South Club Spotlight: CBTV

Pat Heaney, Staff Writer

CB South has a wide variety of student organizations to join, but one is often overlooked. Central Bucks Television Club, run by CB Video Specialist Matthew Murray, is a hidden gem of South.

A fusion of both student ideas and faculty programs, CBTV’s programming ranges from spotlights on clubs and classes, to recordings of orchestra and band concerts, to informational broadcasts about the district and its members.

Student members of the club learn techniques in video production areas, some of which include interviewing, filming, and video editing, and using professional grade, high-definition equipment.  South students who have taken Media Production classes will be familiar with the studio.

Members of the club might man a camera aimed at a large green screen, change audio levels at the sound board, switch the active camera at the Tricaster, be on screen as talent, or film outside of the studio.  Students have the opportunity to try out all of these positions.

Mr. Murray, a graduate of Monmouth University and veteran of broadcast media, has worked for My9 News, the Manhattan Bureau, PBS 39, and the Southern Lehigh School District.  Now at CB, he is the district video specialist and adviser of the CBTV club at South.

“There’s such a great staff of people doing great work all the time, and it’s nice to be able to document that work and show it to people,” Mr. Murray said.

So far, his favorite experience in working at Central Bucks has been documenting the making of “Courageous” by the CB South and CB West orchestras.  “Courageous” was a tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook, featuring CB string students, students at West Chester, and a group of professional musicians from Austria who played winds, brass, and percussion.

Students in the CBTV club have the opportunity to create their own original shows to be aired on the channel. Mrs. Esris, an English teacher at South, was featured on a student program called “Scene at South” last year in which she discussed her Introduction to Film Studies class.

“One of the things I was impressed by was the whole team and the way that the CB South students were so dedicated to being professionals in the television studio,” Mrs. Esris said.  “I think it’s a real training ground for people who are professionals.”

Many of the club’s members are seniors this year.  Senior Matthew Belli, a three-year member of the club, said it is “nice seeing younger kids getting involved in the media business and understanding what goes into actually making content for broadcasting.”

Nick Brown and Chris Reinl, seniors, both expressed their positive attitudes about the club.  As a member, Nick said the club is a “blast and a half,” with Chris adding that it is a “blast and three quarters.”

Senior Anna Gamarnik, another three-year member, said that she also enjoys the club.

This year, viewers should expect to see some new programs.  “Health Matters,” premiering in October, will feature doctors from Doylestown Hospital. According to Mr. Murray, topics for this show will include “ways to stay healthy, when you should go to the doctor, when a trip to the emergency room is necessary… [and] things that can help you lead a healthier life.”

“Health Matters,” along with other shows produced at the CB South studio, are made by the students with direction from Mr. Murray. “I have two goals.  I have to teach the students all of the equipment and how to make television, like editing techniques, camera work, how to write a good story,” he said, “but I also want at the same time to create content for CBTV.”

Contrary to Titan TV, work produced for CBTV is shown to everyone in the school district.  CBTV can be found on channel 28 for Comcast subscribers and channel 40 for Verizon subscribers.

“I think the club is a really great opportunity to learn skills if you’re thinking about television as a career,” Mr. Murray said.  “It’s a really good way to get your feet wet and see if it’s something you want to do.”

CBTV club meets Wednesdays after school in the TV studio behind the auditorium.  Students interested in joining can contact Mr. Murray at mamurray@cbsd.org.