Castro Valley Unified School District partnered with the Voces del Valle Mariachi program and started a mariachi program for third through 12th grade students. The program takes place at CVHS in the annex and 300 hall classrooms.
This is the second year of this after school program, starting from a vision from the CVUSD Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.
“It started last year and grew organically out of a music program,” said instructor Karen Canady.
The program runs every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the students are taught both singing and how to play instruments such as the guitar, vihuela and guitarron. The classes are organized by grade, instrument type and skill level.
The students are practicing every week and will have a final performance in May.
“I am here to learn more things, and learn Spanish,” said sixth grader Xander Eakin, who attends Canyon Middle School.
This is the second year that this program is operating and it has grown a lot since last year. The program serves to expose students to new music and culture while having fun.
When people think of mariachi, they are most likely reminded of Mexican or Latino culture, but if you attend one of the practices, you will find that that is not the case.
“It was originally conceived as a program for Latinos but it is very diverse,” said Canady.