By Bree Reyes |Staff Writer|
The proceeds from the concert will go to creating a scholarship under Ramadan’s name, upon which a CSUSB student majoring in music, who possesses stellar academic achievement, work ethic, and musical talent will be eligible to receive.
“I think we all felt collectively as a faculty, and as students that we wanted to do something,” said Dr. Erik Jester, director of bands at CSUSB.
“And being musicians, we perform music…I’m glad that the students and his friends that are alumni are finally able to do something in his honor. I think that has been kind of a universal sentiment that everybody has had. We want to do something. We want to play music. That is what Danny would have wanted to do,” continued Jester.
According to police and reported by the San Bernardino Sun, Ramadan was taken off life support at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton after a head-on collision on Little Mountain Road in the Summer of 2014.
The 21-year-old had just graduated in the Spring of 2014 with high honors from the music department.
Girlfriend, Leslie Gonzalez, was badly injured. According to the San Bernardino Sun’s report, police said the driver, 30-year-old Jose Luis Zacarias, “crossed the road’s double yellow line and hit the car Ramadan was driving. He was killed in the crash.”
The concert is a celebration of Ramadan’s life in music, and the music being played will reflect that celebration.
Almost all students from the CSUSB music department will be performing, along with some alumni and guest soprano Dr. Stacey Fraser, who will be performing with the CSUSB symphonic band.
According to Jester, the pieces of music were selected to “strike the balance between reflective of Danny’s life but celebratory.” CSUSB’s chamber singers will perform a tune that Ramadan sang, the brass ensemble will be performing two pieces that Ramadan personally arranged for the group during his time at CSUSB, and the symphonic band will perform “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” and “Irish Tune” from “County Derry”, whose lyrics include the phrase “Oh Danny Boy.”
“When there are no words left, we turn to music,” said Jester. “In this case, we are turning to music, not only to express our sense of loss but to absolutely celebrate his life, and that is what this concert is all about.”
The benefit concert will be held in the Santos Manuel Student Union Event Center on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.tickets are $10 and free parking will be provided in Lot D.