‘Mariachi has changed my life’: Mexican music grabs US students

Mariachi is resounding in hundreds of U.S. public schools offering the festive Mexican folk music as part of their band classes, music experts say. Many student musicians will get a chance to show their passion for it at events surrounding Cinco de Mayo on Saturday.

“Its popularity has exploded, and music programs all around the country are bursting with enthusiasm,” said Ramon Rivera, the mariachi program director for the Wenatchee School District in Wenatchee, Wash. His mariachi program boasts 300 students, he says, and draws more young players every year from the community of 30,000 residents in north-central Washington.

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