Tracy Boys & Girls Clubs to build recording studio
by Glenn Moore
Aug 02, 2013 | 1519 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy employees Sarah Bravo and John Norman, shown Tuesday, July 30, want to convert a storage room at the Richard O. Hastie-Monte Vista Clubhouse into a recording studio for club members.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy employees Sarah Bravo and John Norman, shown Tuesday, July 30, want to convert a storage room at the Richard O. Hastie-Monte Vista Clubhouse into a recording studio for club members. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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John Norman often hears the sounds of children singing and playing instruments from his office at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy’s Richard O. Hastie-Monte Vista Clubhouse.

Since May, the 28-year-old clubhouse director has been inspired by the impromptu music performances, and is making plans to build a recording studio in the clubhouse at 753 W. Lowell Ave., next to Monte Vista Middle School.

“We have some very talented members that can sing,” Norman said. “We have a choir — it would be great to have something on CD to hang onto.”

Sara Bravo, 24, a youth development professional with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy, organized the choir in March.

“The kids from Monte Vista who go to the music classes — there are saxophonists, drummers, pianists that come to this to this club,” she said. “You will hear every now and then people singing, and they don’t realize their talents and musical abilities. This recoding studio will definitely boost and inspire their confidence in themselves.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy is a membership club of about 700 children a day in first through eighth grades that offers academic, homework and recreation programs. About 2,200 local children sign up as annual members, which costs $35 per child.

Norman wants to convert an 8-by-14 storage room at the clubhouse into a recording studio.

Kelly Wilson, 45, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy, expects the studio to be a hit with young musicians who aspire to produce their own songs.

“Kids are going to be able to write their own lyrics and then go into the studio and record them,” Wilson said. “I think the music is going to draw a lot of people, and that’s the goal — to try and provide programs for as many kids as we can.”

The proposed studio will have a microphone, a soundboard for mixing tracks, studio monitors, speakers, soundproofing and a new computer with audio editing software, according to Norman.

The club has only raised about $400 of the $2,500 needed for the project.

“That $2,500 budget is a very low end, modest to just provide a program,” Wilson said. “Obviously, it could grow from there if the program takes off.”

Norman said the goal is to have recording studio completed by mid-August.

The clubhouse site is for middle school students, but the studio will be open to members in elementary school as well.

“Just building a positive place where they can express themselves will be a fundamental use,” Norman said. “(A) recording studio will provide that safe outlet — they can sing, record poetry, record spoken word. Music is just endless and is a great outlet for club members to express themselves,”

Ultimately, music recorded by Boys & Girls Clubs members could be used in fundraising and other club projects.

“What we envision is, our choir records a Christmas hits (album), we sell those and then we go out and buy toys for a giveaway,” Norman said. “For Thanksgiving, we record some music and then do a Thanksgiving food giveaway.”

The studio itself will be run by club members trained to run the computers and software, Wilson said.

“That’s just one of the beauties of Boys & Girls Clubs — we’re able to provide an opportunity that that the kids that come here every day never have,” Wilson said. “You just never know what something like this might spark in a young person.”

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.

How to help: 

Boys & Girls Clubs executive director Kelly Wilson said gifts of cash, labor or materials could help complete the studio by their August deadline for the project. Call Kelly Knight Low, 832-2582, ext. 105, or visit www.bgctracy.org

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