UNT mariachi camp marks 5th year of helping kids
What: University of North Texas Mariachi Aguilitas Summer Camp — Middle and high school students will learn to play mariachi and get a taste of college life in the 5th annual summer camp, taught by UNT students, alumni and renowned mariachi director Jóse Hernàndez.
When: July 24 – 28 (Tuesday – Saturday)
Where: UNT campus
Cost: Registration fee of $250 for four nights, all meals, tuition and materials, as well as access to the swimming pool and basketball courts. Registration must be received by July 16 (Monday). Register at http://music.unt.edu/about/workshops. Registration can be paid by check by mail or by credit card by calling David Pierce at 940-565-4092.
Concert: The camp will end with a free concert at noon July 28 (Saturday) in the Murchison Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Hall, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard on the UNT campus. For concert information, call the box office at 940-369-7802 or visit www.theMPAC.com.
Contact: For camp information, contact Dr. Donna Emmanuel, associate professor of music, email@example.com.
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Since 2008, the University of North Texas mariachi camp has not only helped students polish their musical skills – but has made the path to college easier for many of them.
Sixth- through 12th-graders play the guitarrón, vihuela, violin and trumpet and sing mariachi songs of celebration and sorrow at the five-day camp. But they also get a glimpse of university life by staying in a residence hall, learning about the admissions process and hearing about college life firsthand from UNT students. They build bridges that can help smooth the transition from high school to college, said Dr. Donna Emmanuel, associate professor of music education at UNT and founder of the camp.
“When these kids come to camp, they meet UNT students and make connections,” Emmanuel said. “They picture themselves attending college, and when they enter UNT as freshmen playing in my mariachi, they already know some of the other students. It’s like they have an automatic family.”
This year, Emmanuel will welcome campers to UNT’s 5th annual Mariachi Aguilitas Summer Camp to be held July 24 through 28. Middle school and high school students will learn from UNT College of Music students and alumni and renowned mariachi director Jóse Hernàndez of Mariachi Sol de México. Billed as “the nation’s premier mariachi,” Mariachi Sol de México has played in such venues as the White House and Lincoln Center and has performed on numerous movie scores, including “Rango” and “Seabiscuit.”
“Maestro Hernàndez is the preeminent mariachi educator in the world today,” Emmanuel said. “Not only is he an incredible musician with a wealth of knowledge concerning mariachi and its history, but he is a masterful teacher as well.”
Over the last four years, about 260 students from Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Krum, Garland and Grand Prairie have participated in the camp — which started with about two dozen students in the first year and grew to more than 100 students last year. Several former campers decided to attend UNT and are now helpers at the camp.
“The camp is open to all students regardless of cultural background,” Emmanuel said. “For those not connected to Mexican culture, it’s a wonderful way to explore the richness of this genre, and for second-and third-generation Mexican immigrants, it helps them reconnect with their cultural heritage.”
The camp ends with a free concert at noon July 28 (Saturday) in the Murchison Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Hall, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard on the UNT campus.