INDEPENDENCE - The music department at Independence Community College (ICC) has announced that the college’s ensembles will expand to include mariachi beginning in the fall.

The new offering expands on the college’s jazz band, concert band, marching band, and numerous vocal ensembles.

“The thing about mariachi is that it is pretty simple to assemble,” said Matt Carter, ICC music instructor. “It is typically a few violins, some trumpets, at least one Spanish guitar, a vihuela, and a guitarrón. It’s something people love and that we want to grow.”

Carter himself performed in a mariachi ensemble while studying at the University of Texas in Austin.

“I absolutely loved playing in mariachi,” said Carter. “It was an opportunity to broaden my musical horizons and expand into a rich and vibrant culture. I hope to continue this here at ICC.”

The mariachi is native to a region of western Mexico that includes what are today the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Colima; extending as far north as Sinaloa and Durango and as far south as Guerrero.

“Our goal is to bring in students who want to play this style of music from all around the country,” said Carter. “This is a growing population and one we are excited to serve.”

Independence Community College is a small institution of higher learning that offers 46 areas of study and 22 certificate programs in vocational occupations. ICC was recently named as the number one most affordable community college by AffordableColleges.com.

ICC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for junior colleges, ranked in the top 100 out of 1,100 active chapters. Independence Community College was also ranked first among Kansas community colleges in transfer success by a University of Kansas study in 2017.

Scholarships are available to all students, regardless of their location and extend to music majors and non-majors alike. Students interested in studying music or wanting to play in the mariachi ensemble can email Matt Carter at mcarter@indycc.edu today.