Digital maestro: Wiesbaden CYSS youth wins Boys and Girls Clubs of America music tech award
March 15, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - A love of the Beatles and some digital music mastery earned a Wiesbaden School-Age Center youth accolades and cash courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Grayson Walls, age 10, garnered $500 in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's Digital Arts Festival to be used by the Wiesbaden Child, Youth and School Services facility for an upcoming event or day trip. Walls, who was 9 at the time of the contest was a national music tech winner in the 6-9-year-old category.
"I tried to make it sound like a Beatles song," said Walls. "I'm really into the Beatles."
Walls explained that he was inspired by his father, John, a Department of the Army civilian with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently serving in Afghanistan as a master sergeant, who also is a Beatles fan and plays several instruments including guitar, piano and drums.
"It's the first thing I've ever won," said Walls, adding that he was "pretty excited" upon learning that he had won at the Europe level.
Asked what he planned to do with his share of the prize money, the Hainerberg Elementary School fourth-grader said, "I might spend it for my cat or get a cheap video game."
"I know of his love for the Beatles - you could tell (the influence) the first time you heard it," said David Kent, a SAC lab tech administrator.
Walls worked with a computer audio program called Acid Pro to put together his composition.
"The Boys and Girls Clubs of America sent us a sound snippet," said Kent, explaining that the short sample included a beat with bass and guitar. Walls had to compose his instrumental piece using the sample.
Walls said he spent two days working on the project.
"He worked hard to take it further," said Kent, explaining that as a musician and audio engineer himself, "it was very rewarding" to mentor the project. "It's nice to be able to give the kids that support. We worked a little bit on the arrangement.
"He did a good job," he added. "It's really good for Grayson and I'm proud of him."
Grayson's digital music composition also won at the national level Boys and Girls Clubs of America competition.