The PBS Arts Summer Festival expands the scope and diversity of the arts on television, with a multi-part weekly series and new original online content that takes viewers across the country and around the world. The first stop was Zapata, Texas with the champion mariachi ensemble Mariachi Halcon in the LPB funded film Mariachi High.
At a time when the Latino dropout rate is the highest nationwide, intolerance towards immigrants is growing and public school funding is being cut, Mariachi High turns a much-needed affirmative lens on teens who are pursuing excellence through a connection to their cultural heritage.
Beginning with the beguiling awkwardness of high-stakes band auditions, through dramatic competitions like the San Antonio Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, and through graduation, viewers will see the students moving from school to stage in fierce contests filled with the fire of musical virtuosity and traditional trajes de charro dress. Before the cameras, the students discover their own unique voices and the richness of a heritage they are learning to embrace. High school never sounded so good.
Prior to the broadcast premiere of the film that the New York Times compared to "Glee", KLRN hosted a sneak preview of Mariachi High in Laredo and Zapata, Texas. The young talented stars of Mariachi High, Mariachi Halcon put on a great performance for the attendees. HoustonPBS also held a special public screening followed by a lively Q&A with Director/Producer, Ilana Trachtman and LPB executive director, Sandie Pedlow; followed by a performance by the Mariachi students of MECA. You can check out photos from the KLRN screening here and HoustonPBS screening here.
If you were not able to catch the broadcast of Mariachi High, you can watch it for a limited time online at www.pbs.org/arts/!