PLAYING CINCY: Music Resource Center Brings Teen Musicians Together


The Music Resource Center of Cincinnati is a stable home for low-cost musical equipment and artistic guidance for Cincinnati’s teens. Four times a year, the organization hosts a city-wide showcase where the public joins the Center as audience members and Cincinnati’s youth can put their talents on display.

“The showcases are a place for our students to perform the music they have been writing and recording in the studio,” said Wally Hart, the Rap Coach and Development Assistant at the Center. “They are open to the public. We invite friends, family, and people from the community to come and see what the students are doing and what MRC is all about.”

Chaya J. sings at Music Resource Center showcase. Photos by Wally Hart.

On Tuesday, May 7th, the MRC hosted another successful showcase with around 70 attendees in the audience. This year marks the org’s 10th year of showcases.

“I love observing the confidence that builds in the young artists with every performance. That confidence goes beyond just the performance,” said Wally. “They gain a greater sense of self-confidence in many areas of their lives.”

Spirit / showcase
Hip hop artist Spirit performing at the MRC showcase.

Soulful brothers Sean and Savion performed original songs, marking their second showcase and original music debut. Rapper Spirit unleashed some verses, following up his EP Now More Than Ever, released last year. Pop singer/songwriter Grac:E held down three original singles. Chaya J., a sophomore, sang three original songs. She recently dropped off her EP, History, It Never Changes, earlier this year.

Spirit closed out the performance with a speech, expressing his gratitude for the Center, as he’s a senior in high school and will soon age out of the program.

“I talked about why I did music, I talked about society’s current issues, moral decline in music… People were touched, and I felt good I let it out,” he said. “Think about it – millions of kids want to rap and make music, but how many get the luxury of recording on professional equipment for as little as 2$ a month… That’s why I am there every day as soon as they open and the moment they close!”

The next Music Resource Center showcase will be September 18. The organization and its staff continue to be a source of opportunity and encouragement in creating Cincinnati’s next wave of musical talent.

When asked why these showcases matter so much to the organization and to Cincinnati teens, Wally replied, “Parents, family, and friends of the students get a chance to watch their kids flourish. Friends and family of the staff get to see why we are so passionate about MRC. Donors get a chance to witness first hand the magic that their contributions assist. It truly is magical.”