NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodSouth Omaha


Students embrace Latino heritage through sound of music

New mariachi band at Omaha South High School
Posted at 8:22 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-17 21:22:09-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Music is a universal language. Omaha South High School is one place where some students are embracing their Latino heritage and training hard to share their love for music with the community.

  • Omaha South High has a performing arts program
  • The student population at South is 87% Hispanic
  • Video shows students in school's new mariachi band


David Garcia is a senior at Omaha South who's loved music since he was four.

"I just got like my Dollar Tree headphones and plugged them into the computer and started listening to music for the first time," says Garcia.

Now, it's a growing passion for Garcia.

"Music, for me, is just a way to express yourself in a way that you can't using words and such, its more of like a feeling," he says.

And expressing his heritage meant taking a shot at the school's new mariachi band, a style of music from Mexico.

"I listen to mariachi and banda, and all the Hispanic heritage music because both of my parents are from Mexico, so it was just a big thing growing up," says Garcia.

His music teacher Kenny Baires started the group after recognizing interest from students at South, where the population is 87% Hispanic.

"It's giving them an opportunity to feel proud about like bringing that they can grow and be more closer with their family," says Baires.

Garcia took Baires up on it.

"The worst mistake you can do is say no to an opportunity, because the worst that can happen is you don't like it, you can leave but at least you tried it, so I said sure why not I've always wanted to either way," says Garcia.

He aims to bring communities together.

"If were able to go to more places and just spread this music around and just this love for the music, I think it'll help just bond more people," he says.

The group is a step toward his dream.

"I want to become an independent artist or just a musician in general," says Garcia.

These students hope to share their talents on stage at the Cinco de Mayo parade in South Omaha.