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Traditions of Mexico will shine under the spotlight with the Righetti High School Marimba Band and Ballet Folklorico on March 27-28.

The “Big Show” performances start at 7:30 p.m. inside the historic Ethel Pope Auditorium at Santa Maria High School. Students have been rehearsing in class, after school and on the weekends since August.

Colorful folk dances will reflect the unique influences and traditions of Baja California Norte, Sinaloa, Veracruz Sotavento, Chiapas and Jalisco.

The Mexican and Latino musical selections include famed artists such as Luis Miguel and Alicia Villareal and the contemporary sounds of Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Inspector and Los Hombres G. Dancers and musicians also plan to collaborate to present the elegant style of danzon.

Students are ready to dazzle the crowd with the beauty, joy and charm of Mexican culture.

“The Big Show is a great and life changing experience that will be a last for many of us seniors, so we are determined to give it our all,’’ said Susel Garcia, dancer, lead female singer and group vice president. “This has been a great experience for many of us and we would like to experience it with you too.’’

Senior dancer Alex Herrera agreed. “The Big Show is special because you get to see teenagers engaging in the performing arts and showing the beauty of Mexican culture,’’ Herrera said. “The show gives you a good look at different regions of Mexican dance and almost everyone who comes to the Big Show loves the show.’’

For the first time in 40 years, retired director and teacher Ricardo Gabaldon, known as “Mr. G”, has passed the responsibility of the “Big Show” to Ricardo Gabaldon Jr. and Mr. Nick Burdick, director of bands.

Tickets can be purchased at the business offices of any SMJUHSD high schools. The cost is $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.