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Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids celebrate first year of new music program with Spring Concert

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BGCGRYC is very excited to announce their very first Spring Concert, showcasing their Music Program students.
Underwriting support from:

BGCGRYC Spring Concert

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Time: 6:30PM
Place: Wealthy Theatre

More information:
[email protected]

BGCGRYC Music Program Coordinator Casey Stratton teaching piano lessons.

BGCGRYC Music Program Coordinator Casey Stratton teaching piano lessons.

In September 2012, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (BGCGRYC) received a grant from The Barber Foundation to begin a music program. Under the direction of Casey Stratton, Club members are offered different music classes for one hour per week. 1st to 3rd graders have general music class, 4th and higher can attend chorus class. Piano and guitar classes are offered to students in 5th grade or higher. Teens also participate during “Teen Music Time.”

Now, over six months later, BGCGRYC is very excited to announce their very first Spring Concert, showcasing their Music Program students. Music Program Coordinator Casey Stratton will lead the performers on stage.

“Working with kids from all three Grand Rapids Clubs this year has been an immensely rewarding experience,” said Stratton. “As much as I teach them, they also teach me. Sharing the bond of musicianship is a special relationship, and I am so fortunate to watch so many young people learning exciting skills and excelling each and every week. We are ready to showcase all the hard work!

The concert will take place at 6:30PM on May 16, 2013 at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids. The event is free to the public. Performances will include singing, piano, guitar and dancing from 1st to 12th graders who are part of the program at their respective Clubs.

Due to budget cuts, many of the students BGCGRYC serves have little to no music classes or programs in their schools. Seeing this need, the new Music Program was created to help ensure that children in our community have access to music education. Music education has been proven to improve performance in both reading and math.

In addition, The YouthArts Development Project has studied the effects of arts programs for the U.S. Department of Justice and results show that youth who are involved in arts programming have an increased ability to process anger appropriately, to communicate effectively with adults, are more likely to report decreased involvement in delinquent activity, and are more likely to exhibit a positive attitude toward school, self-esteem and self-efficacy.

What keeps youth returning to arts programs is the thrill of creative and artistic expression, community recognition from public performances, and learning how to communicate difficult thoughts and emotions through the arts. BGCGRYC’s Music Program focuses sharply on these goals and outcomes.

“Not even words can express how I feel about music,” said Club member Jaivian Carter. “Music is half of my life. Sometimes it gets hard, but like Mr. Casey says, we never give up.”


For more information, contact Casey Stratton at [email protected].

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