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Hispanic Heritage Month: Legacy High School Mariachi class strumming in the right direction

Legacy High's Mariachi class is only in its third year and already the Hispanic Heritage Culture based music program is filled with students playing and singing.

MIDLAND, Texas — Trumpets, violins, guitars and lots of singing are all instrumental in creating the sweet sound that comes out of Mr. Zachariah Machuca's Mariachi class at Legacy High School

"I love it because we can mix choir, we mix band and we mix orchestra together and then we threw in the extra aspect of guitar, so you get a good mix of everything," said Machuca, Legacy High Mariachi Director.

For Mr. Machuca, teaching this class touches home. 

"I have done mariachi for 16, 17 years," said Machuca. "It’s really cool to bring something that I not only learned in school but something I learned through life. Like I said it’s a very big Mexican Hispanic Heritage culture based music program so it’s been instilled to me by my grandmother."

Now he's instilling the culture to his 30 students. One being Senior Abran Martinez, who doesn't just play one instrument in class. 

"Today I played the violin and the accordion," said Martinez. "Ever since I got the violin I wanted to play mariachi music but we didn’t have that program back then, but now that we actually got it, I was like I have to choose that class for sure."

"We have a mixed group of students, and you don’t have to be Mexican, you don’t have to be Hispanic to enjoy the Mariachi. We have everybody under the sun that’s included and enjoys listening and playing the Mariachi," said Machuca.

Ryeli Williams is the other senior in class. And she plays an instrument bigger than her. 

"I’ve always been more attracted to the bigger instruments like in general," said Williams. "It feels a lot easier than a smaller instrument in my hands which is weird because I have really tiny hands. It's been really different and really exciting to being able to expand everything. Going into it I didn’t know much, but I learned a lot over the past couple years."

Legacy's Mariachi is only in its third year, but from the sound of things, they're strumming the right direction. 

"So it’s really, really great," Machuca said. "Just kind of raising up the next generation of mariachis and not only teaching them their instruments but the culture about it, where songs come from, what style things are. Here at Legacy, mariachi is thriving and we’re going."

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