Guitar, Voice, and Mariachi de Humboldt

Oct 21, 2022

The Department of Dance, Music, & Theatre at Cal Poly Humboldt presents Mariachi de Humboldt and Art Songs for Voice and Guitar Sunday, October 30th at 2 p.m. at the Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Mariachi de Humboldt
Mariachi de Humboldt.

Concert tickets are $10 General, $5 Children, and FREE for Cal Poly Humboldt students with ID. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at centerarts.humboldt.eduProof of COVID vaccination and booster are still required for all guests on campus. At press time, the wearing of facemasks is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.

The student concert was organized by Jennifer Trowbridge, director of the Cal Poly Humboldt guitar program and Mariachi de Humboldt in collaboration with voice and flute faculty Elisabeth Harrington, Annika Bäckström, and Gary Lewis, as well as local professional mariachis Norberto Angón, Raul Torres, and Gladys Arechiga.

The concert begins with art songs including 19th-century Spanish Seguidillas by Fernando Sor, English Renaissance songs by John Dowland, the famous “Ave Maria” by J.S. Bach and Charles Gounod, centuries-old Sephardic songs from Spain in the Ladino language, Flamenco “Anda Jaleo arranged by the famous playwright/poet Andalusian Federico Garcia-Lorca, and the powerful, traditional Mexican song “La Llorona.”

"The audiences will be truly moved by our talented students who have been studying the intimate genre of art song,” says Trowbridge.

Mariachi de Humboldt will perform the second half of the concert, dedicated to Dia de los Muertos, in a kickoff to the Arcata 2022 celebration. You can look forward to hearing mariachi favorites including “Cielito Lindo,” “La Bruja,” “Amor Eterno,” and “Las Golondrinas.”

“Something very special about Mariachi de Humboldt is the close involvement of several community culture bearers. These local professional musicians grew up playing mariachi and have decades of life experience playing this traditional Mexican music,” says Trowbridge. “

Norberto Angón comes from a mariachi family and he has been involved since Mariachi de Humboldt was relaunched in 2019 after a 20-year hiatus. Raul Torres has played mariachi all over South America, and plays all the mariachi instruments: violin, trumpet, vihuela, guitar, and guitarrón. Gladys Arechiga is a  singer and violinist who grew up playing mariachi in L.A. and is a music alum from Cal Poly Humboldt.

“These community culture bearers are key to the ensemble," says Trowbridge. "They share many of the cultural traditions and our responsibility in respecting them. They share very nuanced details of how to play the music, from certain chords and strums to how to get a bigger sound on the guitarrón!”

At Cal Poly Humboldt, a Hispanic Serving Institution for more than 10 years, Mariachi de Humboldt serves as more than just the musical education of the students.

"For many of the students, learning and performing the music is a way they connect to their parents and their grandparents," says Trowbridge. "One student shared that her involvement in the mariachi was her mother’s proudest moment for her. Another student shared that his family was nervous about him coming to a university so far from home– until they heard him play in Mariachi de Humboldt. So, it’s very meaningful. It’s a connection to the music, a connection to family, a connection to culture, and it’s a way for the students to connect with each other.”