Club Corner: Songwriting Club provides musical outlet, instruction to student performers


Sophomores Valeria Negev and Khalel Gillen, both of whom have more than a year of songwriting experience, practice the techniques they learned from weekly Songwriting Club meetings sponsored by music teacher Wes Hambright. “(My music) used to be very chaotic,” Gillen said. “Now it’s like in a nice package.”

Sophomore Valeria Negev has been writing her own songs for six years and has found the opportunity to embrace her work through the Songwriting Club.

“I have a passion for music and I have an inspiration for music and no one can take that away from me,” Negev said.

The Songwriting Club, supervised by Music Director Wes Hambright, meets in Room 3 every Tuesday during lunch. Aspiring musicians can gain significant knowledge of songwriting that can be used to expand their craft. They can also share their own musical projects and gain inspiration or feedback from other musicians.

“Everyone can probably write lyrics and to be able to put that to music is an extra whole ‘nother level,” Hambright said. “So, it means a lot to me to have students be able to learn about that. It means creativity. It means insight.”

Hambright was inspired to start the club after he learned that multiple students are working on their own personal pieces, one of them being sophomore Khalel Gillen. He started writing songs last year for fun but has improved greatly with Hambright’s guidance. During the spring concert earlier this month, Gillen performed an original song called “Brain Cell.”

“(The club) helped me write my music nicely,” Gillen said. “It used to be very chaotic. Now it’s like in a nice package.”

All students are welcome to join meetings and learn about the techniques used in the art of songwriting. In past meetings, members have discussed song structure by breaking down a selected song into different parts and analyzing it. The club also serves as an open and relaxing environment for people who share a passion for music.

“I just want to make music and be able to play it and perform it,” junior Emanuel Recinos said. “And being able to learn how to make songs properly is going to help me achieve that.”