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"Dr. V Project" asking voters to fund statue of beloved mariachi instructor by April 30

Project to honor Dr. V looking to get funding from Ward One Budget de la Gente to complete statue outside of Davis Bilingual Magnet School
Dr. V. Project
Posted at 5:41 PM, Apr 26, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The beat of Tucson's mariachi community is strong, and many learned their rhythm from a man known as "Dr. V." He's taught mariachi at Davis Bilingual Magnet School for over 40 years.

”I’ll be very honest, I'm not a very talented professional mariachi performer, but God did bless me with patience and love for young children. And I’ll always be so thankful for that,” said Alfredo Valenzuela, or Dr. V.

His impact goes beyond his work at Davis Bilingual Magnet School. He has a passion for fixing instruments to make sure as many kids could play music as possible. He would donate repaired instruments to mariachi instructors at other schools, including David Membrila.

“I found out there was an unknown contributor to my program bringing instruments and instrument cases. They were older instruments, but they were donated to my program. Secretaries didn’t know who it was; it was just someone who dropped off instruments. I said ‘Did you get a name?’ They said he said ‘The name doesn’t matter just make sure you get them,’” explained Membrila.

David Membrila's admiration for Dr. V. started when he eventually figured out who was delivering the instruments. Around six years ago, he wanted to honor Dr. V. for his dedication to sharing the beauty of mariachi with all of the Tucson community. So he started the "Dr. V. Project," and started fundraising to be able to build a statue of him.

Many others joined the effort to get the funding for this gift. Now, the project is almost at the finish line. The members fundraised enough for the statue itself, but found they still needed funding for the foundation. So they're hoping to get funding from Ward One community project funding.

In order to receive the funds, the community would have to vote for the "Dr. V. Project." Members of the group are asking the community to vote for the project in Ward One's "Budget de la Gente." The link to vote can be found here. Votes must be entered by April 30.

The statue will be installed on Saint Mary's Road and Granada Avenue just outside of Davis Bilingual Magnet School once the funding is acquired.

One member of the Dr. V. Project, Roskruge K-8 School Principal Maricella Carranza, said, "We want to honor him while he’s still here to enjoy it, and we want something that’s ever-lasting for him.”

Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.