Coral Gables

Gulliver students turn their music passion into mentoring

Four students at Gulliver Preparatory School are making music with children.

The four — Daniel Garcia, Brett Gilbert, Daniel Mesko and Daniela Grava — have founded Amplified Miami, an organization that showcases young Miami musicians while raising money for Little Kids Rock — a New Jersey music program that serves underprivileged children.

“We got interested in music because of the music program [at school], and that’s how we found our passion,” said Daniela 17, who works as the communications manager for Amplified Miami. “Choosing an organization that gives [music programs] to underprivileged children who might not normally get that opportunity just made sense.”

The organization started in 2012 as a school club in which students could share their love of music and mentor underprivileged children.

After this summer, however, the students decided to take the club to the next level.

“I went to a summer program at NYU, and while I was there, I was inspired to make the club larger scale,” said Daniel, 17, a music producer and guitar player. “I thought we could reach more people this way and make a bigger impact with our donations.”

“Amplified Miami” is now in the process of becoming a non-profit entity. On Saturday, it will host its first charity benefit concert, “A Night of Music, Talent, and Entertainment,” at the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables.

The proceeds will go toward Little Kids Rock, a New Jersey-based charity begun by David Walsh, a school music teacher and professional musician, in 1996.

In the last decade, Little Kids Rock has serviced more than 300,000 children across the United States. The organization focuses on establishing long-term music programs in schools that have had their curriculum cut due to funding or have never had a music program.

Through the benefit concert, Amplified Miami hopes to showcase Miami’s up-and-coming rock, alternative, indie, hip-hop and urban music scene. The open mic event will feature local bands, such as Robby Hunter Band, Cannibal Kids and Thanks.

Admission is free, but Amplified Miami is accepting donations and sponsorships.

“Music has been a huge influence in my life, but I’m also inspired by giving back to the community,” Gilbert said. “It’s very important that every child has an opportunity to have music education.”

If you go

What: “A Night of Music, Talent, and Entertainment” benefit concert

When: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25

Where: Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables

Cost: Free, donations encouraged

For information: http://amplifiedmiami.weebly.com/

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