Saturday night the Texas Tech School of Music is presenting the 42nd Annual Scholarship Concert. Dr. Alan Zabriskie, Director of Choral Studies, and Dr. Lauryn Salazar shares more about the event on the first of this two-part episode of The Front Row.
Dr. Salazar tell us a little bit about you and your journey to Texas Tech.
I earned my doctorate from UCLA in ethnomusicology, where I focused my research on mariachi music. So, I come from a mariachi family. My grandfather was in mariachi, my uncles play, my cousins play. And what I learned in college about the field of ethnomusicology, I really thought I was going to be a concert pianist. Once I learned I could study mariachi as an academic pursuit, it changed my whole life. So, when the job opening came up here, which included running the ensemble and expanding the program, I just knew it was a right fit. Thankfully the sun, moon and stars aligned and I find myself here in Lubbock and it’s really wonderful to be here because there’s so many possibilities and the program and the environment here is just right for expansion and developing a full program.
Texas Tech has its own mariachi ensemble and you direct that, correct?
I do, and the ensemble is one of the ensembles of vernacular music center and as such, one of the things that I really wanted to do, was in the state of Texas itself, Texas is at the forefront of mariachi education—meaning that there’s been a real push for mariachi programs, especially at the k-12 level. So, now you have UIL, very recently starting its mariachi competition, which has effectively in many ways put mariachi on the same playing field as band, orchestra and choir. So I’ve been very lucky. I was asked to serve as a judge on that and I’ve been a judge now for the last three years with that program. So I’ve been able to see every year more and more groups participate.
Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.