By Devon Rice
Mariachi has strolled its way into Eastfield this semester.
Alexander Scott Brown, a music education major, started the club to share his love of mariachi with other students.
“I wanted to spread the culture of it to the schools,” Brown said. “Mariachi is a huge part of the culture of Texas, but it’s not in the education system.”
His goal was to entertain students while educating them about the history of mariachi.
“I think mariachi is underrated,” Brown said. “I want to show people that it’s more than a Mexican who’s drunk or sleeping playing mariachi, but it’s actually professional.”
Some people poke fun at mariachi, said Jonathan Ferre, a guitarist in the club.
“I really like the culture of it, and it’s interesting to learn,” Ferre said. “It’s definitely something new.”
Mariachis are known for their intriguing outfits and unique musical style, and like any other genre of music, they have a history.
“In the 1930s or 1940s, in Mexico City, mariachi started to be well known,” Brown said. “The two groups that played were Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Tapatio. When they moved into the cities, they couldn’t just dress like they would in the rural areas, so they had to wear ‘trajes,’ which just means suits.”
Brown owns a hand-sewn suit from Guadalajara.
Members of a mariachi group must learn multiple instruments so they can be of use wherever needed, Brown said.
Brown plays the trumpet, the guitar, the viola and the guitarron.
“Each instrument is playing something so beautiful but difficult,” Ferre said. “And, it all comes together to make one song. It has so many different pieces to it, but it makes one amazing thing.”
Brown hopes club members can benefit from spreading the culture of mariachi to students.
“They are there because they grew up loving mariachi,” he said. “Or they just want to be there to better their music horizon.”
Club member Sarahi Perez is a singer, violinist and guitarist.
“It’s my favorite pastime,” she said. “I’m not very good with words, so the songs express how I feel.”
Perez grew up in Mexico where mariachi was part of her family’s culture.
“At any event or party we had, there was a mariachi,” she said. “It’s always been in my life, so I fell in love with it.”
The club is not limited to those of Mexican descent.
“Anyone can be in it,” Brown said. “There’s actually a mariachi in China. They play the instruments and adopted the trajes and everything.”
The group plans to perform at Eastfield’s Cinco de Mayo festival next month.