News Column

Mariachi Director: Inaugural Parade 'Surreal' for Texas Students

Jan 22, 2013

Andrew Kreighbaum

Palmview High School students completed their role in Monday's Inaugural Parade tired but thrilled at their performance for President Barack Obama, said mariachi director Mayra Garcia.

Twenty-two of Garcia's students and 33 folklorico dance students from Mission High School took part in the parade -- the only group representing Texas in the event.

Although their march past the presidential reviewing stand lasted only a few moments, Garcia said students "got very emotional when they saw the president."

"The kids are excited. It was a surreal moment for them," she said.

The sighting of the president made the wait in the Washington, D.C., cold before their performance just an inconvenience, Garcia said. Hours later, she said students were still talking excitedly about the brief interaction with the president.

The students were among 60 groups from across the country invited to perform in the parade but one of only a few to be part of the live broadcast on CNN.

The group will wrap up its four-day trip tomorrow as students board early morning flights back to the Rio Grande Valley, where their performance has already received high praise.

On the mariachi group's Facebook page -- where students posted photos of a trip to the Lincoln monument over the weekend -- members of the Palmview community provided encouragement and feedback on the page throughout the parade coverage Monday, including photos of television appearances by the students.

"I am so proud of our students and staff!" wrote La Joya school board trustee Espie Ochoa.

Gabriela Zamora, a Los Fresnos resident, congratulated the students on representing the entire Rio Grande Valley to a national audience.

"I'm from Los Fresnos but to see you all on live tv getting ready to perform for such a big event is awesome," she wrote. "You make the valley PROUD."

Source: (c)2013 The Monitor (McAllen, Texas). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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