Meet the Glenview Middle School Youth Mariachi Band

Music speaks every language in the world. Music erases borders uniting people. Also, music is one of the best ambassadors in the world. In the United States most of schools have musical bands, but only few offer Mariachi bands to their students. Glenview Middle School of East Moline, IL is one of these schools.


Almost everyone knows that Mariachi is a form of folk music from Mexico. Typical instruments played by the Mariachi band members are violin, guitarrón, guitarra de golpe, guitar, trumpet, vihuela and sometimes harp and accordion. It is believed that at the end of the1800s this type of music was usually played at weddings. Mariachi is a beautiful music that is one of the great representations of Mexican culture.

Abel Zertuche, community leader and founder of the band, came up with idea of Mariachi band a couple of years ago. Mr. Zertuche explained that once he needed a Mariachi band and he had to bring one from Chicago, since then he entertained an idea of having something like this available here in the Quad Cities. Finally he talked to Margarita Mojica, teacher from Glenview Middle School. She liked the idea and together they asked Rich Clark, Glenview’s music teacher, if he wanted to take on this project. Sometime later GMS Youth Mariachi Band came to existence.

“It’s our music. It’s in our blood and it’s our culture,” Mr. Zertuche explained his passion for the creation of the Mariachi Band.  

Rich Clark, director of Glenview Middle School Youth Mariachi Band (GMS Youth Mariachi Band), explained, “30.7% of the Glenview Middle School student population is Latino. Some of these students have a love for music, but many not be interested in participating in the traditional band program. To meet the needs of these students, the GMS Youth Mariachi Band was formed.”

Unlike a regular band students in GMS Youth Mariachi Band not only learn to play instruments and perform in front of public, but they also learn about Mariachi and its cultural background.

“Students involved in this program learn to play violin, trumpet and guitar. Along with learning how to play instruments, students learn some of the various Mariachi styles, such as the waltz, ranchera and pasodoble,” Mr. Clark explained.

One of the best things about GMS Mariachi Band is that any GMS student from 5-8 grades can participate in the band. Also, it does not matter whether the student has experience with musical instruments or knows nothing about how to play one, as long as the student loves music and has desire to learn to play an instrument he/she is welcome to take part in the GMS Youth Mariachi Band.

According to Mr. Clark there are three steps to sign up for the Youth Mariachi Band. All students interested in participating first of all have to attend an informational meeting after school. After this, parents have to come to an informational meeting as well. The parents’ meeting is in the evening and they will receive detailed information about the Mariachi band. After these two meetings the students who decided seriously to pursue their involvement in the band will have an individual appointment and during this meeting a student and a parent will sign up for this program. Students have to provide their own instrument. Those who do not own any instruments can rent one through a special rent to own program through West Music located in Moline.

Mr. Clark told us that currently 19 students participate in the GMS Youth Mariachi Band. Usually lessons and rehearsals begin at the second half of September. Starting next year older students will have their regular Mariachi Band period, while new members will meet after school.

No matter where you are from, music is a beautiful way to communicate with others. Learning to communicate through music is not just know how to play an instrument, but also, it means to know about the music that you are playing and more than anything one has to love the music he/she is playing. That is why more than anything members of the GMS Youth Mariachi Band are ambassadors of the Mexican culture who spread the beauty of traditions through music. For more information about the band and how to participate please, contact Rich Clark at (309) 755-1919 ext. 311. West Music is located at 4305 44th Ave, Moline, IL.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Glenview Mariachi Band Tuesday May 5th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Glenview Middle School 

Come out to enjoy great performance of Glenview Mariachi Band and DJ Guerrero. There will be taco dinner sale to raise funds. The cost of the dinner is $5 for a meal that includes 2 tacos, beans, rice, drink and tortilla chips. Don’t miss an opportunity to hear great music by Glenview’s own Mariachi Band. 

Cinco de Mayo celebration with Glenview Mariachi Band will be on Tuesday May 5 th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Glenview Middle School located at 3100 7 th Street, East Moline, IL. 

Everyone is invited to spend afternoon with a family listening to great music and having dinner to support the band. 


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