STEPHENVILLE (March 21, 2016) — Tarleton State University’s Department of Fine Arts welcomes an 11-member instrumental band, the Mariachi Águilda de UNT, which will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium.
Founded in 2003 at the University of North Texas in Denton, Mariachi Águilda de UNT is under the direction of Jose Torres and carries on the culturally distinct music of Mexico. The upbeat, traditional style of music enthralls people of the Mexican culture and many others.
Mariachi Águilda de UNT has performed throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has helped establish mariachi music programs in several north Texas public schools.
While most mariachi bands consist of four to nine members, the UNT ensemble is larger and includes violins, guitar, vihuela (a high-pitched guitar), guitarron (a deep-voiced guitar) and trumpets. Torres says mariachi music traditionally is learned entirely by ear and rehearsed and performed without any musical notation. At UNT he attempts to teach the musicians in this traditional manner.
“(Playing by ear) is unique in a school setting. For mariachi in the working world, it’s standard performance practice,” Torres said. “So what we’re doing at UNT is trying to set up a model where mariachi is a little bit more within its performance practice in the real world. That way, students can get an understanding of it within its culture.”