“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman

WHITE PLAINS (WCBS 880) – When the White Plains High School musicians go off to a tournament this weekend, they’ll leave the marching band uniforms behind.

But they will pack the guitarrons.

“Yeah, this is a mariachi band,” says orchestra director Zach May.

Yes it is, and it’s the only one of its kind in New York State public high schools.

“The full name is Mariachi Juvenile los Tigres, which means the tigers’ youth mariachi, because White Plains mascot is the tigers,” May says.

When senior Leslie Navatro suggested it, he thought it’s a perfect fit.

“It’s like my biggest pride, because I mean I put so much time into this and just seeing it bloom the way it did – it’s like the greatest thing ever, it’s really a dream come true,” she says.

The White Plains school district is 55 percent Latino, but the band and the music certainly transcend that.

“It’s very lively, I guess is one way to put it” says Aaron Weiner. “For the most part, it’s a lot more bouncy in a way.”

The band started four years ago. It had to fundraise to get some of its instruments.

Now, it’s been invited to the prestigious All-State Music Festival in Rochester on December 1st.

Viva los tigres.

Find more from the “Sweet Spot” here.


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