May 13th, 2013
by Marianne Rittner-Holmes
High Chaparral Reunion goers of 2013 were treated to live entertainment at Old Tucson Studios during their visit there. Young vaqueros and señoritas, all decked out in Mexican traditional dress, played instruments, sang and danced in the shadow of the original High Chaparral hacienda.
The group is part of the The White Elementary Bulldog Mariachi and Folklórico program within the Tucson Unified School District. The effort offers a chance for kindergartners through fifth graders to learn an instrument, traditional dance, showmanship, self-confidence and discipline in a musical setting. They also learn the result of hard work and a positive attitude. To participate in the program, students must have a good academic standing and a good outlook, so they reflect well as school leaders and role models.
The Folklórico dancers and musicians delighted the HC’ers with more than a half-hour of dancing, singing and playing. The group performs locally in all sorts of venues, and is often at Old Tucson for various functions.
According to their brochure, 11-year-old Alissandra says, “I love folklórico because I get to put on pretty dresses and learn hard dances.” Another, 10-year-old Corinne, says, “It makes me feel amazing when I get up on the stage.”
While part of the school district, the group still needs financial support from the families and community to purchase and maintain the costumes, the instruments and to keep the membership open so more can participate. If you’d like to join The High Chaparral Reunion and help out, go to www.tusd1.org. Click on Community tab, then AZ Tax Credit. Select White Elementary, and then Mariachi Program. The kids and teachers will be indebted to you for your help. Olé!