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And the beat goes on …

Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Drum Line students get a lesson from Tyra

Tyra, of the Airport Authority’s Access Control Office, and the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA  in San Diego are striking up a band. To be more specific, a “show band-style” drum line.

Jackie Robinson YMCA Drum Line students

A Jackie Robinson Family YMCA program, this is not just a drum line; it’s a lifestyle. The kids participating must be in school, have a good GPA, and already be playing in their school band. Once selected, they learn a unique style of drum line. “Show band-style” means music and entertainment, with the drummers marching, twirling and dancing while they play.

Tyra learned this style in Detroit, where she was part of her high school drum line at Cass Technical High School and then went  on to the world-famous Grambling State University Show Band. She has brought her passion for music to San Diego.

In partnership with the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, Tyra is introducing this program within a southeastern San Diego community that has seen a decline in school enrollment and a rise in gang violence. Her goal is for the drum line to give the kids and their community a renewed sense of pride and something good to look forward to.

Tyra offers helpful tips to a student drummer.

“We want kids to join a team, not a gang, but it gets complicated. Every child does not have access to neighborhood facilities. Most can’t afford participation fees. The shortage of responsible adult volunteers makes it difficult to stage youth activities in areas that need the most intensive programs. When a child becomes hardened and committed to crime, exposed to and addicted to drugs and alcohol, physically injured, scarred or murdered, that is indeed the greatest loss of all. Tyra … is a great example of the power of one person making a difference in the lives of kids from San Diego County’s most critical community.”

— Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Executive Director, Michael Brunker

The first drum line is working hard rehearsing for their first performance, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at the Jackie Robinson YMCA. Here’s a flyer about the performance:

Additional performances are planned at the YMCA and other venues. Who knows, maybe they’ll even turn up at a future Chargers game.

By next year, Tyra plans to grow the program to include more kids and possibly a band camp. She also hopes to increase sponsorship and opportunities to perform. The word is already out in the community, and calls are coming in.  If you  live in the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA community, or want more information, contact Tyra at 619-407-0122 or tyra_hawthorne@yahoo.com.


3 Responses

  1. My friend and co-workers, Tyra Hawthorne is doing amazing things!!!

  2. What a great story, Ann! Glad we have Tyra on board at our organization. She represents the best of the Authority doing good in our community.

  3. Tyra, Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing the kids hard work and yours.

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