By Brenda De La Cruz
After 24 years, a Mariachi Club has returned to the college campus. The newly chartered East Los Angeles College club is open for business and accepting members.
The club’s adviser is Jesus Martinez, who also leads the symphonic band on campus.
Alondra Reyes, club president, and Sally Hawkridge, club vice president, are the active performers while the club is getting started. Reyes’ father, Aurelio Reyes, also performs music.
The three often perform together as “Mariachi Trio Palenque.”
Currently, there are 11 members in the club, but during club rush, 30 potential members signed up.
The club participates in fundraising events on and off campus. These events fund the purchase of traditional mariachi suits and instruments.
Off-campus events include the “Mariachi Trio Palenque” performing at birthdays, weddings, and many other events.
While they work on fundraising for suits, the club currently coordinates in all-black attire during campus performances.
Though many may think the club is solely about performing, Hawkridge reminds those interested that the goal is to also teach about the culture behind the music. The culture can be traced as far back as the 1800s.
“They prepare you to use this to make a living,” Hawkridge said. The ultimate goal of the club is to travel across the country to perform.
To join, students must have a 2.0 G.P.A., exhibit good behavior, own their instrument, if possible, and know music background. The club will also accept beginners and teach them if needed.
Practices take place Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the S2 building. For more information contact Professor Jesus Martinez at email@example.com or (562) 746-2277.
The Mariachi Club hopes their return to campus will inspiring other missing clubs like Ballet Folklorico to make their comeback.
The Mariachi Club will play at tomorrow’s town hall, Theater of the Sphere: Celebrating Luis Valdez and Teatro Chicano event, taking place in the quad.
A pre-event celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, which includes music from the band and food. The Mariachi Club will perform at 1:30 p.m.