Local musicians & dancers perform for Mexico's Independence Day
A concert celebrating Mexican Independence Day next Thursday at the Fox Theatre will feature Tucson-area musicians and dancers.
"For us, this is something that is very special," Pueblo High School mariachi teacher John Contreras said in Spanish. We're especially excited to perform alongside the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, which is such a high quality group and has some of the best musicians in Southern Arizona."
Mariachi Aztlán will play two songs on their own and then two pieces with the symphony. Contreras said they've been rehearsing daily and have prepared a repertoire of beloved music such as "El Son del Alegre," "Un Mundo Raro" and "Popurri Mexicano," a medley which includes songs like "Cielito Lindo" and "Como Mexico No Hay Dos."
"Even though the majority of my students and myself were born here in the United States, many were born to Mexican parents," Contreras said. "Giving them the passion of the mariachi and the Spanish language, they're able to get on stage and represent the country of their parents and their culture."
Next year, Mariachi Aztlan will be representing Arizona in a celebration of Mexican independence in Washington, D.C.
The Tucson Symphony played at the 2021 Mexican Independence Concert, and Jose Luis Gomez, the orchestra's musical director, is glad their partnership with the consulate is continuing.
"The most important part of this kind of event is that it evidently resonates with a specific community," Gomez said in an interview in Spanish. "Our intention is that this celebration of Mexico's independence is spectacular for the entire Mexican community in Tucson and for the ones that will be watching through the Facebook Live."
The Compañía de Danza Folklórica Arizona will perform a piece titled "Mexico," which will feature different styles of folklorico as tribute to the country.
Chantal Ralls, the group's director, said the dancers are all very excited to take part in the concert.
There will also be a civic ceremony to commemorate El Grito de Dolores, which took place on Sept. 16, 1810, and was the catalyst for the war for Mexican independence. September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States.
The concert and the ceremony will be broadcast live on the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Facebook page and the consulate's social media platforms.
The performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and free tickets can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 520-882-5595 ext. 411.
Bianca Morales is TucsonSentinel.com’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.