Mariachi band travels Victoria, sings love songs

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Feb. 14, 2012 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.

Standing on the curb outside Hair Dimensions Salon Tuesday morning, an eight-piece mariachi band tuned their instruments.

For Valentines Day, the salon's owner, Joe Anthony Pena, purchased the black and red costume-adorned musicians to perform four love songs for his crew of hairstylists.

Miguel Gonzalez, the mariachi band's vocalist, who also teaches graphic design at Victoria West High School, led the group of East and West High School band members into the salon, where they were met by whispers and confused surprise.

"I think it's fun. People expect flowers, they expect chocolate. They don't expect someone to come in and sing for you," hairstylist April Fernandez, said. "How can it not make you happy?"

Gonzalez began the first song, "Las Mananitas," or "The Wake-up Song," as Danny Delao played trumpet, Juan Villarreal and Adam Gomez played guitar, Jose Macias played the guitarron, Nichole Trevino played violin, and Miranda Ramirez and Lucy Alvarez played flute.

"It's about keeping everyone together as a group. We have a solid team of family that we've built here, and I think that's one of the most important things about building a business - creating a nice, solid relationship with your employees," Pena said. "I think people work harder for you when they want to be here."

Other songs included in the performance were "Solamente una Vez," or "You Only Fall in Love One Time" "Hermoso Carino," or "My Beautiful Love" and " Amorcito Corazon," or "My Sweetheart."

Pena said he had a previous longstanding relationship with band's organizer, Robert Rodriguez, who created the group 10 years ago. The mariachi group performs every year for Valentine's Day, and are also popular for Mother's Day, quinceanera and weddings.

Money collected from the day of love-filled Valentine's singing, are offered as scholarship funds and given to student band members.

"That's the most important thing ... I don't think the community realizes how many people are involved in organizations that don't get that funding like the football team, like the basketball team," Pena said. "These are the kinds of groups that we need to take advantage of donating to. This is something the community should be more aware of."

Following the performance, Fernandez said she appreciated her boss taking the time to organize such a thoughtful Valentine's gift for the salon employees. And for her, the Valentine's gift was especially significant because she had never before seen a mariachi performance.

"I thought it was very cool, It was perfect for everyone in here," Fernandez said. "This was my first time. Where I'm from" in Michigan "we don't have mariachi."



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