Desert Sounds Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities Award a $5,000 Grant to Desert Sounds’ Mariachi Sones del Desierto Program

“Music transcends cultures and language barriers. It unites generations and communities. Our mariachi program combines history and culture into one powerful musical experience. There is a spot for everyone with five levels and six ensembles, ” said Desert Sounds’ Executive Director Jennifer Crews.

The program gives children a window into a rich heritage and a means to learn about a culture through music. For parents, learning mariachi music is an opportunity to help their child connect to the community while maintaining a connection to their culture. The highlight for each child is performing for friends, family, and the community. Perhaps you have seen and heard our mariachis performing at the Herberger Arts Festival, Masks Alive Festivals, or at a wedding or Quinceanera.

Andres, a violinist in the Virtuosos ensemble, is beginning his eighth year in the program. To him, mariachi is much more than music and performing. “I think it (mariachi) helps me connect to my heritage.” Sixteen-year-old Andres continues, “Before (mariachi), the only connection I had with my heritage was like speaking the language and eating and making the food. I feel like I get a deeper and more meaningful connection, including the musical aspect.”

Desert Sounds’ mariachi program connects children 5-18 to a rich heritage and culture through learning and performing mariachi music. Each ensemble meets weekly and rehearses for one-and-a-half to two hours. If you want your child to participate in the mariachi program, please go to for more information.

Desert Sounds

This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.