Chris Kim, Reporter:
The opening celebration for the Fiftieth Anniversary carried over to the weekend during the Mexican Independence Day in downtown Santa Ana and finishing off with a performance from fellow CSUF alumnus, Cindy Shea, and her band, the Mariachi Divas. This unique group isn’t just your ordinary Mariachi band. The entire band is actually comprised of all females with different backgrounds, shying away from the traditional Mexican mold. Cindy Shea discusses and gives an in-depth look at her past to discover the inspiration and motivation in forming this special band.
The difficulties I face are number one, being a woman and having an all-female group, but it’s been a challenge all my life. I started playing trumpet at age eight, and it was always, “You can’t play trumpet, you’re a girl.” Then it was, “You can’t play jazz because you’re a girl.” Then it was, “You can’t play salsa because you’re a girl.” So, stepping into the mariachi world and having a female group was just another challenge for me, and I took it on. It’s been hard, but I think that we’ve crossed a lot of boundaries and that we’ve done a really good job. If you have a dream, follow it. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. If somebody tells you that you can’t do something, go and prove them wrong. That’s the motto of my life. That’s how I live my life. Tell me what I can’t do, because I will show you that I can. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything. Follow your dreams, you know? I think that Cal State Fullerton and everywhere in Los Angeles, California, the United States is culturally diverse right now, which is why Mariachi Divas is what it is. We have girls from Argentina, Columbia, Samoa, myself, who’s Irish-Italian and born in Hacienda Heights. Girls from all over the world have come together, and I think that represents not just Cal State Fullerton, but Los Angeles and the United States as well. My goal with the Mariachi Divas is to open the eyes of people who have never heard mariachi music or Latin music in their lives and to get people from China, Sweden, or wherever to say, “Hey, I like that music. Where can I find that music? Where can I learn more about that music?” and to get people to know a little bit more about the history of Latin-American music. That’s my goal: for people to find Latin music just as I have.
Chris Kim, Reporter:
Despite the cultural break in tradition, this group has gone on to persevere through adversity and perform for a roaring crowd, who welcome their every beat.
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