San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 5th, 2010
Texas State soloist wins Mariachi meet

Celeste_CurielCeleste Curiel. Texas State photo.


Texas State never even entered soloists in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza until 2008. But today, Texas State has a winner in the San Antonio competition held last weekend.

Celeste Curiel, a student Texas State’s School of Music, became the first Bobcat to win “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S,” beating out 41 finalists from Texas, California, Harvard University and the Berklee School of Music.

“I was shocked to win,” Curiel said. “Performing in front of so many people was an exhilarating rush.”

Texas State’s Mariachi Nueva Generacion garnered second place in the ensemble competition after placing first the three previous years. Celeste Rios also made the solo finals and earned second place. Former Texas State undergraduate voice student Amanda Sanchez earned third place.

Texas State also competed with Mariachi Lince de Oro (Golden Bobcats).  The Mariachi Nueva Generacion ensemble also accompanied winner Celeste Curiel on Saturday evening at the evening concert with Mariachi Vargas.

Curiel is a San Antonio native studying vocal performance in the Opera Studies program after receiving her BA in music at Texas State. She studies voice with Juli Wood and studied for the competition with Juanita Ulloa, Texas State’s voice specialist in Hispanic and mariachi music. Curiel was recently also recognized as a fourth place winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition.

Vanessa Moreno and Amanda Sanchez were Texas State’s solo finalists in 2008.

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