MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) —Four McAllen students have won awards at a national vocal competition, making it the first ever awards sweep by a single school in the 26-year history of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocals Competition.
Students celebrated the historic moment in a year like no other, and say this moment means more than just an award.
“I have a lot of family in Mexico and when they hear the music and they see us play us play mariachi, they’re so proud of us, and the culture is just so beautiful,” said Natalie Carmona who placed 1st in the high school division.
Even though this year’s competition was held virtually, Mcallen Highs School’s mariachi director, Alex Trevino says, it was still a challenging competition.
“Everything was done virtually and all the teaching, all the going over the songs and rehearsing—all of it was done virtually 100%, so that was especially challenging,” said Trevino.
Streaming online allowed more supporters to view the competition, according to Jenika Montes who placed 3rd in the high school division.
“We had a lot of people able to watch us, they were able to watch us on YouTube Live from their home supporting us,” said Montes.
Roxeth Gonzalez, who placed 2nd in the high school division, was able to compete and placed for the first time.
“I thought it was really cool that they were making everything happen for us, when i got that spot i couldn’t believe it…I’m still in shock,” said Gonzalez.
Ashley Trevino took home the top honors, the National Grand Champion – the best out of every division.
“This competition is probably the biggest one—the biggest vocal competition, as far as high school goes, for vocalists,” said Trevino. “I’m very, very thankful because it’s one of the biggest honors for me.”