Edinburg CISD mariachi group featured in new documentary
The Edinburg North High School’s Mariachi Oro was featured in a new documentary called “Going Varsity in Mariachi” at the Sundance Film Festival.
"It's just very deep to me,” Edinburg North Mariachi Oro violinist and male vocalist Guadalupe Lopez said. “I love the lyrics they talk to me, they're just poems, and they mean so much to you."
The film follows the mariachi group through their competition season.
Edinburg North Mariachi Director Abel Acuña says he was taken back when he received the first call from filmmakers.
"It's really amazing that they felt like it's an important story to tell,” Acuña said.
He says they started filming at the beginning of the 2021 school year.
"We came from I'm only seeing them behind the screen on Google meets to putting it together in a classroom and the first rehearsal that we have it's absolutely rough, but we just kept on going, kept on getting better,” Acuña said.
Guadalupe Lopez is one of the students featured in the film, he says he was new to mariachi when filming started last year.
"I wasn't good at the violin, but when I joined mariachi I got the confidence, and I'm able to play for people in front without getting shy or timid,” Lopez said. "I'm at a point where I'm comfortable with myself and then in the film I was able to hear myself back then and then where I am now."
The documentary was recently shown at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received a lot of praise.
"The different stories that happen with the students in the documentary, we're hoping that other students can see themselves in them and be inspired,” Acuña said.
Five of the students the film follows have already graduated from Edinburg North. Acuña says three of them joined mariachi programs in colleges.
Lopez plans to continue playing too.
"The connection that I have with mariachi is very deep,” Lopez said. “ I would like to pursue it not as a career but more as a hobby, I want to be in a mariachi group someday, a professional one."
Lopez has already received an audition for Texas State's mariachi program.