Friends, Music School Remember Founder of Texas Tech "Mariachi Los Matadores"

LUBBOCK, TX - On Friday, February 24, Louis Constancio of Lubbock passed away suddenly, leaving behind a family and long-lasting legacy in the Lubbock music community. 

Constancio was the founder of "Mariachi Los Matadores," the mariachi group at Texas Tech. 

Betty Cardenas, a family friend and chairman of the West Texas Republican National Hispanic Assembly, who worked closely with Constancio shares that in addition to music, another passion of his was civic engagement.

Constancio was the chairman of the West Texas Hispanic Conservative Federation, as well as a commissioner candidate for precinct four. Cardenas says Constancio always made an effort to get Hispanic members of the community to vote and become politically involved.

"That was his dream, 'We're going to prove them wrong. There's a voice out there a Hispanic voice and we're going to do it,'" said Cardenas about Constancio.  "40 percent of the population of Lubbock are Hispanics, a lot of the politicians don't reach out to the minority because we don't go out and vote, but he wanted the Hispanic community to come out and prove them wrong." 

Cardenas also added that because of Constancio, for years, students near and far have been able to get the most out of their music education through the program and its scholarships. 

"More than anything, he was proud that Texas Tech opened the doors for this and supported this dream of his," said Cardenas.

"You don't hear much of these stories, and knowing that it's still going on. And it also offers scholarships for Hispanics and people who come abroad who study mariachi and who study this music, and it's something that he was just so proud that he was the founder." 

In response to Constancio's passing, current director of Mariachi Los Matadores, Dr. Lauryn Salazar, released the following statement:

"The Texas Tech Mariachi Ensemble, Mariachi Los Matadores, is saddened by the news of the death of Louis Constancio. As the founder of the first TTU Mariachi ensemble, he created an outlet to celebrate Hispanic heritage through this traditional music."

Mariachi Los Matadors will lead a memorial service in honor of Constancio Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Lakeridge Chapel. 

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