Sunday, May 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 11

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on November 6th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 35 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 35

Pioneer Valley High School students learn from seasoned record producers at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles


Pioneer Valley High School students (from left to right) Steven Corey, Andrew Madrigal, Jacob Castro, and Ramiro Tinoco got a chance to visit the Grammy Museum last time they attended the museum’s “Introduction to Music Production” class.

In the age of hip hop, the producer is king. A producer is tasked with creating the music a rapper will rhyme over, whether the artist is recording all live instruments or sampling from other songs.

Four Pioneer Valley High School (PVHS) students have been following their passion for sound recording and music with the help of PVHS music instructor Richard Hernandez, who acts as host to the “Producers Club” on campus. And their experience in the club led to an once-in-a-lifetime experience for the young adults.

“There’s no recording class here, so we meet a few times a week during lunch time, and we are going to start meeting after school and recording soon,” Hernandez said. “This is what we call the Producers Club.”

Hernandez started the club when his students shared their own sampled beats and raps they created with home recording equipment.

“I didn’t realize there would be so much interest,” he said. “They were sampling a lot and were not knowing what they were doing and putting stuff up on the Internet, so I told them, you have to do it right.”

Copyright rules are strict, and sampling a beat or piece of music demands compensation. Hernandez started the club to teach his students how to record their own beats and music.

“I’m teaching them basically the right way to publish and sequence your music without ripping someone off,” he said. “They are learning it’s not easy, but they are doing it.”

Four of his students—Steven Corey, Andrew Madrigal, Jacob Castro, and Ramiro Tinoco—enjoy recording so much that they’ve started studying producing in a prestigious and professional environment.

“I’m a member of the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum,” Hernandez explained. “I got an e-mail and heard about it that way. I shared the info with the kids and they became interested.”

The Grammy Museum offers an “Introduction to Music Production” class that allows the students time with top industry producers. The four PVHS students have all pursued the program and paid the tuition. Their parents take turns carpooling down to Los Angeles on Fridays so their kids can attend the class.

“I basically made the arrangements to get them there and do the paperwork and registration,” Hernandez said, “but they are doing this all on their own, but they come back and share the knowledge.”

The students taking part in the Grammy Museum program have been sharing their experiences with their peers in the Producers Club, Hernandez explained.

“One of our students who is participating in the Grammy Museum class, he has been demonstrating Pro Tools and mic placement,” he said. “I have been here basically advising and overseeing the club.”

Kids often learn better from each other while at the same time fostering a healthy attitude toward collaboration, something essential to musical endeavors.

“The guys are coming back and are basically saying, ‘You guys have to take this seriously, this is the music business,’” Hernandez said. “They also talk about attitude, being open and flexible.”

The Producers Club at PVHS is going to start meeting after school to begin producing an album featuring the original music of many students. Hernandez hopes to keep his students engaged in creative, positive collaboration.

“It keeps them off the street, it keeps them focused, and it keeps them interested in an art form that is dying,” he said. “They are into it, and it keeps them busy; they come to the meetings, and they are always in here using the computer.”

Bigger, better band

The Allan Hancock Concert Band, under the direction of Greg Stoll, presents a concert on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2970 Santa Maria Way, Santa Maria. Cost is $10, $5 for seniors and students. More info: 922-6966, Ext. 3252, or

Seeing with sound

The Lompoc Concert Association presents a concert with soprano Laurie Rubin on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 925 North F St., Lompoc. Cost is $25, $5 for students. More info: 735-1408,, or

Runway rock

The Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria presents live music by Juan Marquez on Nov. 8 and 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. each night at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria. More info: 928-8000.

Guad’s favorite spot

Creative Juices features regular live music on the weekends including Swing Shift live on Nov. 8 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Creative Juices Lounge, 874 Guadalupe St., Guadalupe. More info: 219-0518 or

Fine dining and music

Root 246 presents live music Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m. at Root 246, 420 Alisal Road, Solvang. More info: 264-4726 or

Live on the mic

Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.

Maverick reaps a musical harvest

The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including the “805 Harvest Tour ’13”—a battle of the bands featuring The Young Rapscallions, Barefeet, and St. Anne’s Place—on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols perform Nov. 8 at 7:45 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Little Guy and Friends is Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols perform on Nov. 9 at 7:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with DJ Totem” at 11:30 p.m. “Tales from the Tavern” presents Ryan Bingham on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or


Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at

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