Santa Barbara Education Foundation and 99.9 KTYD Continue to Keep the Beat for Local Students

By Giving List Staff   |   February 3, 2022
SBEF will host a contactless instrument donation site every Friday in February at their offices at 1330 State Street and at Nick Rail Music at 2801 De La Vina Street

Since 2003, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has kept the beat for school music programs by raising funds to pay for instruction and collecting instruments. The efforts have ensured that every elementary school student in SB Unified learns to play an instrument as part of their school day curriculum, a rarity for California school districts.  

In recent years, SBEF staff and local music education advocates have taken to the airwaves on 99.9 KTYD to ask for community support. During last year’s Keep the Beat Instrument Drive, SBEF brought in $30,000 in funding and 60 donated instruments, including Indian string instruments, accordions, cellos, and a piccolo that will go directly into the hands of students in SB Unified music programs. 

With so much depending on the annual event, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation will again join 99.9 KTYD for the entire month of February for the Keep the Beat Instrument Drive. The on-air event will serve as an awareness raiser and celebration of SB Unified’s student musicians. 

“We are always stunned by the way our community comes together to support students with the gift of music,” stated SBEF Executive Director Margie Yahyavi. “It’s such a huge win for our students! In addition to the problem-solving and cooperative learning skills learned through playing music, having a creative outlet can be such a huge benefit for a child, especially during this challenging time,”

The month-long radio event will feature SB Unified music teachers and local professional musicians taking to the airwaves to rally the community’s support of music education in local public schools.  This year’s guests include George Pendergast of Dishwalla, Santa Barbara High School music and band director Dylan Aguilera, and Rick Boller from the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation. 

SBEF will also host a contactless instrument donation site every Friday in February from 9 am to 2 pm at their offices at 1330 State Street. Instrument donations are also accepted at Nick Rail Music at 2801 De La Vina Street.

Do you have an instrument gathering dust? Donate your used instruments to put them directly into a student’s hands in a local school music program. For more information on the Keep the Beat Instrument Drive, please visit or call 805-284-9125. 


Santa Barbara Education Foundation

Donate now!
(805) 284-9125
Executive Director: Pedro Paz


Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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I have always been impressed with Keep the Beat as it fosters a love of music in children that can last a lifetime. I learned to love music when I was young and wanted to help our young folks experience that same love in their formative years.
Anne Towbes
Music Education Supporter

Helping Teachers Help Students

The agenda for the 2022/2023 school year is to close the gap and achieve more funding for Teacher Grants while focusing on literacy development and mental health. Despite the $223,000 gap that the Santa Barbara Education Foundation is currently experiencing, their diligence and thoughtfulness bear every single student in mind.

You can help countless students like Bella find their voice.

Key Supporters

Arnesen Family Foundation
Timothy and Louise Casey
Andrew and Mary Jane Cooper
Daniel and Mandy Hochman
Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation
James S. Bower Foundation
John L. Carleton Foundation
Senator Monique Limón
J.M. Lind
Superintendent Dr. Hilda Maldonado
Sara Miller McCune
Mithun Family Foundation
Mosher Foundation
Santa Barbara Foundation
Nick Rail
April Thede
Towbes Foundation
Walter J. & Holly O.
Thomson Foundation
Wood-Claeyssens Foundation
Zegar Family Foundation