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World-renowned Mariachi Campanas de America to perform at OLLU

SAN ANTONIO, TX. – The Calle 24 Performing Arts Series, presented by Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), continues this February with “From the Heart of San Antonio: Valentine’s Day Serenata with Mariachi Campanas de America.” The concert on Feb. 9 takes place at 7:30 p.m. in OLLU’s Thiry Auditorium. General admission tickets for $5 will be sold in advance at the OLLU Bookstore and at the door.

The Fifth Annual Calle 24 Series celebrates Hispanic influences on the arts community of the West Side of San Antonio.

The music of Mariachi Campanas de America combines traditional Mexican mariachi music with Latin and mainstream pop rhythms. The group, under music director Juan Ortiz, appeals to a wide audience – not just fans of the genre – including people of all ages, as well as those who are Spanish and non-Spanish speaking.

Campanas de America (Bells of America) was founded in 1978 in San Antonio and was named after the music director’s wife, Belle Ortiz, who serves as the group’s manager. Through their efforts, Campanas has become popular both nationally and internationally, especially because the group continues to be one of the main forces behind mariachi education programs in public schools.

In fact, many of the members of Campanas are instructors in various public school musical programs in San Antonio.

The award-winning Mariachi OLLU will also perform during the concert. The group recently took second-place honors at the 13th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza competition in December 2007.  Most members are working toward their Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in mariachi music education at OLLU.

OLLU was the first four-year university in the United States to offer this type of bachelor’s degree and the only one in San Antonio. Dr. Rachel Y. Cruz, assistant professor of music and director of Mariachi OLLU, is pleased with the growth of the program. “Interest has continued to grow for the unique genre of music and our degree program has proven to be challenging and effective. 

Any student who graduates with this music degree from OLLU will have a hand in taking mariachi music to a higher level,” she added.  

 The mariachi concert is the first event in the 2008 Calle 24 Performing Arts Series at OLLU.  The series will conclude on April 19 with “Fiesta del Lago Mariachi Competition and Festival,” featuring Mariachi OLLU.  For additional information, call 210-434-6711, ext. 2091 or visit

About Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, is a co-educational liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 2,800 students. The university offers 56 bachelor’s degree programs, 48 master’s degree programs and two doctoral degree programs. Academic degree programs are offered in the arts, sciences, business, education, professional studies and social work. OLLU also offers a dual-language (English and Spanish) certification option with all undergraduate degree programs. Classes are offered in daytime, evening and weekend formats.  OLLU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is located in San Antonio, Texas, and Weekend College Programs are offered in San Antonio and Houston