Return of “Mariachi Masses” to Arizona Cathedral

0

TUCSON, Arizona – After more than a year of silence due to the pandemic, mariachis once again perform Sunday services at St. Augustine’s Cathedral in Tucson, where the colorful and sonorous tradition dates back half a century and merges Roman Catholicism with Mexican Americans Pride.

For the hundreds of worshipers gathered in the Spanish Colonial Church, and for other congregations across the southwest, the unique sound of the Mariachi liturgy is more than just another version of the choir. It evokes an identity of border countries where spirituality and folk music have mingled for centuries.

“Syncretism is the reality of this land, the ‘ambos’ reality,” said Reverend Alan Valencia, rector of the cathedral, who grew up attending mariachi mass in “ambos Nogales”, or “the two Nogales” , as those in the region refer to the two cities of the same name straddling the US-Mexico border about 60 miles to the south.

“And that’s what we see in these mariachi masses,” he added. “Faith and culture come together and grow.”

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » arkansasonline.com/822mariachis/]

Mariachi forms the soundtrack of everyday life in border areas, accompanying everything from backyard barbecues to coming-of-age parties to weddings and funerals.

Yet while mariachi is a grassroots genre popular, musicians and parishioners say its emotional interplay of trumpet, violin, guitar, vihuela, and guitarron is a natural complement to sacred rites.

“The mass itself is a reminder that it is not just mariachis that are served at the table in a cantina,” said Alberto Ranjel, who has been playing at the cathedral since the age of 9 and who directs now the ensemble founded by his father, Mariachi. Tapatio. “It’s a representation of my culture.”

Worshiper Leilani Gomez echoed this sentiment, saying, “They bring mass culture and art, as well as the presence of God. They make you feel the presence of God.”

The first canon of the Mariachi Mass was composed in Cuernavaca, Mexico, after the Vatican encouraged the incorporation of regional musical traditions into services in the 1960s. Called Misa Panamericana, or Pan American Mass, it features a specific order. instrumental arrangements, sung prayers and hymns, according to Dan Sheehy, director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

At that time in the United States, the Chicano civil rights movement was in full swing, and Mariachi musicians transformed from folk troubadours into cultural heroes, “symbols of Mexican identity reinforced here due to multiculturalism.” Sheehy added.

Hundreds of Mariachi school programs followed in the 1970s, when music began to be written instead of being taught through lyric training, said George Bejarano, who in 1973 began performing with the youth group Los Changuitos Feos, or “the ugly little monkeys”. and whose family has lived in border areas “since before there were borders”. In addition, female musicians began to join traditionally male ensembles.

The mainstays of the Mariachi Mass include the merry “Pescador de Hombres” or “Fisherman of Men” – the Spanish-speaking equivalent of “Amazing Grace” for its popularity and ubiquity – and a rendition of the 19th century classic by Franz Schubert “Ave Maria.”

Alma Mccune 15, and other members of the Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band prepare for parishioners after an early morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) members Cameron Davison 18 and Roman Murillo 14 play their trumpets during morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) members Cameron Davison 18 and Roman Murillo 14 play their trumpets during morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

The Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band prepare for parishioners during an early morning mass at St. Augustine's Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  While mariachi is a popular genre at its core, musicians and parishioners say its emotional interplay between trumpet, violin, guitar, vihuela, and guitarrón is a natural complement to the sacred rites of Mass.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

The Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band prepare for parishioners during an early morning mass at St. Augustine’s Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. While mariachi is a popular genre at its core, musicians and parishioners say its emotional interplay between trumpet, violin, guitar, vihuela, and guitarrón is a natural complement to the sacred rites of Mass. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Parishioners of St. Augustine Cathedral watch and listen to mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) perform for them on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  While mariachi is a popular genre at its core, musicians and parishioners say its emotional interplay between trumpet, violin, guitar, vihuela, and guitarrón is a natural complement to the sacred rites of Mass.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Parishioners of St. Augustine Cathedral watch and listen to mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) perform for them on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. While mariachi is a popular genre at its core, musicians and parishioners say its emotional interplay between trumpet, violin, guitar, vihuela, and guitarrón is a natural complement to the sacred rites of Mass. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

After a long absence from the rector of St. Augustine's Cathedral in Tucson, Reverend Alan Valencia once again welcomes the Mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) as they prepare to perform at their morning mass on Sunday August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  “Syncretism is the reality of this land, the 'ambos' reality,” says Valencia, the Cathedral & # x2019; s rector, who grew up attending Mariachi Mass - ambos Nogales, & # x201d;  or “the two Nogales,” as locals refer to the two towns of the same name straddling the US-Mexico border about 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the south.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

After a long absence from the rector of St. Augustine’s Cathedral in Tucson, Reverend Alan Valencia once again welcomes the Mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) as they prepare to perform at their morning mass on Sunday August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. “Syncretism is the reality of this land, the ‘ambos’ reality,” says Valencia, the Cathedral & # x2019; s rector, who grew up attending Mariachi Mass – ambos Nogales, & # x201d; or “the two Nogales,” as locals refer to the two towns of the same name straddling the US-Mexico border about 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the south. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) Mariachi band members read sheet music from

Members of the Mariachi band from Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) read sheet music from “Ave Maria” during a performance for parishioners at morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday August 18, 2021 in the center city ​​of Tucson. The first canon of the Mariachi Mass was composed in Cuernavaca, Mexico, after the Vatican encouraged the incorporation of regional musical traditions into services in the 1960s. Called Misa Panamericana, or Pan American Mass, it features a specific order. instrumental arrangements, sung prayers and hymns, according to Dan Sheehy, director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

After morning mass, Mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) perform for parishioners outside in the courtyard of St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  For the hundreds of worshipers gathered in this Spanish colonial church, and other congregations across the southwest, the unique sound of the mariachi liturgy is more than just another version of the choir.  It evokes an identity of border countries where spirituality and folk music have mingled for centuries.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

After morning mass, Mariachi band Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) perform for parishioners outside in the courtyard of St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. For the hundreds of worshipers gathered in this Spanish colonial church, and other congregations across the southwest, the unique sound of the mariachi liturgy is more than just another version of the choir. It evokes an identity of border countries where spirituality and folk music have mingled for centuries. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

The Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band prepare for parishioners during an early morning mass at St. Augustine's Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  In the 1960s in the United States, the Chicano civil rights movement was in full swing and Mariachi musicians transformed from folk troubadours into cultural heroes,

The Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band prepare for parishioners during an early morning mass at St. Augustine’s Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. In the 1960s in the United States, the Chicano civil rights movement was in full swing and Mariachi musicians transformed from folk troubadours into cultural heroes, “symbols of Mexican identity emphasized here due to multiculturalism”; according to Dan Sheehy, director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Members of the Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band Roman Murillo 14 and Cameron Davison 18 play their trumpets during morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson.  After more than a year of silence due to the pandemic, the mariachis replay Sunday services at the cathedral, where the colorful and sonorous tradition dates back half a century and fuses Roman Catholicism with Mexican-American pride.  (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)

Members of the Los Changuitos Feos (Ugly Little Monkeys) mariachi band Roman Murillo 14 and Cameron Davison 18 play their trumpets during morning mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, August 18, 2021 in downtown Tucson. After more than a year of silence due to the pandemic, the mariachis replay Sunday services at the cathedral, where the colorful and sonorous tradition dates back half a century and fuses Roman Catholicism with Mexican-American pride. (AP Photo / Darryl Webb)


Source link

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply