Beginning with the beguiling awkwardness of high-stakes band auditions, through annual events like the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, and up to prom, graduation and a summer quinceanera, Mariachi High captures a year in the life of top-ranked student musicians in "Mariachi Halcon," the varsity-level championship ensemble at Zapata High School on the border of South Texas. The film follows the students as they move from school to stage in competitions that are fierce battlegrounds filled with the flash and fire of musical virtuosity and traje de charro dress, from intimate scenes with family at home to auctioning their hand raised cattle at the annual Zapata County Fair.