Cecy Trevino, a local musician and member of the all-girl band The Knockouts, successfully brought a new and unique music program to Corpus Christi. Chicas Rock is a program just for girls who are aspiring to be musicians. The group is dedicated to building girls’ self-esteem through music performance and creation.
Formed in 2009, the camp started in a large one-room space located above Produce, another locally owned business that contributes to art, music and culture in Corpus Christi. Trevino was able to move into multi-studio location last year equipped with a custom stage, lighting and comfy sofas for the little protégés to hang out after practice.
The girls range from ages 6-19 and perform at events all over Corpus Christi, including ArtWalk. They truly give impressive and awe-inspiring performances that could make even a grown man cry. Trevino prides herself on making something happen for younger generations. Here is what the woman behind the stage says about making her passions come to life:
Q: How did you decide to start Chicas Rock?
A: I love music and been playing in female bands for over 15 years. All the time little girls will come up to us and ask how could they learn how to play instruments and how can they start a band, parents also will come up to me and my bandmates and tell us their little girls wanted to have a band like ours how can they get started. Those comments happened over and over through the years and that’s when I saw a need for places just for girls that focus on music education where they wouldn’t be intimidated by boys and where they had all female instructors that they could look up to and feel empowered while they could freely express themselves.
Q: What is a typical day at the camp like?
A: It’s a lot of fun. Every day is unpredictable when you have a lot of young girls, but a basic day consists of: The beginning of the class we discuss the plan for the day and what songs we will be learning. Then the girls walk to their instrument rooms with their instructors to learn about their instrument. They also learn parts of the songs they chose, and at the last part of the day we practice as a band on our stage and the girls get to perform what they have learned in class.
Q: What do you think are some current trends in this type of work?
A: Women empowerment, art, fashion trends and the importance of different cultures.
Q: What are some challenges you have faced?
A: One challenge we face is working with kids whose parents cannot pay. So we try to take them or work with them in some way, but being a small program, we really lose a lot when we are short. We do this because we love the kids and believe this program helps them with their lives. We also rely heavily on donations and fundraisers that the kids are involved with.
Q: What advice would you give someone with similar aspirations?
A: Be prepared in every aspect. Be creative. Stay focused. Never give up even when things get complicated. Do things from your heart and visualize your passion and it will come to life!
Q: How has your job changed over the years?
A: Every day is a learning experience. We have grown so much over the last four years. We gave established our brand in the city and are now being invited to play more and more corporate events and events that involve giving back to the community.
Q: What were the steps you took to get started
A: I created a name and a logo, then made a business plan. I went and volunteered at other organizations that are in the same field to learn from them and become more educated. Found a location. Hire experienced music instructors. Look for companies and brands to sponsor. Promote the business to schools and parents. Made a social media campaign.
Q: Did you have any surprises good or bad that you can share?
A: Our biggest surprise was when we came out on national television on the TV show “The Voice” as they introduce one of their contestants from Corpus Christi (Clarissa Serna) that had help us coaching vocal and songwriting classes at Chicas Rock. I wish you could of seen the girls’ faces that day when the TV show came out on the air. They were jumping around and going crazy. They couldn’t believe it and all their friends in school told the them next day they saw them on TV. That was such a cool experience.
Q: What are your three main ingredients for success?
A: Never stop learning. (Educate yourself everyday. Always have an open mind. Study your environment from every angle.) Stay firm with your ideas and make them happen. (Always follow through with things you say you are going to do.) Do what you love that way it won’t be hard to work all the time. You will love it!
Q: Did you have doubts along the way? If so, what helped you overcome them?
A: There’s been plenty of times where I did get overwhelmed. If we didn’t have enough students and nobody called to ask for information. Also us not having the money to pay rent and keep lights on during the off seasons, those are just to mention a few. But what would help me overcome the negative thoughts was believing in myself and standing strong for my project. Seeing and hearing the girls say, “The best part of the day is when they go to ChicasRock,” or how they love playing on stage. Also, when the parents go pick them up and they don’t want to leave. Those are the things that kept me going.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I enjoyed every single part of my job. Seeing the girls perform on stage and do their best at the end of it is my biggest inspiration. We really created a family with the kids and parents. We get together outside of class all the time to hang out, and always are there for each other when we need each other.