Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Mariachi Los Jaguares del Sur brought a piece of Mexican culture and performed popular mariachi songs during their first spring concert April 8 in the university auditorium.
The event began with a performance of the song, “El Carretero,” before Alyssa De La O, mariachi adviser and A&M-San Antonio alum, took to the podium to introduce the group.
De La O gave a brief history of mariachi at A&M-San Antonio, including how the first mariachi band, Mariachi Son de Esperanza, was formed in 2013 but disbanded in 2021.
Since its revival in 2022 under its current name, Mariachi Los Jaguares del Sur now has 13 members, including mariachi coach Antonio Briseno who also teaches music appreciation at A&M-San Antonio.
“Despite the change in name and its members over the years, what hasn’t changed is the purpose of the group,” said De La O, who attributes this to the performers wanting to honor and preserve the art of mariachi music.
De La O said the band prides itself on its ability to bring the community together through a shared love for music, performance and Mexican culture.
After De La O’s statements, the band played its first set of seven songs, followed by a presentation of a mini documentary about the mariachi group — produced by A&M-San Antonio’s Enlace Media Lab — and a brief intermission.
After the intermission, the band performed a second set and finished with the song, “Cielito Lindo.”
Upon the song’s final note, the crowd erupted into applause and whistles and rose to give the mariachi a standing ovation.
After hearing the crowd’s praise, the band members had a quick exchange among themselves before playing an encore of the song “El Relampago,” a song played during the first set.
With the concert coming to a close, Briseno approached a microphone to give some closing remarks.
“It’s been — not been — it continues to be a pleasure and definitely a privilege to work with this school,” Briseno said.
Briseno praised the band members’ dedication, noting how much they have improved their stage performance over time.
“They’ve developed so well and I’m very proud of them, really,” Briseno added. “Keep on keeping on the tradition.”
The mariachi’s next performance will be at Festival de Cascarones April 30 at A&M-San Antonio.
Editor’s note: The author of this article is a former member of Enlace Media Lab and participated in the production of the mini documentary discussed above.