ROMA, Texas — Schools may be closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but students across the country are finding innovative ways to remain connected to their academic community.
As classes move online, some after-school activities have followed suit, connecting remotely through social media and video chat.
The mariachi program at Texas's Roma Independent School District, close to the Mexico border, is no exception. The young musicians have been gathering virtually to practice together through the Mixcord acapella app since their schools closed on March 23.
The group posted videos from their rehearsals on Facebook, some of which have as many as 16 musicians playing at one time through.
The students' perseverance during the coronavirus pandemic is a testament to the school district's prestigious mariachi program, which was founded in 1994, according to musical director Eloy Garza.
"Our program is considered to be one of the best mariachi programs in the nation and internationally," said Garza.
Modern mariachi music groups typically include multiple violins, trumpets, guitar, vihuela (a guitar-like instrument with five strings) and a guitarron (a large bass guitar.) Most bands usually play all types of music from traditional Mexican folk songs to modern-day requests.
If you want to hear more from the talented group, Roma ISD Mariachi produced an album of their music for their 25th anniversary called 25 Aniversario Corazón, Orgullo, Y Tradicion. You can stream the music online from Amazon or iTunes.