RISE Benefit Concert is made to entertain
September 1, 2021
Sometimes you just have the music in you, and other times you just wanna get the music in you. Either way, the annual RISE Benefit Concert in Niwot will help satiate music lovers of all ages. The very danceable event returns Saturday, Sept. 11, for the fourth year following an obligatory COVID skip in 2020. This year the event will be held at Whistle Stop Park in Niwot at the corner of 1st Avenue and Murray Street, after the 2019 event was held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.
RISE stands for Remember in September, Jared Lizakowski's birthday month. Providing a legacy that celebrates the Niwot resident's love for music is why his mother and stepfather, Renae and Surinder Dahiya, formed the Jared Music foundation following a motorcycle accident that took the drummer's life at the age of 19 in 2016.
Renae Dahiya said, "We want to call this a celebration...a celebration of his life and passion for music."
Lizakowski was a drummer, who loved performing with his band. The foundation with his name has two goals: to make musical instruments available to students from kindergarten through high school, and to provide students access to vocal and instrumental music lessons. Since 2017, the organization has impacted the lives of more than 13 students and raised over $50,000 to support the love of music throughout St. Vrain Valley School District.
The free concert will hopefully encourage concert goers to pull a little something out of their pockets and put it in tip jars to support the foundation's good work. Drink sale proceeds also go toward the scholarship fund. All of the donations will go directly to support the students and are not used to cover the event's expenses, which have been covered by sponsors.
Even though the foundation was unable to raise funds in 2020, the scholarship program gave 5 students over the course of the year an opportunity to take music lessons, most over video conferencing.
This year's event will take place at Niwot's Whistle Stop Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 11 when the band shell will first be loaded with the 10-piece big sound of Zimbira. Your body will start swaying as soon as you feel the rhythm and sounds from the drums, electric bass guitar, and traditional African instruments of this robust Afro-fusion band.
Spanning a multitude of well-loved genres - golden oldies, Motown, jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock - Soul School will take the lead for the second half of the event. With another big sound group, the desire to dance or opportunity to enjoy others dancing will not wane for one moment.
Both bands are auditory and visual treats, so be prepared to move and smile the entire time Zimbira and Soul School are on stage.
Over the past year, the Jared Music Foundation added two new board members to its ranks. Vice president Diane Zimmerman was involved in soliciting event sponsors and raised $3,000 in the process. There are 12 local sponsors for the event: Niwot Compass, Wandering Jellyfish, Zenith Realty, 1914 House, Deborah Read Fowler Real Estate, The Wheel House, Niwot Wheel Works, Niwot Tavern, Old Oak Coffeehouse, 300 Suns Brewery and Fritz Family Brewers.
The second new board member, Niwot Elementary School teacher Julie Bryer, is identifying underserved schools in the district and is building relationships with teachers who will nominate students for foundation funds and instruments.
Each year the foundation puts out a call for scholarship nominees to apply online from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. After interviews are complete, awards are announced in December. Each recipient is given a $1,000 scholarship to put toward music lessons. Once the student has used the scholarship amount, they're given an opportunity to renew for additional funding.
"We're hoping to award $10,000 this year," Renae Dahiya said. She mentioned that a couple of drumming students had recently been granted scholarships, which was near and dear to her heart.
The instrument donation program collects and refurbishes used instruments to be distributed to students who are unable to afford to rent or purchase one of their own. Students who receive an instrument are often different students than the music education scholarship recipients. Instruments may be brought to the fundraising concert for donation.
Surinder Dahiya said the event came about, because they wanted to honor Jared, but it's also a way to give back to and thank the community while raising awareness of the positive impact of music education. That's a big part of why, he said, the new location in Niwot was selected - "to bring it back to the community that supports us the most."
Doors open at 3:45 p.m. Bring chairs and blankets -- the festival will go on, rain or shine. Local food trucks will be serving a variety of cuisine including meat and vegetarian options, in addition to ice cream. Beer, wine, and cocktails will be served out of the Depot building at Whistle Stop Park.
To learn more about the event, how to donate to the Jared Music Foundation, request an instrument, or to apply or nominate a student for a scholarship, visit http://www.jaredmusic.org.