New Mariachi & Orchestra Director

The Heights High School Music Department would like to welcome our newest staff member, Mr. Alan Arce. He will be serving as the 2017-2018 director of the Bulldog Mariachi and newly established strings program!

If you would like to join Mariachi or our strings program, please stop by to receive a signature for the schedule change in the band hall G110- (between cafeteria & gym)


Alan Arce- Mariachi & Orchestra Director

Alan Arce is a musician, educator, and arranger who has performed extensively
in the U.S. and internationally in Ireland, Norway, and Mexico. In 2001, he performed at
the White House for the Cinco de Mayo celebration, accompanying singers Thalia and
Pablo Montero. Mr. Arce studied at the Berklee College of Music, the University of
Houston, and the University of Texas Pan-American. While at UTPA, he was appointed
assistant director of Mariachi Aztlan. During his time there, he performed and taught in
workshops at the Mariachi Spectacular of Albuquerque and the International Mariachi
Festival of National City, California. The group also won first place at the Mariachi
Vargas Extravaganza, and did a Christmas concert tour of various U.S. cities. In 2014
they collaborated with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the “Canciones y Arias” concerts,
for which he arranged one of the songs. Later that summer they won first place at the
Mariachi Nationals in California, and then went on to record their latest album, in
California, for which he wrote an arrangement as well. Mr. Arce has also performed with
famous salsa singers Paquito Guzman and Brenda K. Starr, and with legendary cuatro
player Yomo Toro.

As an educator for HISD, Mr. Arce started a very successful violin program at
Davila Elementary in 2001, and he also taught violin at Crockett Elementary. He later
became the director of the mariachi program at MECA, where he was responsible for
overseeing mariachi programs at various schools, including HSPVA, where he directed
the Mariachi ensemble. He then became the general music director at MECA, and
introduced new classes such as a latin jazz class and a world music and improvisation
class for string players. Under his direction Mariachi MECA performed in Norway and
participated in the “Selena Vive” concert at the Reliant Stadium, accompanying singers
Ana Gabriel and Alicia Villareal. They also opened up for the world-renowned Mariachi
Vargas de Tecalitlan at the Wortham Theatre.
He later worked in Miami as a violinist on various Telemundo and Univision TV
shows as well as for concerts and recordings, collaborating with many famous latin


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