Have you heard music playing during your seventh period? If so, you’re hearing Da Vinci’s brand new mariachi band! The seventh period class is currently held in the presentation room and taught by DHS band teacher Mr. Slabaugh. The band originally started as an extracurricular, but with the help of Mr. Millsap and junior Sofia Huston-Isias, it turned into a full-fledged class!
The original mariachi club is still operating, and many of the club members have joined the class. In addition, this is the only class that DHS students have to travel to!
Huston-Isais enjoys mariachi band more than other bands because, “with mariachi music, you can play around with the music more rather than the symphonic band where you are always being told what to do. But in mariachi, there is a lot of improvisation.” She also explained that she enjoys the class because it is smaller than other bands and the size allows the class to work with other people that play the same instruments.
In addition, Sophomore Zoraya Phillips says, “I like being able to express part of my culture that I do not usually express.” Phillips plays guitar, and although this is her first year playing in a mariachi band, she has played many different instruments before.
The main instruments in a mariachi band are trumpets, guitarrons, armonias (an instrument similar to a guitar but smaller), guitars, and violins. When a musician’s instrument is not playing at that moment, they will most likely be singing the lyrics to the songs. All the songs that the band plays are in Spanish, therefore almost all of the students in the band speak Spanish.
Another member of the band, sophomore Antonio Velasquez, was and still is a member of both the mariachi club and class. When asked which he prefers he said, “Definitely the class. With the class, we have a lot more potential to grow and expand.” He also noted another difference between the class and the club stating, “We’re starting from scratch, we don’t have members that have been active for years.”
Despite the fact that many of the musicians are in a mariachi band for the first time, they play beautifully and the class has already performed in front of our office staff! Exciting things are on track for this class and Da Vinci is eager to see the concerts in their future!