Santa Monica Youth Collect Top Honors For Excellence In Music Technology

Thursday, 22 Mar 2012, 12:49:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Maya M. was named the national winner for the Music Tech Category for the 13-15 age group.
Courtesy Photo
Maya M. was named the national winner for the Music Tech Category for the 13-15 age group.

A local youth and member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica (SMBGC), 13-year-old Maya M., was named the national winner of the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals for the Music Tech Category for the 13-15 age group.

A member at SMBGC’s John Adam Middle School branch, Maya won the national digital arts competition for her creativity and use of technology in music making.

The Digital Arts Festivals are presented by Boys & Girls Clubs of America through its partnership with founding sponsor Microsoft and Comcast.

The Festivals on local and national levels recognize Club members who use artistic expression in six categories: photography, music, graphic design, game design, movie animation and film.

The competitions are part of Club Tech, a program that integrates technology into Club activities to help youth develop skills critical to building a successful future.

For the Music Tech category, Boys & Girls Club members were asked to use computer generated music-making software to create a fresh new sound. McComsey’s music creation, entitled Fresh New Sound, showcased her creativity and tech skills learned at Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.

The entry was judged by a panel of national experts and competed against submissions from Clubs across the globe. Judges included Cody Alan, Host CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan; Arjan Timmermans, Community Blogger, GRAMMY.com; and Bernard “Focus…” Edwards Jr., Grammy award-winning producer.

“We are so proud that one of our young people won a national competition. Maya is a very talented young lady," said Aaron Young, President and CEO of SMBGC. “Thanks to our national partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, we are able to provide our Club members with an opportunity to express themselves creatively through the Digital Arts Festivals. These competitions allow Club members to take tech skills they have learned through their Boys & Girls Club and design a really original piece of artwork. It’s amazing to see the incredible things kids and teens can do when given access to technology.”

In 2010, more than 20,000 young people participated in local contests.

As a national winner in the teen division, Maya, along with teen winners from all six categories, will receive an all-expenses-paid summer trip that includes sightseeing and job-shadowing experiences. In years past, winners have visited colleges and the offices of large corporations to get a behind-the-scenes look at potential careers.

“The quality of the entries we see for the Digital Arts Festivals every year never ceases to amaze me,” commented Akhtar Badshah, senior director of Citizenship at Microsoft Corporation. “This year’s winners are the perfect example of how giving young people access to technology and the knowledge to use it unleashes their creativity and showcases how we can create exciting opportunities for youth in all our communities.”

Two other Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica members were honored in this year’s Digital Arts Festival. Faith G., 12 and Cate S., 10 were named Pacific region winners. Faith won for her anti-bullying song “Words Can’t Hurt Me” and Cate won for her song “Cate’s Song.”

The Festivals are just one way that Boys & Girls Clubs of America, along with founding sponsor Microsoft and Comcast, hope to technologically enable more than 4 million youth served by some 4,000 Clubs nationwide and abroad through Club membership and community outreach.

Club Tech also provides software, develops and delivers curricula, and provides program management and computer training for staff and youth. The sponsorship allows Clubs to integrate technology into every aspect of the organization’s fabric, from overall management to core programs.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Digital Arts Festivals to help young people develop award-winning technical and digital skills,” said Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. “Technology provides access to resources that help our youth build bright and successful futures.”

To learn more about the technology programs offered at Boys & Girls Clubs, visit www.bgca.org/clubtech.

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