Talent show

At the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, afternoons are full of playing, learning, creating, and collaborating.

> To listen, go to They call it the Music Clubhouse. And yeah, it’s just as fun as it sounds. Each weekday afternoon at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester, a group of 10- to 18-year-olds piles into a big open space with guitars hanging on the walls, a bank of keyboards, computers loaded with recording software, and drum kits. For hours, they play, they learn, they create, and they collaborate. The afternoon I was there, kids in an ensemble called Studio Heat were preparing for “Passing the Mic,” a show they were putting on at the Berklee Performance Center the following Friday night. A couple of boys practiced their rap routines; another sat behind two red turntables, working on his DJ set. In other corners of the clubhouse, a Berklee College of Music student dished out bass and guitar tips. A couple of women took piano lessons. A younger girl sat behind a drum kit, playing along to an R&B track. Four of the five freestanding Boys & Girls Club buildings in Boston have a space like this. In September 2012, when Brazilian soccer legend Pele dropped by the Blue Hill club on a visit to Boston, the clubhouse crew gave him a fitting welcome: They sang “The Girl from Ipanema,” the bossa nova classic, in Portuguese.

WHAT SOUNDS TELL YOU THAT SUMMER IS COMING?Send ideas to or via Twitter @swhelman.

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