HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The Edinburg North High School Mariachi Oro dedicated a heartfelt performance to frontline workers earlier this month.
After over a year of facing the ongoing pandemic, students at Edinburg North High School are no strangers to loss.
They had their daily routines scrabbled, in-person interactions with their friends canceled, and in some cases, they lost their loved ones.
Through the pain, the school’s Mariachi Oro group found a way to soothe their souls, as well as the souls of many who are still picking up the pieces after going through the toughest period of their lifetimes.
During National Nurse’s Day, on May 6, the group released a Mariachi version of the 1982 song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The most recognizable version is the 1988 cover by Bette Midler.
Director Abel Acuna said the song resonated with him after seeing frontline workers take on the pandemic.
“During that time when it started to peak here in the Valley, I started reading these news articles – how nurses and doctors were coming from other places to help what was happening here in our home. And I just thought about it, man these guys are heroes,” said Acuna.
Acuna approached one of his students, who lost her own hero, to sing the English portion of the song.
“Ytzel, being a student of mine for about six years, it’s always been [known] that she thought of her mom as her hero,” said Acuna.
Ytzel Lara lost her mother to COVID-19 last year in July; she not only dedicated this song to her, but to all the frontline workers who have helped during the difficult time. Lara said that singing the song was a challenge for her.
“When Mr. Acuna asked me, I was on the fence about it because, yes, my mom was my hero, she still is my hero, and I wanted to sing but I didn’t know if my emotions would let me. I didn’t know if I could get through the entire song, singing it without crying,” said Lara.
Lara’s mother started her career as a nurse and later moved on to become a medical assistant instructor to spend more time with her daughters. Lara’s mother continues to have an impact on her life.
“I was going to get out of music at the end of my junior year, and my mom pushed me to continue because she brought me up into music — because she just loved Mariachi music, so I stayed in here and I’m so glad I did,” said Lara.
Acuna said he tried to produce the best possible product for his students. The song was put together in a recording studio and filmed with a professional video producer.
“I want these kids, these seniors especially that had their senior year taken away, to have something nice [to show],” said Acuna. “It took a lot of planning and brainstorming to make sure our vision came to life.”
Watch the full cover video below: