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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

New mariachi band works toward increased visibility on campus

Mariachi Leones Del Monte performs at various events on campus in honor of Hispanic heritage month.
Members of Mariachi Leones Del Monte performing during last week’s soccer game

Mariachi Leones Del Monte, a new student organization that was created last fall, has been performing at various events in an effort to increase visibility on campus in honor of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month.

The mariachi is one of many registered student organizations on campus, and was co-founded last year by students Natalie Valdez, a third-year environmental science and landscape, nursery and greenhouse management double major, who is the current president, and Daniela Alpire Cabrera, a fourth-year finance and music double major. 

Valdez is a student at WSU who is of Hispanic descent herself. Valdez first came up with the idea to create a mariachi group at WSU because she participated in mariachi throughout middle school and high school.

After coming to WSU, Valdez said she realized that there was a lack of interest on behalf of Hispanic students to attend college, and particularly a lack of interest in WSU. Valdez wanted to encourage other students from Hispanic backgrounds to pursue post-secondary education and believed that the creation of a mariachi club at WSU would draw in more potential students.

“For people I went to high school with, WSU was not really an option for them for college, which kind of made me sad,” Valdez said. “So I wanted to provide them with another reason to come here.”

Valdez then reached out to some peers who were in mariachi with her in high school to gain other members and then began to work on creating the RSO. Valdez said filling out all the paperwork and going through all the proper channels for the RSO took the entirety of fall semester last year.

Mariachi Leones del Monte started officially practicing last spring and held their first performance on Valentine’s Day at a couple of local restaurants. Since then, they’ve performed at events on campus, including at the Jordan Schweitzer Museum, the multicultural fundraiser at the CUB, and even at halftime during the soccer game last week. 

Valdez said that the mariachi group also performed at the National Lentil Festival Parade in August and won the award for best small group.

Mariachi group advisor Darryl Singleton, said the club has been extremely active this fall due to the addition of new members and has already performed at several different events since the beginning of the semester.

“Just since school started, we’ve probably done five or six different performances on campus,” Singleton said.

Singleton said the College Assistance Migrant Program has greatly assisted Mariachi Leones Del Monte by helping them secure funding to buy instruments and are currently also in the process of helping the group obtain trajes, traditional mariachi suits, for the members.

“We provide instruments and suits for free to our members because a lot of our members come from first-generation families and don’t really have the money to go buy a $1,000 instrument,” Valdez said. “And that’s thanks to support from CAMP and other organizations on campus.”

Singleton said the mariachi group’s current goal is to get as much exposure as possible and perform at as many events as they can.

“The goal is to eventually be just as visible as the marching band, or the jazz ensemble or any of the other music ensembles on campus,” Singleton said. “And to be able to travel to workshops and festivals to perform there.”

Valdez said she also hopes that the mariachi group will be able to increase their visibility on campus and perform at even more events in the future.

“We just did the soccer halftime performance on Thursday, and that was pretty good,” Valdez said. “But one day I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do the football halftime performance and get that large exposure.”

Valdez also plans for the group to host a concert in the spring near parent’s weekend inspired by jaripeo events seen in Hispanic and Latin American culture.

“I’m just really hoping that this goes on until I’m dead and long gone,” Valdez said.

Mariachi Leones del Monte meets every 5 p.m. every Wedensday in Kimbrough Hall 115.

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About the Contributors
MUSFIRAH KHAN, Evergreen reporter
Musfirah Khan is a junior from Seattle, Washington studying multimedia journalism. She started working for the Evergreen in spring 2023.
MADDY RICE, Evergreen photographer
Maddy Rice is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from White Center, Washington, she is a sophomore majoring in Business Managment, with a minor in Sports Managment. Maddy began working for the Daily Evergreen in the Fall of 2023.