Student Voice: Gabriela Villasana, Fox Tech High School Mariachi vocalist
Gabriela Villasana, a junior at Fox Tech High School and an accomplished Mariachi singer, is available to speak to what it is like to be a competitor in this year's Mariachi Extravaganza. This is her fifth year to qualify for the competition, which many in the Mariachi field have compared to being the Super Bowl of the genre. This year, she was one of only 44 vocalists out of more than 500 singers who auditioned, and she is the only singer from San Antonio.
The Mariachi Extravaganza National Vocal Competition takes place on Friday, Nov. 18 in the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Gabriella is scheduled to perform in the morning session.
Gabriela has been taught by Fox Tech Mariachi instructor Alicia Covarrubias since she was a seventh grader. In 2015, Covarrubias herself was a former Mariachi Extravaganza vocal finalist. When the teacher and student met, Gabriela played the guitar, but once Covarrubias heard the student sing, it was time to pivot. Covarrubias encouraged Gabriela to learn to sing, and to do so with all her heart. Covarrubias says Gabriella connects her voice to the lyrics, something elite singers achieve only after years on stage.
The Mariachi life is truly a family affair for Gabriella. The mother designs and creates her daughter's lavish performance dresses, which are more formal and grander than the traditional Mariachi traje. The attire for next week's competition is still being completed.
Interviews with Gabriella and her instructor can be scheduled any time Monday through Friday.
Nov. 12 (Sat) - SAISD LOTC units in Veterans Day Parade
Noon, Downtown San Antonio
The SAISD LOTC units from Davis, Longfellow, Rogers, and Tafolla middle schools as well as Young Men's Leadership Academy will be marching in the Veterans Day Parade in downtown San Antonio.
Nov. 13 (Sun) - ALA/CAST Tech Theatre Team performs at the Texas Thespian State Festival
1 p.m., Lila Cockrell Theater, 200 E Market St., 78205
CAST Schools are excited to announce that the cast and crew of Three Years of Fear have been invited to perform the play at this year’s Texas Thespian State Festival. Three Years of Fear is an adaptation of Lorenzo Gomez’s book Tafollo Toro, chronicling his traumatic middle school years in the early 1990s in one of San Antonio’s most crime-riddled neighborhoods. It features stories and letters to the author’s younger self that offer new perspectives and ideas based on the wisdom of hindsight and strategies learned through therapy. The play advances conversations among students, families, and the community about mental health issues of fear, anxiety, and violence as the new school year begins.
Nov. 15 (Tues) - SAISD Foundation, H-E-B and Unilever host Texas Recycles Day Awards
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Fredrick Douglass Elementary, 318 Martin L. King Drive, 78203
RIBBON CUTTING/AWARDS PRESENTATION - Noon to 12:30 p.m.
Unilever, H-E-B, and the San Antonio ISD Foundation are celebrating Texas Recycles Day with an award ceremony to name the winning San Antonio elementary schools that participated in this fall’s recycling contest. There will also be a ribbon-cutting event at the new outdoor recreation area at Frederick Douglass Elementary School, which will feature play and sports areas made with recyclable materials.
Nov. 16 (Wed) - Highlands High School celebrates U.S. Air Force Aviation Day
11 a.m., Highlands High School, 3118 Elgin Ave., 78210
Highlands High School will host a national delegation of U.S. Air Force officers and leaders from the recruitment division in an effort to build awareness of aviation careers. Activities include performances by the U.S. Air Force band, guest speakers, flight simulators, and drones.
Nov. 18-19 (Fri-Sat) – Edison High School Theatre Arts production of "High School Musical"
7 p.m., Edison High School, 701 Santa Monica Drive, 78212
The Edison High School Theatre Arts class will present its version of the Disney TV favorite, "High School Musical." Instructor Genevieve Rodriguez says her student thespians will bring the story of the East High Wildcats to life on stage, but with an Edison black and gold twist.