National University to Honor two Alumni Instrumental in Promoting Mariachi Music in San Diego on March 12

San Diego, Calif. – The National University Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies will be honoring two National University alumni who have played a key role in preserving Mexican heritage and advancing diverse arts and culture by promoting mariachi music throughout the San Diego region on Tuesday, March 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at National’s Spectrum Business Park Campus in Kearny Mesa, the University announced today.

The two alumni being honored are Serafin Paredes, leader of the mariachi band at San Diego High School and founder of Mariachi Juvenil, a non-profit organization that focuses on the importance of music education, and Wendy Charines who teaches mariachi, choir and orchestra at San Ysidro High School. Paredes and Charines both earned Masters of Education from National University in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

During the event, Paredes and Charines will give an informative talk on the history and significance of mariachi and their students will perform live mariachi music.

The event coincides with Mariachi Week and the west coast premiere of Cruzar La Cara de Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon), billed as “the first mariachi opera.” Cruzar La Cara de Luna, which has already played to positive reviews in Houston and Paris, will make its debut in the region with two shows on Saturday, March 16, at the San Diego Opera.

“Music is one of the best ways to teach and learn about other cultures,” said Maryam Davodi-Far, Director of the Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies and an assistant professor in the National University School of Professional Studies. “We are fortunate to claim many outstanding music teachers such as Serafin and Wendy as alumni, and the Center is proud to honor them. It is a great way to unite the community and celebrate our diverse cultures.”

Also at the event, National University will present tickets to a matinee performance of Cruzar La Cara de La Luna to some of the mariachi students who might not otherwise be able to attend.

The event is free and open to the public. National University’s Spectrum Business Park Campus is located at 9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123. To RSVP for or for more information, email [email protected].

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California and the 12th largest in the United States. With 22,000 full-time students and 230,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering, Technology and Media; and the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 22 teacher credentials at more than 45 locations throughout California and across the nation. A leader in online education, National University offers more than 70 degree programs via the Internet. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit

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