Mariachi alumni, students work on memorial for teacher who passed away

Mariachi alumni, students work on memorial for teacher who passed away
Mariachi alumni, students working on memorial for teacher who passed away

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A plan to memorialize a local legend in mariachi is underway and it's hitting all the right notes.

A combined group of about 30 Sunnyside High School students and alumni have gathered together to form a super mariachi group and held their first rehearsal Sunday night, Jan. 14.

At one time or another, they each performed under the guidance of their leader Refugio "Cuco" Del Cid, who taught mariachi in the Sunnyside Unified School District for more than 20 years. He was also the music director and teacher of the Mariachi Los Diablitos de Sunnyside group at the school.

Cuco died Saturday, Jan. 6, at the age of 73.

To remember their maestro, the group is working to put together a tribute CD to sell and raise funds.

They say it's heartwarming that so many members, young and old, showed up to perform.

"That just goes to show how much Cuco affected people, how many people loved him, and how many people want to do this thing for him because that's the least we can do for him after what he's done for us," said Cuco's former student, Christina Morales.

Morales said the group is still looking for a local studio to help to record the album, and they want to use the money to build a "bronze portrait" for Cuco or have scholarships in his name.

"We figured there would nobody else like him and we wanted the community to have something to always remember him by," she said in a message to Tucson News Now.

The group has set up a GoFundMe page if you would like to donate.

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