Story and photo by Darrell James/Photo and Images Editor/@DarrellJames_
Students and employees hosted a fundraiser Saturday, May 14, from 5-10 p.m. at Rebel Bite Pizza on Broadway Street in Long Beach.
Part-time teacher Andrea Calderwood assisted in organizing the event with students who wanted to find a good way to help aspiring musicians and vocalists in funding their studies and showcasing their skills.
“I thought, let’s have an event where students can be in charge of the show, do their thing and let their personalities shine while bringing them together to raise money for their careers, I know how hard it is to be a student in Community College and income can play a big role in progressing sometimes.”
From guitarist to drummers, the show allowed students a chance to show off their talents. Bands formed by students who shared similar musical ambitions took to the center of the room to express themselves through music. Prizes and incentives donated from neighboring businesses available for participants of the fundraiser which drew on excitement from a full crowd.
Political science major Ian Beebe, 20, who is also part of a jazz band, said, “The jazz scene in Long Beach is fantastic. We’ve played at a few venues in the area, but not this place. It’s awesome. It’s really great to have teachers who believe in us and want us to be the best that we can be, giving us the opportunity for that tonight.”
Beebe plays piano alongside his other band members in their jazz group called Steven Time & Refried Beans, which has played together for a year and a half.
Saxophone player and music major Den Fernandes, 20, who is also a band member with Beebe said “The event tonight is great with nice balanced and consistent crowd for being a small venue. Usually with jazz events there are always packed.”
Fernandes has played saxophone for 14 years and plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach once his studies are complete at LBCC.
“My next pursuit is to go on to Cal State Long Beach and to audition for their jazz program. Right now they are impacted with saxophone players. I’m spending most of my time here practicing,” Fernandes said.
Calderwood along with other supporters hopes continuing raising money after the event will help students reach their academic and musical goals.
Calderwood said, “I hope that we raise enough money so that no one has to worry about any fees or financial obstacles when applying to other colleges. I hope that we also have enough money to visit the schools where students would like to go.”