*Why you should read this: Because one university program in Denver is making mariachi an integral part of their music program. Because programs like this are seen as a means to address the interests of some Latino students. VL
By Stacy Nick, KUNC (4 minute read)
In school, if you’re in band, there are generally three options: marching, orchestra and jazz. Now a new program at Metropolitan State University in Denver adds to that repertoire.
“You know, orchestra, jazz, choir, these are standard, bread-and-butter parts of any music program,” said Metro music professor Lorenzo Trujillo. “Mariachi is one of the pieces of the puzzle, of the mosaic of American culture and specifically in the southwest.”
Trujillo leads Metro’s mariachi class, Mariachi Los Correcaminos de MSU Denver. The 15-member ensemble is just one of the few programs of its kind taught in the state, but not for much longer, according to Trujillo. Mariachi is becoming a big draw.
“Throughout the United States, with the increased enrollment of Latino students, it becomes imperative as a means to address their interests, keep them in school,” he said. “And it shows, in fact, [that] academic achievement increases, attendance increases when we offer curriculum that is relevant to them.”