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Mariachi advances to state after earning straight ones at area

Norseman Staff
Los Vikingos practice their concert before heading to the state competition.

The mariachi band, Los Vikingos, scored ones across the board when they competed at the Area competition, securing their position at State on February 24. 

“I felt very proud of my students,” mariachi director James Mosqueda said. “I was confident from the beginning that they were going to advance to the State competition because they have the work ethic, drive, and positive attitude to get there.”

Over the last few years, the mariachi group has enjoyed a lot of success and looks to continue performing at a high level.

“I feel pretty good about my performance at the competition,” senior Aryana Pena said. “As a group, I think our scores showed it was one of our best performances. There’s more we can improve on, but I think we did great. It’s our third year in a row getting straight ones at Area, and I was ecstatic.”

Mosqueda gave the group their music in September, and they started learning and practicing their music diligently. 

“We hit the ground running from the beginning of the year,” Mosqueda said. “It’s been a lot of meticulous planning on my end and practice inside and outside of school on theirs.”

With the mariachi group garnering so much success, their focus has now shifted to correcting all the minor things that could help perfect their performance.

“We are at the point where the small details make the most difference,” Mosqueda said. “They’re 90% of the way there. It’s that 10% that can help us get a one at State and make history for this ensemble.” 

As one of the lead vocalists for the group, Aryana recognizes the stress and pressure that come with performing and appreciates being able to rely on the other mariachi members for support.

“The most difficult part of performing is handling the nerves before going on stage and everything leading up to the competition,” Aryana said. “In those moments, our adrenaline is at an all-time high, and it’s hard to calm down and focus on what we’re doing.”

Aryana said that the group feels like one big family, and it is one of the reasons for their success. 

“Our strongest asset is the way we work together,” Aryana said. “Once we get into the groove of things, we flow and work well together.”

Even with the mariachi group’s accolades, Mosqueda hopes the members still have time to enjoy themselves while spending time together.

“I want them to have fun,” Mosqueda said. “Playing mariachi music is all about having fun, and nothing is more fun than when you’re good at it.” 

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Sabrina Bush
Sabrina Bush, Staff Writer
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