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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Live Music Club lets student musicians connect

Junior+Russel+Early+plays+a+series+of+guitar+riffs+as+practice.+Early+is+mainly+skilled+with+guitars%2C+and+focuses+his+musical+talent+on+them.
Alex Edwards
Junior Russel Early plays a series of guitar riffs as practice. Early is mainly skilled with guitars, and focuses his musical talent on them.

As students rush out of their last class to head home, some students instead make their way to piano teacher Randy Cantu’s room to jam out. Cantu is the sponsor of the Live Music Club, which meets every Monday after school.

“This is my second year hosting the club as a collaboration with Ms. Hanford, and Mr. Morgan,” Cantu said. “Rehearsals this year are on Mondays, but it’s really a flexible schedule, based on people’s availability.”

The club was created as a space for students to express themselves and connect with other musicians at Bowie. Students bring their own instruments to meetings and play together as a band.

“The goal for the club was never for the kids to have an expectation to perform but I’m very happy about giving them a space to connect and play and rehearse,” Cantu said. “This club has been a great way for people to meet other people who they might not have in their classes and build relationships.”

Senior club member Kinley Shillings played at the club’s first performance of the year during the We Love Austin Music Week.

“I’d say that this week is the biggest accomplishment so far in the club,” Shillings said. “This is the main thing that the club is focusing on right now and it feels good to follow up on our past rehearsals.”

Club president and multi-instrumentalist Preston Solis drums as senior David Brooks sings along. Solis has been involved in the club since his freshman year last school year. (William Balke)

Despite the successes this year, the club has been running into some issues regarding scheduling meetings and finding a structure for what happens during the meetings.

“I definitely want to see more rehearsals and more communication with what we’re going to do in the future, and maybe write our own songs,” Shillings said. “I love music and I want to do more performances in the last half of the year.”

The club meetings see the members of the club divide themselves into 2 separate groups in order to practice different things during the meeting. This was done so that members would be able to practice what they wanted to play, instead of having to follow what some other people may want. However, the execution of this idea has caused some problems within the club.

“We don’t do as much as I would want in the meetings, we try to plan what we want to play more than just actually practicing,” Junior Donivan Cooksey said. “The idea of everyone learning the same song is cool, but I think if we start doing more freestyle stuff it would work a lot better.”

Everyone in the club is aware of the problems, with club sponsor Randy Cantu planning for a more organized future for the club.

“We want to develop more of a structure for our rehearsals, finding more opportunities to perform, I also would like for us to collaborate with other organizations on campus, I would say that is the biggest need,” Cantu said. “But, that’s really based on student preparation and the ability to be ready.”

Members of the club are passionate about the future of Live Music Club, wanting the club to overcome these issues and get to a stable place.

“We need to meet more often, that would fix a lot of things,” Cooksey said. “There are a lot of cool talented people in the club, more meetings would give them more opportunities to show and improve their skills.”

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