A View from the Green Room

25399127_10213972748580137_5229056583165932253_nIt's Saturday morning and I'm sitting in a Green Room at Yakima's Capital Theater among 32 chattering teenagers who are known throughout the Tri-Cities as "Bram Brata," a talented steel drum band from the Tri-Cities.  They're nervous but excited as they wait to practice with the Yakima Symphony before their performance tonight.  With the noise, I could be going a little crazy . . . but instead, I'm soaking it all in, feeling so very grateful to be here.  This tightknit group who considers themselves not just band members, but dear friends is a result of years of band practices, gigs, and events.  The devotion along with the result will make any parent swell with pride and happiness.

These kids who have grown-up from the ages of about 12 within the organization called TCSBA (Tri-Cities Steel Band Association) and have made life-long bonds through playing the most magical sounds on steel drums that make it impossible to do anything but smile when you hear it.  In addition to the older steel drum band, there is a younger middle school aged band.  There are two marimba bands as well, one younger and one older.

The kids love being a part of these bands, led by amazing music directors, Ben Leggett and Walt Hampton, who have devoted their lives to fostering a love of music:

"The best thing about performing is watching people's reactions to the music and seeing on their faces how they hear the music," Sophia says as her mother is beaming.  Jasmine says, "when I'm performing with the band, I get this incredible rush of adrenaline that just makes me feel so happy, I can't be nervous."

Learning how to perform under pressure is a great skill to learn.  But more than that, the opportunity to know how a high-functioning team can function is a skill that will last a lifetime.

"It's so much fun to be onstage with all my friends in band and it's just amazing.  Being in a group as close as this, it kinda forces you to get super close with everyone.  You do things you wouldn't normally do and you make friends with people you wouldn't normally talk to.  It's super awesome to have the opportunity to be a part of something so awesome," says Jasmine.  "We have each other's backs and we joke around a lot. We have inside jokes and it is really fun playing in a band. We also have to practice hard," says Sophia.

So, if you're looking for something special to have your child get involved in, check out TCSBA!  Our organization offers steel drum and marimba classes for children of all ages.

And come check out the kids in action!  For the last 23 years we've hosted a spectacular Christmas concert where all four bands will perform.  You can enjoy the wonderful music along with a silent auction and bake sale.  Our concert is Saturday, December 15th at Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Road, Richland.  Doors open at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased at www.TCSBA.org.  You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TCSBA/ -


Shannon Davis, mother of Jakob and Meghan, and TCSBA family member since 2014.

Take a look at the December January issue!

Our new issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM, MeriJeanne Vidrine, and including fun recipes for kids and families, and smart ideas for holiday gifts. Pick up a copy today and have a wonderful holiday!


The October November issue is here

Another great issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM, Nikole Baird, cozy soup recipes, expert tips to get (and stay) moving and much more. So pick up a copy today.

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Summer is here and so is the June July issue of MOM Magazine

Check out Cover MOM, Colleen M. Mattox, plus our Road Trip Survival Guide, strawberry recipes and more.


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The April/May issue is here featuring Cover MOM, Elouise Sparks. Plus we've got grown up mac & cheese recipes, thrift store transformations and more. Pick up a copy today.

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The Feb/March issue is here

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Warm-Up with Cool Books


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Each year the Regional Service Corps-AmeriCorps program provides literacy programs for elementary students throughout the Tri-Cities. The Regional Service C

orps-Americorps program strives to provide a safe, positive, and interactive learning environment and hope to encourage a sense of community through the experiences the children and families have during the event.

Warm-Up with Cool Books winter literacy event will be providing children with fun and interesting books, activities, arts, crafts and games. During this 
event they will also have guest speakers with unique, fun presentations. Warm-Up with Cool Books will be held December 27th, 28th, and 29th from 1pm-4pm at the Mid-Columbia Libraries and Richland Library.

The main goal of the event is to provide a fun learning environment for children and to encourage reading during school breaks. Come to learn about the environment, participate in fun games and activities, and more! Children of any age are welcome, and families are encouraged to join in on the fun.

Regional Service Corps is a part of AmeriCorps, a network of local, state, and national service programs that unite more than 70,000 Americans each year in service to serve our communities and make our country safer, smarter, and healthier. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to serve in their communities.



Tri-Cities Family Expo 2017 SuperDAD

My cousin Jason is beyond a SuperDad. After serving his country, obtaining a masters degree, performing in New York City and teaching children with special needs, he put all of that aside to be a full-time stay-at home dad. He and his spouse adopted two beautiful children: Luke, age 6 and Sylvia, age 11 months. Jason devotes his life to these children while staying very active in his community. If Jason is not showing his children the importance of volunteering he can be found at his local library's story time etc. We need more men like him in this world.

SuperDad Jason Galvez was nominated by his cousin through the 2017 Family Expo nomination drive.