The Houston Symphony has had a pretty wide range of collaborators in concert: rock bands…circus performers…Bugs Bunny cartoons. But a musical partner of more regional interest returns as the city’s biggest band presents a program once again with Mariachi Cobre. But make no mistake, these are not the performers you are used to encountering over chips and salsa. “You cannot see or hear this at your local Mexican restaurant!” laughs Cobre leader Randy Castillo. “And if you consider the instrumentation of both ensembles, they are very similar, save the size. We’ve both got strings, brass and percussion.” The program for this show — with the symphony under the direction of Stuart Chafetz — will feature many of the diverse styles of the mariachi repertoire (and you thought there was just one!) including huapangos, sones, rancheras, canciones and boleros, all by Mexican composers. Castillo says there are even more elements the ensembles have in common. “Adding the element of voice actually moves our band more toward the operatic realm. And the lyrics tell stories — just like country and cowboy music.” Mariachi Cobre has played with more than 40 city symphonies in the United States and Mexico over its history.