La Sierra profs’ concert to benefit San Bernardino kids
By Darla Martin Tucker
Two La Sierra University music professors will give a concert Feb. 15 aimed at benefiting a newly-formed music education and mentoring program in San Bernardino.
Jason Uyeyama, director of string studies and Elvin Rodriguez, director of keyboard studies will perform the works of Mozart, Paradies, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens and Beethoven in Loma Linda University’s Burden Hall. The concert will take place at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be collected to benefit Community Kids Connection Music, a community outreach program of La Sierra and Loma Linda universities that falls under the umbrella of Loma Linda’s Healthy Neighborhoods Project. Community Kids Connection Music is seeking funds to purchase instruments and learning materials.
Through Community Kids Connection university students teach violin, viola and cello to about 20 San Bernardino children. The program is free to its young enrollees. CKC leaders worked with music teachers from the San Bernardino City Unified School District and Loma Linda University outreach programs to recruit students. The music pupils range from five to 14 years of age.
Uyeyama and three individuals from the city of Loma Linda and Loma Linda University launched Community Kids Connection Music last October. Uyeyama, Kathryn Knecht, associate professor at Loma Linda University’s School of Pharmacy, Kristen Joe, Loma Linda pharmacy student and Loma Linda resident Anastasia Belliard serve as the organization’s founders and leaders.
The fledgling group received startup support from Healthy Neighborhood Projects and relies on donations of instruments for students to use, Uyeyama said.
“The goal of the program is to improve musical ability by providing free one-on-one lessons to young students who would otherwise have little or no individual instruction,” Uyeyama said. “As the program grows, I plan to introduce these students to the La Sierra University campus.”
Susan Jo and Jeff Bae, two La Sierra students who study with Uyeyama, donate two hours a week teaching the youngsters. Twelve mentors from Loma Linda University and surrounding communities also work with the students.
The organization’s long-term goal is the creation of a community center that would provide musical instruction, tutoring and other resources, Uyeyama said.
PR Contact: Larry Becker