Santa Barbara Education Foundation and 99.9 KTYD Work to Amplify Community Support for Music Education

In a harmonious collaboration, 99.9 KTYD and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) proudly announce the return of the Keep the Beat Instrument Drive, a month-long radio event dedicated to advancing music education in Santa Barbara Unified schools.

Now in its sixth year, the impactful initiative has consistently supported music programs and educators in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. With a successful track record, last year’s campaign saw SBEF raising $10,000 in funding and collecting 60 instruments. This year, the collaborative effort aims to surpass these achievements and continue its mission of providing essential resources for music education in public schools.

Throughout February, 99.9 KTYD Morning Mojo hosts Lin Aubuchon and Bill Pesso will air captivating interviews and performances featuring current Santa Barbara Unified music students, dedicated educators, and professional musicians whose musical journeys originated in public school music programs. Among this year’s notable guests are guitarist Tony Ybarra, Karl Hunter of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and drummer Bucket Baker.

Keep the Beat has supported music programs and educators in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Since its inception in 2003, the initiative has raised funds to purchase new instruments, facilitate repairs, and compensate specialists and coaches who assist band directors in nurturing young musical talent.

Gently used instruments most needed for donation include clarinets, trumpets, saxophones, trombones, flutes, cellos, basses, and violins. It’s important to note that pianos and drum sets cannot be accepted at drop-off locations.

Community partners Nick Rail Music (2801 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara) , Jersey Mike’s (163 N. Fairview Ave, Goleta), and Raymond Music (7320 Hollister Ave #6, Goleta) have generously offered to serve as drop-off locations for instrument donations throughout the month. Additionally, SBEF will host in-person instrument drop-off events at selected school sites every Friday from 10 am to 1 pm.

Finding the right instrument can be transformative for students with a love of music. Lucca, a 7th-grade La Cumbre Junior High School student who performed live on-air at the 99.9 KTYD studios during last year’s Instrument Drive, received a donation of her “dream” guitar. Lucca shared, “My love for music has grown exponentially from receiving such a high-quality instrument. I will love and play this guitar for the rest of my life.”

However, Keep The Beat doesn’t just collect instruments to put them directly in the hands of students. SBEF aims to raise funds to support the repair and maintenance of instruments students currently use. These contributions also create additional musical learning opportunities by paying specialists to work with students in free after-school programs like BRAVO! and affordable learning opportunities like the Nick Rail Summer Band Camp.

Katie Szopa, Programs Manager at SBEF, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “Keep The Beat represents a collective effort to ensure every student in Santa Barbara Unified has access to high-quality music education. Through instrument donations and financial support, the community can contribute to the growth and enrichment of our students on their musical journey.”

SBEF and 99.9 KTYD invite everyone to participate in this initiative through instrument and cash donations or by attending Happy Hour at The Red Piano on Thursday, February 29, from 5 to 8 pm. To learn more about the Keep the Beat Instrument Drive or donate, please visit

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