Keep the Beat Instrument Drive Brings in Over 140 Instruments for School Music Programs

By Giving List Staff   |   March 8, 2022

Last month, 99.9 KTYD dedicated all of February to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s Keep the Beat Instrument Drive. The on-air event appealed to the community for donations to Santa Barbara Unified music programs and yielded 140 musical instruments and over $10,000 in support. 

The month-long radio event celebrated the power of music education with interviews with SB Unified music teachers and local professional musicians like Glen Phillips to young aspiring musicians like Dos Pueblos High School Drum Major Andrew Ji. All joined forces to send the message of the importance of school music programs and ask for donations of used instruments collected at weekly drop-off events. 

According to Santa Barbara Junior High Music Teacher Brett Larsen, “It means a lot to me to be on the Keep the Beat radiothon. It helps the music lovers in our community make the connection between their favorite artists and the potential future artists that I have in my music class.”

The efforts resulted in the Keep the Beat’s largest instrument drive yet yielded everything from more common donations like guitars and violins to the obscure, like an electric ukulele and a didgeridoo from Australia. Although the donations are diverse, the common thread is that they will go into the hands of students in SB Unified music programs. 

Larsen sees first-hand how donated instruments elevate musical learning opportunities for his students. “And the instruments that people donate! To upgrade a promising young musician from a rental quality instrument to a professional quality instrument is priceless. It brings them that much closer to achieving their dreams.”

Special thanks to the Johnson Ohana, Foundation, Pacific Premier Bank, and, Nick Rail Music for supporting the Keep the Beat Instrument Drive.

Since 2003, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has kept the beat for school music programs by raising funds to pay for music instruction and collecting instruments for local school music programs. For more information, visit


Santa Barbara Education Foundation

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(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