So how long do you think it'll be now before kids start asking for a guitarron instead of an electric
guitar? A group of Texas teens will be raising the profile of the large, bass-sounding Mexican instrument during the new Mariachi High that premieres next month.
The PBS program, which airs June 29, takes a yearlong look at the competitive Mariachi Halcon out of the ranching town of Zapata. Nearly 75 percent of Zapata High School students are considered economically disadvantaged and about half are at risk of dropping out of school, according to state records. But in recent years, all students who spent all four years in school's mariachi program graduated and went on to an institute of higher learning, according to a PBS press release.
“At a time when Latinos have the highest dropout rate in the country and when arts education continues to be under attack, we found a story of teens who pursue excellence through their cultural heritage despite some very real challenges,” said Ilana Trachtman, the show's producer and director. “This is an exuberant story about ambitious and talented Mexican-American teenagers — whom you hardly ever see on screen.”
Photo and video courtesy of PBS
(Full disclosure: I was a mariachi nerd in middle school, though not nearly as good good as these guys.)