2005 Inductee - José Barrón

2005 Inductee - José Barrón

Many Mexican Americans worry that their youth are losing their Mexican cultural identity and becoming totally Americanized. But thanks to people like Jose Barron that won’t be happening any time soon.

Jose has been preserving a vital part of the Mexican culture by teaching a Mariachi class at San Joaquin Delta College for several years. He has also gone beyond the classroom and presented many performances to the community.

“These performances have provided a venue for the Latino community of San Joaquin County to express their pride in their rich musical heritage. These concerts have provided an opportunity to showcase the many talents that our people have in this community,” Olivia Sosa said proudly.

It’s very likely that the Mariachi class wouldn’t have started without Jose’s intervention. “I thought it was an effort long overdue because no one had been willing or able to devote the time and energy needed to pursue such a project,” remembers Olivia.

The Mariachi class started in the Spring 2001 semester. There are about 35 students per class and the ages range from 14 to 90.

The students have performed at the welcoming reception for the new college president, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and other public events.

Mariachi Cali and Tesoro are products of the class that perform on weekends. Mariachi Cali has a commitment to perform out of town on August 20th, but might serenade this Hall of Fame ceremony at the end of the evening.

Jose has been an educator for over 41 years. He worked for 35 years for Manteca Unified School District in the elementary and secondary levels. He finished his career as an administrator.

“He was one of the few Latino educators in the Manteca district for many, many years. As a Latino educator he was not only a role model for young Latino students, but he encouraged and helped students to succeed,” asserts Olivia.

He began his teaching career by teaching instrumental music at French Camp, Lathrop and New Haven Elementary Schools. Later he moved to East Union and was the Band Director in two different eras, 1967-77 and 1993-2000. He was also a Dean and Student Activities Director.

Jose has pursued other community interests. He has been a board member of the Premier Community Credit Union (which some of us old timers continue to call Schools Credit Union.) He started as a volunteer in 1978 and became a board member in 1983.

He has also been Chair-Director of St. Anthony’s Church Hispanic Organization. From 1988 to his retirement in 2000 Jose had been Choir Director of Coro Hispano at St. Anthony’s.

Music is still an important part of Jose’s life. He is a member of a Latino musical group that has played for many years in local fiestas, celebrations and private parties. He plays trumpet with Los Jilgueros, a Mariachi band in Stockton. “Los Jilgueros” translates to “singing birds.”

It is with great pride and honor that we induct Jose Barron into the Mexican American Hall of Fame in 2005.