By Ursula Rogers
The mariachi program has been preserved within Hays Consolidated Independent School District (CISD).
Dr. Eric Wright, along with mariachi band directors Joseph Baird (Lehman High School), Frank De Leon (Simon Middle School) and Yvonne Vasquez (Wallace Middle School) met with parents and others to discuss mariachi’s future with Hays CISD at the district’s Performing Arts Center on Oct. 2. Also present for the meeting were Hays CISD Board President Esperanza Orosco and Deputy Academic Officer Michael O ’Guin.
Baird said she believes that mariachi will be strengthened by adding an orchestra program to the school curriculum. By starting orchestra, mariachi has even greater potential, she said. Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all Hays CISD middle schools will include orchestra programs. With orchestra as a building block, all the other music programs, including mariachi, will have an opportunity for growth, Baird argued.
Mariachi will continue at Wallace, Chapa and Simon middle schools and at Lehman High School. Wallace will have both orchestra and mariachi, allowing the program to continue.
Students may request transfers in January. Students wishing to transfer should contact Adrianna Price (email@example.com) and are advised to specifically mention mariachi as the reason.
Parents, educators and Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright spoke about the success of the mariachi program and the fact it helps kids build character and self-esteem. One parent stated that, “Ms. Pruitt envisioned something big and beautiful.” “Mariachi is a family,” another said.
Wright praised the band directors, “ [the mariachi]directors have a lot of passion, love what they do and love the kids.”
Another parent asked, “How does the community get involved?” The answer; come to the performances to keep interest in the program.