New UTSA Mariachi director Michael Acevedo plans to expand group

Michael Acevedo

Michael Acevedo

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(Nov. 29, 2010)--The UTSA Department of Music recently welcomed Michael Acevedo as the new director of the UTSA Mariachi program. The group comprised of approximately 20 members performs at various university functions.

In addition to leading the UTSA Mariachi program, Acevedo will direct two Northside ISD middle school programs and will continue playing with the group Mariachi Los Arrieros de Laredo.

"We're rehearsing with about 19 members and I'm still learning the strengths of our group -- who can sing and who can play," said Acevedo. "I really feel this program is going to keep getting better with San Antonio being a big mariachi area and vacationing spot for tourists."

Under his leadership, the students will learn at least 10 songs each semester and will perform in concert.

Acevedo is looking for more members for the UTSA Mariachi program, but not necessarily students familiar with mariachi music. With the increase in membership, he then would create a second performing group.

"We're looking forward to competing in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza competition taking place in early December," said Acevedo. "A lot of people from all over the country come to see the competitors, so this would be a great exposure for our students."

Before coming to UTSA, Acevedo directed the University of Texas at Austin Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlan. As a graduate assistant, he worked in the ethnomusicology department at UT Austin and completed his master of music degree in trumpet performance.

A native of McAllen, Acevedo earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. As an undergraduate, he began his mariachi career playing with Mariachi Javelina.