Alumni Couple Are Dedicated to Mariachi Music

Alumni Serafin Paredes (M.Ed., 2002) and his wife, Wendy Charines (M.Ed., 2006), are talented musicians and committed teachers who are dedicated to preserving Mexican culture and heritage through the festive sounds of mariachi.

The two alumni have been honored by National University with certificates of recognition, saluting their numerous contributions to the arts and to the community. They played an educational concert at the Spectrum Academic Center in 2013, explaining the origins, structure and relevance of the popular Mexican folklore and mariachi music which generally includes violin, trumpet, guitar, vihuela, guitarron, and sometimes the harp.

Serafin has taught the marching band, concert band, jazz band, guitar ensemble, orchestra, and Mariachi at San Diego High School and Memorial Prep. He has also been the Mariachi Director at the University of San Diego since 2012, where he teaches the mariachi ensemble. In 2002 he founded Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, and went on to establish an annual mariachi conference which today attracts over 200 top mariachi performers and students from all over the southern United States and Mexico.

During this conference, Serafin has also dedicated himself to provide the students with the best instruction bringing some of the finest mariachi professionals from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, and Texas.  Making this conference the third largest conference in the United States.

Wendy teaches mariachi, choir and orchestra at San Ysidro High School and is involved with the Sweetwater Union High School District’s mariachi program. She is an advocate for the importance of music education as a positive outlet for youth, enhancing academic performance and serving as a vital link to cultural identity, self-dignity and ethnic pride for thousands of high school students in Southern California.

Serafin and Wendy are exemplary of the thousands of graduates of the Sanford School of Education at National University who represent some of the most recognized and outstanding teachers throughout California and the United States.