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How Music Changed My Life

Hollywood promotion expert, middle school band director, college professor,
gospel singer – four grateful music scholars share their stories.

Sabi Lofgren’s music studies eventually led to a career in film production and promotion in Los Angeles. One of the most widely viewed creations is his 25-minute MFA thesis film Loon, which has been shown at about 30 film festivals worldwide and won several awards.

Sabi Lofgren’s music studies eventually led to a career in film production and promotion in Los Angeles. One of the most widely viewed creations is his 25-minute MFA thesis film Loon, which has been shown at about 30 film festivals worldwide and won several awards.

Hundreds of thousands of college scholarship dollars have been awarded to promising young Indian River County musicians over the years, yet contributors rarely get a close-up look at the return on their investment. A search into the whereabouts of four past Vero Beach Choral Society (VBCS) scholarship recipients turned up an Ocoee middle school band director, a product developer for Paramount Pictures, a Florida State University doctoral student assisting with the collegiate drum line, and an up-and-coming Christian music artist happy to still call Vero Beach home.

The foursome, though separated by space and years, independently profess their belief that life would have been radically and unthinkably different were it not for their musical studies. The musical arts have at various times and ways provided a sense of direction, a degree of hope, a measure of joy, and emotion-packed bouts of gratitude for the parents, mentors and benefactors who made their educational pursuits possible.

Erick “Sabi” Lofgren was already an accomplished pianist and trumpeter when he started at the University of Florida School of Music in the fall of 1999 with financial support from VBCS and the state’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program. Sabi was born in Minnesota, but as a young boy hop-scotched from Northern California to Indiana before landing in Vero Beach when his father was hired as director of the Vero Beach Museum of Art. “It was always difficult making new friends,” Sabi recalls. “But one thing that has always been a constant for me is music.”

Read the entire article in the February 2012 issue