New Bryan High mariachi 'Los Vikingos' heading to state competition

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The newest band at Bryan High School is proving it doesn't have to take long to achieve success.

Mariachi Los Vikingos will compete at state this weekend, despite only being together since October.

Whether they're singing songs about winning back an old love, or a song about loss and heartache, the members of Los Vikingos perform with passion.

"You kind of get into the music. You feel it," said Laura Moreno, Bryan High School senior.

Moreno is a former orchestra student who was recruited to join the new ensemble. The move pleased her mom.

"She actually liked that more than orchestra," said Moreno.

Fifteen students make up the only high school mariachi in the Brazos Valley.

The group has performed at a school board meeting and in downtown Bryan. This weekend, the students will step on their biggest stage yet, the state competition in San Antonio.

"I grew up with my dad listening to mariachi music. My dad played guitar, too," said Ricardo Franco

The sophomore credits their success to hard work and dedication. He said heritage is also a factor.

"Since our parents taught us this music and everything else, it's music from our roots that we like to listen to and play," said Franco.

"I think we finally have an ensemble at Bryan High that reaches into the culture," said Glenn Lemmons, director of Los Vikingos.

Lemmons and the school's fine art's director came up with the idea for the mariachi last fall.

"I was sharing my strengths of the orchestra program, of course, which is the strings and violins. We got on the subject of mariachi music during that brainstorming session," said Lemmons.

Lemmons said it's been a learning process for him and the students. School leaders are noticing how far they've come in such a short time.

"I'm really proud of these kids because they've taken something from the ground up, and built it into something already successful," said Lane Buban, Bryan High Principal.

Regardless of what happens at the state competition, the students said they're proud to share music that's special to them and their families.

"It's very exciting to share our culture," said Gloria Gonzalez.