Texas State University-San Marcos is home to award-winning mariachi band

Each year, San Antonio, Texas hosts the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. The week-long event is a festival that ends with a singing competition. Mariachi Nueva Generación, a vocal group from Texas State University-San Marcos, recently took home the first-place award in the college division of the contest, according to the school.

The group competed against four other universities for the prize and singers were awarded individual honors.

"I'm so proud of all our students, faculty and staff for such an outstanding representation of Texas State University," said John Lopez, director of Mariachi Nueva Generación. "The group came so far this semester and we accomplished so much more than we imagined."

The reward for earning first place is the opportunity to open for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, a world-famous group, for an audience of more than 4,000 people.

"It's an incredible feeling to know that the emotion put forth by each member of our mariachi during that performance was received well and earned us the opportunity to open the Mariachi Vargas concert," said Gino Rivera, a participating student.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, musicians, singers, composers, music directors and other related workers held about 240,000 jobs in 2008.

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