club designed specifically to appeal to students with little-to-know prior musical experience.  

 

Though Mr. Guerrero is acting as the club’s advisor, it was actually Mr. Houts’  idea to get Mariachi music on campus. As such, the band director is not terribly familiar with Mariachi music, but he is ready for the challenge this new form of music offers him. 

 

“… It’s going to be a new journey for me [mariachi club]. I’ve never played Mariachi music, though I did go to a workshop in July to learn a lot about it,” Guerrero said. “So for me, it’s going to help me grow and hopefully help the students learn about music from a different culture.” 

 

Any new idea on campus must depend on student support to persist, luckily for Mariachi club, it has already swept up forty signatures. One of these interested students is junior Violet Becerra, who looks forward to using the club to better explore her heritage.  

 

“I’m looking forward to it. It is a big part of my culture,” Becerra said. “I’ve had family members that have been in mariachi bands and being able to learn it in a different way than they did is just interesting to me.”

 

While the various people already involved with the club are certainly enthusiastic for its formation, Mr. Houts easily remains the biggest believer in the potential of the program. He has hopes to turn it into a class and potentially attract a whole new audience of potential musicians. 

 

“I ran the idea by our band director and I went to the district office and they said yes. I want to get it eventually as a class, but they said start it as a club,” Houts said. “… We have Jazz band and Marching Band, so why can’t we have Mariachi band.” 

 

Mariachi club meets Friday’s from five to seven in L203.