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Mariachi Tesoro to Perform at Fundraiser to Help San Fernando High School Replace Tubas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 07:50

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Mariachi music, good food and a good cause is being offered on April 4 at the El Torito restaurant in Northridge.

Mariachi Tesoro will perform, and part of the proceeds from food purchased between 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. will go to the San Fernando High School music department to defray the cost of replacing two stolen tubas.

"It's going to be a nice evening. You'll get to hear good music, have dinner and all for a good cause," said Sergio "Checo" Alonso, head of the school's music department.

As previously reported in the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol, thieves broke into two rooms at the school on the weekend of January 26 and 27 and stole the band's two tubas. Each tuba costs about $5,000 each, a difficult item to replace given the cuts in Los Angeles area schools.

The theft was the latest in a string of similar robberies at schools in South Gate, Bell, Whittier, Huntington Park, Fremont, Centennial (Compton), Jordan, and Manhattan Beach. One theory is that the instruments are melted for their brass, which has gone up in price in recent years.

"But if that's what they wanted, they would have had a much easier time taking the trumpets and trombones and get a lot more brass," said Alonso in a previous interview, speaking about the other instruments that were also in the rooms thieves broke into.

Another idea is that the tubas were sold on some type of black market for the instruments, which are much sought after by the banda groups that play Mexican dance music using marching band instruments, where tubas play a central role.

"In LA, there really is only two groups that use tubas, marching bands and banda groups," Alonso said. "They're stealing and reselling (tubas) to the banda groups here in Los Angeles or take them back to Mexico where they're much more expensive," he added.

The theft had a demoralizing impact at the school. "It's huge. The tubas, being a wind instrument, they're the backbone of any marching band," Alonso said. "I guess we were fortunate they were stolen in the offseason, otherwise it would have been catastrophic.

"We want to raise money to buy at least one in the summer and be ready for the football season, which is marching band season," he said.

Now, the school is hoping to get some help from the community to make that happen.

The Mariachi Tesoro students in the Mariachi Masters Apprentice Program (MMAP) are a big attraction for the fundraiser.

The afterschool program was created in 2001 as collaboration between Nati Cano, founder of the world renowned Mariachi Los Camperos, and the City of San Fernando Recreation and Community Services. Musicians from Los Camperos are the instructors who teach the young musicians.

Last year the impressive young performers were among the 12 recipients of the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mariachi Tesoro received the award for being one of the best afterschool programs in the nation from first lady Michelle Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. last November. They performed at the White House and also the Kennedy Center.

"People have been hearing so much about Mariachi Tesoro, now they can see them live and help out a great cause," Alonso said.

The fundraiser is Thursday, April 4, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at El Torito Restaurant, 8855 Tampa Ave., Northridge. For more information, call (818) 606-6277 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 07:53