Mariachi Apache of Nogales High School won three of the four major awards at the 2019 Tucson International Mariachi Conference held April 24-27 at the Casino Del Sol resort.

The NHS group, led by director Gilbert Velez, was named the 2019 Community Choice Winner, and also took home the Elisa Gastelum Memorial Foundation scholarship.

One of the group’s members, Carolina Sanchez, was the first-place winner of the El Mariachi Canta Voice Competition for high school students.

In addition to Mariachi Apache’s achievements, the Desert Shadows Middle School mariachi, directed by Lorena Candelaria, won the third-place prize in the Community Choice competition.

The Tucson International Mariachi Conference, founded in 1982, hosts hundreds students from around the the world for workshops and performances.

According to the organization’s website, its mission “is to promote awareness and foster traditional values of mariachi music and baile folklórico through educational activities that increase knowledge, artistic and technical experience, cultural identity, and pride in our youth and community.


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