El Paso native is a finalist in national mariachi competition

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso native will represent the Borderland as one of 10 finalists in the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Solo Voice Competition and at this point in the competition, it’s all in the judges hands.

As a young kid, Lidia Chávez started in band and slowly transitioned into singing.

“I kind of realized ‘no, I really love to sing’ and so I ended up doing some choir in high school and then I decided I’m going to do music for my life. I want to do music education, and I want to perform as well.”

Chávez currently studies voice lessons privately and virtually alongside her long-time voice teacher, Dr. Juanita Ulloa, who says having a beautiful voice is only one piece of the puzzle.

“She tackles new concepts deeply, patiently and thoroughly, and understand that we are building a career, not just a voice, while at the same time uncovering her unique God-given vocal qualities,” said Dr. Ulloa.

With her UTEP Music degree in hand, Chávez went through extensive vocal auditions and became part of the 44th Army band. She continues to sing in a diverse range of genres such as pop, jazz and mariachi.

Chávez feels a connection to mariachi music and says she feels blessed to be able to have a chance to represent Mexico’s mariachi music and her family’s heritage. “There’s a lot of passion, a lot of attitude, feeling and emotion in that and I definitely feel that when I’m singing it.”

This year, the San Antonio-based event will take place virtually on Dec. 5 on their website www.mariachimusic.com. Finalists will compete for first place in their category as well as top national champion overall. The overall national voice champion open for Mariachi Vargas in concert.

Another El Pasoan is also competing in the competition — Edgar García Lamas, who attends El Paso Community College will be representing El Paso in the competition next month.

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