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New Conjunto Band Sprouts in Santa Maria

Conjunto band from Santa Maria school district played during the recent McDonald’s grand reopening. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

It seems like every community in the Rio Grande Valley today has a conjunto band.

And now that Los Fresnos is making preparations to host its first festival of such musical genre in October of this year, there is more and more awareness about this type of music reportedly born in South Texas.

In Santa Maria, a town of a little more than 700 people with a school district with about the same number of students, a conjunto band was formed early this year and it’s showing signs of success already.

Santiago Mendoza, band director with the Santa Maria school district, said the band was formed after several students expressed their interest to get together to play in a group.

A former band member with a conjunto, Mendoza said the students needed some guidance after learning he was a saxophone player a while back.

“So they started playing together a band,” he said. “They got so good to the point of recently winning Division 1 in San Benito as a conjunto band.”

The group has eight members and is led by Brandon Rangel, a bass player.

“I have been playing the bass as a hobby at home,” said the junior at the local high school. “We enjoyed getting together.”

Mendoza said one of the students graduated this month but he has several students showing interest to replace any one leaving.

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