Musicians Matthew Santos and Chris Gelbuda will be performing tonight in the Hub to raise funds for the Musicians Making a Difference organization.
Santos and Gelbuda will be holding a free concert at Isla Vista Elementary School for the students and families of the school prior to their evening performance in the Hub. Musicians Making a Difference, a program run by UCSB students in collaboration with the Associated Students Communities Affairs Board, reaches out to local elementary schools to teach students how to play a wide range of instruments. Santos is the main act and will be preceded by singer and guitarist Chris Gelbuda in both the performance in the Hub and at the elementary school. Focusbird, a duo from UCSB will be opening for the headliners.
“We tend to target students that the elementary school suggests to us, students who are kind of at risk or struggling in school or may be having trouble at home,” David Lee, a fourth-year biopsychology major and president of the club, said. “We take their recommendations first and then open it up to the other students at the school.”
The majority of the students are between fourth and sixth grade, and all enrollees are taught everything from learning to read music to holding an instrument properly. The program meets Monday and Wednesday evenings for two hours each session.
As pointed out by Amisha DeYoung, a second-year environmental studies major and volunteer for the program, meeting with the students is a huge time commitment, but well worth it.
“It’s really cool to be with the kids and really see them genuinely take an interest in the more fine arts,” DeYoung said. “They actually retain a lot. It’s cool for them to have an interest in it because music’s not just something you do that’s completely unrelated to anything else. I think it’s really good exposure for them.”
Matthew Santos is best known for his vocal collaboration and contribution to Lupe Fiasco’s Grammy- nominated hit, “Superstar.”
“Santos and Gelbuda have been working very closely with Lupe Fiasco, and Matthew Santos has already had two big hits with him,” Sharon Wang, second-year political science major and vice president of the club, said. “They’re generous to do a free show earlier in the day in the cafeteria of the elementary school, which is really awesome.”
Tickets are on sale at the Associated Students ticket office for $10 each and will cost $12 at the door.
All ticket sales go directly to Musicians Making a Difference, which hopes to be able to buy more instruments to replace the current instruments. The vast majority of the current instruments are actually owned by Areo G. Saffarzadeh, who is an alumnus and founder of the student organization.
“We’re looking to become a nonprofit, so that’s a long term goal,” Lee said. “Areo is now at med school at UC Irvine, so as soon as we can get the funds from this concert to buy instruments, we can return his instruments to him and he can hopefully start the program down there.”