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Violinist Leonel Garza talks about his love of mariachi music in this video.

Mariachi Ocelotetlán’s Russia with Love Fundraising Concert on March 22 

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MARCH 12, 2013 – Mariachi Ocelotetlán, celebrating its 15th anniversary at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, is preparing for its spring concert be held on Friday, March 22 at The Arts Center. 

“This is a special concert because the students will be raising funds to help pay for their upcoming trip to Russia,” said Antonio Briseño, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Mariachi Studies, who will travel and perform with the group.

Mariachi Ocelotetlán

 Mariachi Ocelotetlán has been invited by Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia in St. Petersburg to perform at university and city venues. The ensemble will be sharing its unique sound with students and citizens of historical St. Petersburg at a time when summer has finally arrived and the city will be alive with White Nights festivities. 

Junior music education major Victor Flores, a 2010 graduate of Port Isabel High School, said the ensemble members are enthusiastic about going to St. Petersburg. From a personal standpoint, Flores, a violin player, looks forward to sharing his family’s music heritage with the Russian students at the university. 

“This is a dream to go someplace so different and to show off our heritage,” Flores said. “My parents are from Guanajuato, where I was born, and we moved to South Padre Island when I was three. I love this genre of music, and I know it makes my parents proud to have me carry on the musical tradition of their homeland.” 

The ensemble will depart Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport on Monday, May 15 and return on Monday, May 22.  

Tickets for the March 22 fundraiser concert are $10 for adults, $7 for UTB and TSC students, and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Center box office or at

Supporters of UTB student musicians are encouraged to make tax-deductible donations to help with the trip expenses. Please make checks out to UT Brownsville and indicate “Mariachi” in the subject line. Checks can be submitted to Alberto M. Juarez, Director for UTB Advancement Services, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520. 

For more information on this effort or other giving opportunities, contact Laurie Howell at 956-882-4334 or
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