BSOM Ensembles Perform at Tejano Monument Unveiling
March 28, 2012
The University of Texas at Austin Mariachi Ensemble
along with Conjunto Ensemble
will perform at the unveiling of the Tejano Monument
on the State of Texas Capitol grounds, March 29. Both ensembles performed at the groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year.
The Tejano Monument is a mulitistatue monument on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol grounds honoring the contributions of Texas' early Spanish-Mexican settlers and their descendants. The unveiling marks a 12-year effort by Hispanic business and education leaders to honor Spanish and Mexican pioneers who are seldom mentioned in Texas history.
Mariachi and Tejano conjunto dance rhythms are an integral component to Tejano culture and the ensembles from the university are honored and excited to commemorate the state's monument to the culture and history of the Tejano population.
The Mariachi Ensemble began at the university in 1977 in honor of Dr. Americo Paredes, a prominent figure in the history of border studies, Mexican American studies and the post-modern movement in anthropology. The mariachi was created by a group of graduate students in Dr. Paredes' Hisotry of Folklore class in the Folklore Department with Dr. Paredes as sponsor and inspiration. The ensemble now operates from the Butler School of Music with Zeke Castro, an alumnus from the school of music and the UT String Project
, serving as director. Castro established a Mariachi program in the Austin Independent School District's middile and high schools. The Travis High School Mariachi Rebeldes del Sur achieved national recognition with invitations to perform in the Washington, D.C. Fourth of July Parade as well as other high profile events, culminating in a feature story on ABC's Nightly News.
The Conjunto Ensemble was established in 2006 to provide interested students an opportunity to study and perform Tejano conjunto dance rhythms including polkas, waltzes, danzones, cumbias, and huapangos, as well as other music such as Zydeco, Cajun, Blues and Swamp Pop. Students have the opportunity to learn a repertoire of Texas music by learning to play the 3-row button accordion and bajo sexton (twelve stringed bass guitar made to accompany the accordion.) Other melodies, rhythms, and instrumentals from the Tex-Mex tradition are explored as well. The ensemble is lead by faculty members, Jean Jacques (JJ) Barrera, Joel Guzman and Robin Moore.
Official UT Press Release
Photo by Raymond Thompson
Wednesday, March 28, 2012