The UCSB chapter of Engineers Without Borders will host a benefit recital at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Music Building’s Karl Geiringer Hall to help provide clean water for the Kenyan village of Luanda.
The recital will showcase an assortment of solo and ensemble pieces from a diverse group of composers including selections from Ludwig van Beethoven and contemporary Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The proceeds will fund the drilling cost to install a well in the region.
According to EWB Kenya project member Catherine Yeh, a physics graduate student, the recital will appeal to a diverse audience.
“A variety of composers and musical styles — a kind of music without borders — will be represented on the program,” Yeh said. “The recital can bring different kinds of people together, including those who didn’t know about the project before, but might become interested.”
Music professor Charles Asche, chief organizer of the music and performers, said the event features student performances of music drawn from around the world.
“[Yeh] approached me with the idea of a benefit recital and I was happy to supply and organize performers from our department for such an admirable cause,” Asche said in an e-mail. “The concert will include performances from talented students, with music from Classical and Western traditions as well as music by performers from UCSB’s renowned Middle Eastern Ensemble and a contemporary work influenced by jazz and African idioms.”
The philanthropic endeavor began after three men from the nation’s Gembe region established a clinic to solve severe health issues within their communities and sought assistance from organizations in Santa Barbara. The project came under the direction of UCSB students, staff, faculty and local organization members in 2007.
According to EWB Kenya project manager David Poerschke, a materials engineering graduate student, the group maintains close ties with the Luandan community and ensures the project continues to serve locals.
“First and foremost, the relationship that we’ve built over time with the community is unique,” Poerschke said. “A lot of organizations go in [developing countries] and build something without following up to make sure it’s still working well.”
Last year’s Kenya project manager Jessica Krogstad, a materials engineering graduate student, said the relationship between the Santa Barbara community and the small Kenyan village reflects the significant efforts local groups take to reducing world poverty.
“The relationship is something Santa Barbara should be proud of because the whole community can really take ownership of it,” Krogstad said. “Luanda is only one small community but by helping one community at a time we can make our efforts more sustainable.”
Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for the general public and are available at the door or online at www.ewb-ucsb.org.