Mariachi Águila de CHPA was founded in 2002 when César Chávez Academy was first opened. In 2009, Mr. Jorge Melo became the Mariachi Director and brought a vast knowledge and passion for mariachi music as well as great experience in musical performance. Mr. Melo changed the program to include music theory for all his students and requires the performing “advanced” mariachi students to study the musicians that have dedicated their lives to mariachi music.
Students at all levels of the Mariachi program learn music theory, performance, and culture. The younger students learn the importance of always doing their best and working with others to create beautiful music with the goal to someday perform in the advanced Mariachi group. Building confidence daily in the students is a big part of the program.
The students in the advanced Mariachi group are some of the most talented, intelligent and engaging students at CHPA. The majority of the students are honor students in the top of their class and several are Early College Program (ECP) students. The students range in age from 12 years to 18 years old and have many opportunities to showcase their talents and promote their school and community.
Mariachi Águila serves the community in many ways by participating in community wide events such as the annual Chile & Frijole Festival, the State Fair’s Fiesta Day, Dia de los Muertos and many other events. They also do performances for local nursing homes, children’s organizations and were featured for two years at the United States Air Force Academy for their annual Heritage celebration.
Mariachi Águila have collaborated with local ballet folklórico groups to provide live music for performances and have been on tour in Kansas, Colorado and Vienna, Austria to participate in the International Folk Dance Festival. They have also been featured in many ballet folklórico shows with the local dance groups Omawari and Colorado State University-Pueblo Folklórico.