Founded in 1992 as a curricular component within the Pueblo High Magnet School Performing Arts department, Mariachi Aztlán is comprised entirely of Pueblo High Magnet School students ranging in age from 14 to 18 years old and has grown from eleven students in its first year to well over one hundred and twenty students currently. Students are offered three levels of mariachi music: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced/Performing group – “Mariachi Aztlán”. Students entering the performing group must, after audition and acceptance, maintain a high level of academic achievement in order to remain on the “first team”. Their extensive practice and performance schedule also demands most of their free time. The sixteen-piece Mariachi Aztlán is motivated by pride and dedication to their cultural heritage of Mexico.
The group plays authentic mariachi music, arranged and conducted by director, John Contreras, himself a mariachi musician with over twenty-five years of experience. Dressed in their elaborate traje de charro outfits, the group boasts a repertoire of traditional mariachi music.
As Tucson’s most popular youth mariachi, they have gained a reputation for excellence, sharing the stage with many of the world’s finest Mariachi ensembles as well as Symphony Orchestras. Through their music, they are continuously promoting a manifest pride in their cultural background and are an excellent example of the best our youth has to offer.