For the past three years, SAB has successfully brought the UWT community together to listen to live music, and this year they are hoping this event is much more than just a concert, but a city-wide movement. SAB event coordinator Rafael Saucedo is the facilitator and creator of the Urban Music Project. SAB member Cristiana Ventura was in charge of the Spring Benefit Concert last year and is helping Saucedo figure out all the logistics and making sure everything runs smoothly. All of the proceeds from the event are going to Tacoma music education.
There are two indie bands that have already confirmed that they will be performing (whose names can’t be revealed at this time). Rafael is currently working on finding a local rap group for their third act. This event will also feature students from SOTA, so people can see where their money is going and what it is going to benefit.
The first group is a folk-inspired duo from Boston. The band is mystical, obscure, and melodic. This group has a contemporary sound with beautiful vocal harmonies. “This group is kind of an acoustic more folk type thing. Like two guys with guitar and cellos that totally have beards, flannels. Very cliche but I love them,” says Ventura.
The second indie group incorporates pop, rock, and hip-hop. They manage to keep their sound diverse by incorporating keyboard, drums, and guitars. They include a variety of vocals, ranging from a female singer with a soft pitch to a rough and rugged male lead singer and even an aggressive male rapper. These two groups are performing at Urban Music Project to show their support for musical education for the city of Tacoma, specifically for the Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA).
UWT lets SOTA use their property for classrooms. Why SOTA? Not only does UWT have a close partnership with SOTA, but the SOTA students help keep the Tacoma music scene alive and well. A particularly unique thing that SOTA does is it offers a wide variety of music electives such as songwriting, digital composition, studio work, and learning music theory. In order for the music department to maintain their unique classes, they need funding.
A question many Tacoma citizens would have is what is SOTA going to do with the money? Paul Eliot, the head of performing arts department responds, “There is always a need for instruments to be repaired. There is always a need for more instruments.” Eliot also mentioned that the money will be going towards the Arts and Residence Program, where the school hires working professional artists to come in and teach classes to high school kids.
Not only is Saucedo looking to support SOTA but is also hoping to inspire the UWT administration to further develop music classes or come up with a music program at UWT. “I feel like Tacoma is also very musical and I feel like performing arts is where our school lacks. Hopefully this will help further enhance the music department at UWT,” says Saucedo. SAB hopes that fundraising for SOTA music education will become a recurring theme each year for the spring benefit concert.
Not only does the Urban Music Project promote music education, but it also represents the Tacoma music scene that is alive and well. Ventura mentions, “There is so much local talent and there is so many coffee shops so anything that has a open mic gives the local musicians a chance to perform. ”