Freshman Maddie Cooke sits front and center with a guitar in her hand and a grin upon her face. Beside her, fellow CHS students are singing songs full of praise, and soon everyone in the room is joining in. A sense of appreciation for the music emanates from the audience.
As Cooke and her friends captivate the audience, the positive effects of her music are clear. Here, at the Carmel Presbyterian Church, she sings with a purpose. Make no mistake: Cooke’s passion for music extends much further than this room. Maddie Cooke may be young, but her musical endeavors are not just beginning.
Cooke, currently in her first year at CHS, is quite the musician. For several years she has been a lead singer and bass guitar player of the band Bay Area Girls, a five-member group that has its roots in—yes, you guessed it—the Bay Area, San Francisco to be specific.
The Bay Area Girls have performed gigs since 2007, playing at various events such as festivals, parties and fundraisers. These girls have established their own web site, been paid to perform and even had the chance to sing with a recognized artist in Japan.
“We are now on TV in over 195 provinces in Japan,” Cooke says. “The TV show is like an MTV in Japan.”
As for the type of music they prefer, it’s definitely a mixture of the classic and the contemporary. According to Cooke, the musical style of the band is “pop and old rock” with tunes ranging from covers of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” to fun.’s “We Are Young.”
“I would describe my music as fun and entertaining.”
In order to make their music, the band uses the guitar, piano, ukulele and keyboard along with excellent vocals. Though the girls choose to cover many songs in their performances, they also have originals such as “Summer” and “Ordinary Girl.”
“We have been writing our own songs for a while, but we haven’t really been playing them,” Cooke says. “But we will be once we record them and put them on iTunes.”
This isn’t the only exciting thing to come for the Bay Area Girls. Recently they won Battle of the Bands in California. The reward?
“We have now won recording time and get to record our own music for free!”
The Bay Area Girls will have the opportunity to record in a studio for two days, and they plan on singing their own melodies, “a bunch of different music,” Cooke explains. Bound for iTunes and studio-made music, these girls are moving forward at a rapid pace.
It is hardly an obstacle that all of the girls live in separate cities. According to Cooke, the girls practice every day by themselves until they can meet in San Francisco. To communicate otherwise, they use video chat on a regular basis.
The best part about being in a band?
“Having all my best friends to hang out with and getting to go to San Francisco all the time.”
Visit BayAreaGirls.net for more on Cooke’s music.