Mariachi Festival to draw top SoCal high school bands

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Young singers, violinists, guitarists and trumpet players wearing colorful trajes will fill Pacifica High School’s Robert Q. Valles Center for the Performing Arts with the traditional music of Mexico on Wednesday, May 26, during the Oxnard Union High School District’s 10th annual Mariachi Festival.

About 10 high school bands are expected to perform, with the music beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is free. The festival — the largest of its kind in Southern California — will feature bands from four OUHSD schools. They are:

Mariachi Las Islas de Channel Islands High School;
Mariachi de Mi Tierra of Hueneme High School;
Mariachi Oro de Pacifica High School;
Mariachi Oxcatlan de Oxnard High School.
High school bands from outside of the area taking the stage include Garfield High School from Los Angeles and Bonita Vista High School from Chula Vista, near San Diego. Also performing will be Mariachi Corazon de Mexico, a community band made up of Oxnard area middle school students.

While it showcases the best young mariachi musicians in Southern California, the festival emphasizes educational growth and musical improvement, said Bruce Edmiston, band director at Oxnard High School. Bands don’t compete against each other, but instead will be rated based on a musical standard established by a panel of judges.

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