The Wenatchee World

Weather:

Weather

The latest extended forecast from The Weather Channel

Remove this weather forecast

Tonight

Lo64° Clear and Breezy then Clear

Sunday

Hi86° Sunny

Sunday Night

Lo60° Clear

Monday

Hi88° Sunny

Monday Night

Lo62° Mostly Clear

Tuesday

Hi78° Mostly Sunny

Tuesday Night

Lo59° Mostly Clear and Breezy then Mostly Clear

Wednesday

Hi85° Sunny

Wednesday Night

Lo63° Clear

Thursday

Hi89° Sunny

Mariachi program touches the 'soul,' says Fogelquist

Send to Kindle
Print This

The Wenatchee Valley welcomes back Mark Fogelquist this week. The creator of Wenatchee School District's amazing Mariachi program brings his latest group — Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista — to perform in two concerts on Saturday. 

The program he started has flourished under the leadership of successive directors, The program is currently being led by Ramon Rivera and it attracts more than 300 students. 

The program has been a lifeline for many Latino students — encouraging them to stay in school, get good grades, and learn the value of teamwork and performing under pressure. But Fogelquist said he's discovered that it fills an even greater need for the students."Mariachi also reaches their soul," he told me. "These kids get a sense of who they are and where they come from. It gives them strength and faith in themselves," he added.

He recalled how in the early days of the program that many of the students felt lost at Wenatchee High School and had a hard time seeing possibilities for their lives. Connecting them with music that gives them a sense of pride and belonging gave them opportunities to expand their horizons. 

Other Mariachi programs around the country have fallen by the wayside, but the program in the Wenatchee School District has enjoyed support from the school district and the community. The focus of the festival on providing workshops for students to improve their skills and the connection with Eastern Washington University and Central Washington University underscores the effort to provide pathways to college for these students.

The festival will have two performances on Saturday — at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Wenatchee High School auditorium. Some greater entertainers will be performing, including a youngster with an incredible voice — Sebastien de la Cruz, and of course our own Mariachi Huenachi.