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Judge sings high note with Manteca idol
Manteca Idol judge Michelle Robinson keeps working after the competition ends for the evening on Wednesday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
It was only four years ago that Michelle Robinson braved the microphone herself as a Manteca Idol contestant before eventually falling short of the title.

But her passion for singing and her intrigue with new committee-style organization that was being implemented wouldn’t let her walk away quietly into the night – instead bringing her back the next year in the position of a judge that she’d held through this day.

Having that experience as a contestant and knowing what it’s like to go before a room full of people and sing, she says, is one of the things that helps make her current position that much easier.

“At first I didn’t have a good experience as a contestant, and when I learned that they were forming a committee to run things in the future I thought that I might be interested,” Robinson said. “I like singing, and I wanted to make sure that we had a fair competition that benefits not only the singers but the community as well.”

The fact the Boys and Girls Club – the beneficiary of the Manteca Idol proceeds – holds a special place in Robinson’s heart only makes her involvement that much more personal.

As a youngster she recalls going down to the place that aims to take the youth off of the streets and putting up her dime for a day pass to play air hockey with a friend that was a member.

With the current state of the economy hitting the funding sources of the club exceptionally hard, Robinson says that hosting something weekly that can generate some inflow is a great thing for the organization that has seen a 50 percent rise in use over the course of the last year.

“I’m going to school right now to become a teacher, and between that and my own experiences I know how important something like the Boys and Girls Club can be,” she said. “It’s important to have a safe place for kids to go because not everyone has parent at home when they get done with school.

“When you factor in that they stress education and making sure that kids are making the right choices then it’s easy to see how beneficial this is for the community.”

While she won’t likely end up as a contestant anytime soon, Robinson’s pedigree in singing is top notch – starting with the East Union Choir and moving on to the San Joaquin County Honor Choir, the California State regional choir, the Stanislaus State Choir, and most recently the Manteca Community Choir.

Just getting out there and singing has become somewhat of a release for Robinson – who is set to marry Darin Brown within two weeks – and a therapeutic exercise that she looks forward to participating in.

“It’s something that just makes me happy,” Robinson said of why she stays involved in music. “Music is an outlet for a lot of things and an outlet for emotions, and I’ve always been one of those people who love singing – even if it’s in my car.”