The College of Southern Nevada’s Mariachi Plata took first place in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza national competition in San Antonio, Texas, this month.
Considered the “Super Bowl” of mariachi competitions, Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza saw CSN compete against long-established mariachi from the top schools in the country. Mariachi Plata began competing in 2019.
“I am so proud of our Mariachi Plata, which we started in my first year at CSN,” said CSN President Federico Zaragoza. “Las Vegas has a large and talented Hispanic and Mexican community and mariachi speaks to who we are as a Mexican community.
“Winning the Mariachi Vargas competition is big. This was a big national upset and our students worked so hard to accomplish this goal. Fine Arts Chair Robert Bonora, Coach Fernando Gonzalez, his assistant Lupe Gonzalez, and our students had the vision and made their dream happen. This is still sinking in, wow. CSN’s Mariachi Plata the best mariachi in the country. Congratulations Mariachi Plata. You make us CSN Proud!”
Mariachi Plata is comprised of students from CSN’s mariachi courses, part of its fine arts music curriculum. Bonora credited talented faculty, as well as Coach Gonzalez and his wife and assistant, for their dedication to CSN’s Students First mission.
“We’ve gone right to the center of the mariachi world in the United States and competed and come out on top,” he said. In addition to the team’s first place win, vocalist Jose Mejia took third in the individual competition. Mejia previously took first place in that competition in 2019, the first year Mariachi Plata competed.
Courtesy of the College of Southern Nevada.
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The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting research universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges, and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents. The System includes the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada State College, Desert Research Institute, the College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Western Nevada College.