Mark Fogelquist received his BA and MA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA. His master’s thesis (1975) was the pioneering academic work on mariachi music. From 1973 to 1993, Fogelquist directed Mariachi Uclatlán, one of the leading professional mariachi ensembles in the Los Angeles area.

In 1993, Fogelquist moved to Wenatchee, Washington, where he organized the state’s first school mariachi program. During his eight-year tenure in Washington, Mariachi Huenachi came to be recognized as one of the top student mariachis in the country. He also organized six full-scale mariachi conferences, which drew instructors and students from across the country. Mariachi Northwest, as the conference was called, is still alive twenty-three years later. For his work as an educator and contributor to culture in Washington, he received the Governor’s Heritage Award as well as the Reconocimiento Ohtli, the highest award of the Mexican government for individuals contributing to the wellbeing of Mexicans abroad.

In 2001, Fogelquist returned to California to teach at Chula Vista High School, where he began another acclaimed mariachi program. Mariachi Chula Vista won numerous awards and competitions and was honored by The New York Times, the Music Educators National Conference, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Fogelquist received the California Music Educators Association’s Multicultural Music Educator Award (2003) and the San Diego Youth Symphony’s Music Educator of the Year Award (2007). He also organized six mariachi conferences in Chula Vista providing workshops and concerts to even larger numbers than in Wenatchee.

Fogelquist has been a presenter, speaker, and instructor at mariachi conferences and festivals around the country including those in Albuquerque, Tucson, San Jose, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Edinburg, and San Antonio, and Guadalajara. He now lives most of the year in Ajijic, Jalisco, where he is involved in establishing the Escuela de Mariachi “Pedro Rey”.

Watch Video of Mark Fogelquist Interview

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