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Mexican culture expressed in music

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Karlie Bettencourt
Associate Arts Editor

The Mariachi Divas filled the Marian Miner Cook Anthenaeum at Claremont McKenna College last week with music that got the crowd moving on March 24.

This performance marked the eighth time that the Mariachi Divas have performed at Claremont McKenna College. This year they performed their show “A Musical Celebration Honoring Cesar Chavez.”

“It is good to show other young girls that women can be professional musicians and can be in charge of their goals,” said Rosalie Rodriguez, violinist and vocalist.

This year they performed their show “A Musical Celebration Honoring Cesar Chavez.”

The set contained 20 songs and lasted about an hour and a half.

It included music in both English and Spanish to entertain the vast audience.

The mariachi band consisted of 10 women playing violins, flutes, trumpets, guitars and multiple percussion instruments.

From the opening note to the last sound from the violin string, nearly 150 audience members danced, clapped and sang along with the Mariachi Divas.

The most popular part of the show was the tribute to Selena, which consisted of popular songs like “No Me Queda Mas” and “Biddy Biddy Bum Bum.”

The audience enjoyed this especially when the mariachi invited everyone to come up to the front of the stage and dance.

As the Mariachi Divas flew from one song to the next the audience got up and danced; even starting a conga line.

In the first half of the show, the Mariachi Divas asked the audience who the longest married couple in the room was.

They found that it was Esperanza and Anastacio Medina, Claremont residents, who have been married for 53 years.

After finding this out, the Mariachi Divas brought them on the stage to dedicate a song to them and give them a free CD.

“It was a nice surprise,” Esperanza Medina said. “I was privileged to be part of it.”

The mariachi did not just celebrate anniversaries but also birthdays.

When they asked the audience, they found that there was one March birthday.

They brought Pomona resident Fausto Reyes onto the stage and sang to him while accompanying their serenade with a complimentary CD as well.

“I was very blessed and honored to be there,” Reyes said. “Not many people get that serenade.”

The part of the show that pulled on the audience’s heartstrings was when the Mariachi Divas played “Sabor a Mi” and Rodriguez brought up her one year-old son to sing to him.

The Mariachi Divas are best known for their Grammy Award winning album “Canciones de Amor,” which came out in 2008.

The audience interacted with the Mariachi Divas throughout the entire performance.

Clapping along was a common form of audience participation, and if they were not clapping then they were singing, shouting and cheering on the Mariachi Divas.

“I enjoyed it,” Reyes said. “They played my favorite songs.”

Karlie Bettencourt can be reached at

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