Enjoy Full Mariachi Experience At Macey

Enjoy the Full Mariachi Experience At Macey Center

SOCORRO, N.M. – Treat your family to an evening devoted to the complete mariachi holiday experience, from traditional music to a graceful and delightful ballet folklorico, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center Auditorium. 

  Mariachi 2016

Mariachi Juvenil Aztlan will perform Saturday at Macey Center.


   Folklorico 2016

Ballet Folklorico from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley will bring their colorful performances to NMT.


   Folklorico3 2016

The Performing Arts Series (PAS) will host Noberta Fresquez’s “Mariachi Christmas,” now in its 16th year, featuring Mariachi Juvenil Aztlan and Ballet Folklorico of the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, showcasing the work of choreographer Miguel Peña.

Prior to the performance, Tech Club Macey (TCM) is open to all, free admission from 5- pm-7:30pm and at intermission serving tamales and drink specials.

“Noberta Fresquez has become the First Lady of Mariachi Music in New Mexico, and we’re pleased that once again she is bringing the traditional holiday classic to town,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish.

“She started the first mariachi music program in Albuquerque, and has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her expertise in cultural entertainment and programming,” Kalish said.

Mariachi Juvenil Aztlan and its companion group, Aztlan, performed at the White House for President Obama, at a signing ceremony of an Executive Order commemorating the renewal and enhancement of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  The group has traveled in Mexico representing the U.S. and in the United States as musical ambassadors representing the beauty of the Hispanic music and cultural traditions, creating a bridge of cultural understanding between two countries and two peoples.

Mariachi Juvenil Aztlan consists of dynamic and musically outstanding members, with an extensive repertoire offering fresh, creative and innovative ideas while maintaining the traditional integrity of the genre. They took first place in the  2015 university-level competition of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, held in in San Antonio, TX.  Also, in that same competition, UTRGV freshman Clyde Guerra, a singer and violinist from Roma with award-winning senior troupe Mariachi Aztlán, landed first place in the university-level vocal competition, which included eight other vocalists.

Musical director Francisco Loera has been a Lecturer at UTPA/UTRGV for over twenty years in the Departments of Modern Languages and Music, teaching Language and Literature, the History of Mexican Folk Music and Mariachi ensemble.  He has been the Music Director of Mariachi Aztlán and Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán during his time at the University. Under his mariachi musical direction, UTRGV is recognized as the most outstanding university mariachi program in the nation.

“The colorful costumes are part of the charm of mariachi music and its accompanying ballet folklorico,” said Kalish. The musicians wear a distinctive style modeled after the charro, or Mexican horseman, including sombreros, heavily embroidered jackets and conchos.

Ballet Folklorico University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a thirty-four member company comprised of university students who are pursing degrees in a variety of disciplines. The Ballet presents student and public concerts annually and travels to present programs for local, state, national and international private and public events.

In 2007 and 2012, the Ballet was honored as one of ten top choreographies presented for adjudication at the American College of Dance Festival. In 2012, 2014 and 2016 Ballet Folklorico UTRGV won national recognition at the biennial National College Dance Festival held at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. 

Miguel Peña, UTRGV Artistic Director, is originally from Reynosa, Mexico, and a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering.  Miguel was the first recipient of a full scholarship awarded by the UT-Pan American Dance Department.  He completed the coursework for is Masters in Fine Arts /Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

A professional dancer and choreographer, Miguel worked as a dancer with Espectaculo Jarocho, under the direction of Richard O'Neal , where he was part of the ensemble for more than five years. He has worked nationally and internationally, setting choreographic works for different dance companies such as BYU Folk Dance Ensemble, Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Milwaukee, and several Rio Grande Valley folklorico groups.

He has choreographed special performances throughout the nation for important artists such as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Aztlán. Miguel has studied with renowned choreographers such as Viviana Basanta, Carlos Antuñez, Julio Flores, Jairo Heli, Roberto Martinez, Merrina Nuñez, Ariadna Garcia, among others.

In 2016, Miguel developed a Master class for the American Dance College Association South Conference in Hattisburg, Mississippi. Also, in 2016, the UTRGV Ballet Foklorico received national recognition at the National Conference of the American Dance College Association under his artistic direction.

This is a first-time performance of this folklorico troupe in Socorro.  Noberta Fresquez is very excited, stating “Socorro is going to love this group.  I can’t wait for people to see this colorful, top-notch company, led by Mexican folklorico luminary Miguel Peña!”

Fresquez, New Mexico’s own mariachi luminary, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Mexico Hispano Music Association; the Mark Ipiotis Award from the New Mexico Hispano Entertainers Association, and the Creative Bravo Award and De Colores Award for excellence in cultural education programming. 

She also has been recognized by the NM State Board of Education for her outstanding work in providing mariachi music education to public school children in the state. In 2010, she was recognized by the New Mexico Business Weekly as one of that year’s 25 influential Women of New Mexico.

In 2011, Fresquez received the highest award the Mexican government gives to non- Mexican citizens, El Premio OHTLI, and remains one of three New Mexicans to have received the prestigious award.

Most recently, she received the New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award from Governor Susana Martinez.

Sponsors for the performance are Presbyterian Socorro General Hospital, EMRTC, Wells Fargo, Chartwells Campus Catering and Mine Country Radio.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens 65 and over, and $10 for youths 17 and under, and are available online at www.nmtpas.org, or at the N.M. Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Sofia’s Kitchen Drive-up, or at the door.

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