Form meets substance


Tim Allen singing. (Danielle Barcena / DVC Inquirer)

Students looking to perform, get experiences and receive advice from a music expert will get just that in Steve Sage’s music performance class.

 “At the end of the semester, I want my students to be better musicians,” instructor Steve Sage said.

This semester, Sage teaches Music 105 which focuses on blues, rock and R&B performance and Music 107, live popular concert performance and production.

Students form bands in the beginning of the semester and spend the rest of the time practicing to perform outside of school.

These performance-based classes meet once a week. Bands get up in front of their peers every class session and perform while Sage watches and offers advice.

24 bands have been formed this semester; each one of them will have the opportunity to perform in 16 different shows.

This year, bands will perform at the Walnut Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Heather Farm Park & Community Center in Walnut Creek.

Sage, who has toured with artists such as Little Anthony and The Imperials, uses his experience in music to guide his students.

He doesn’t expect his students to have knowledge or talent before joining the class.

 “You just need a strong desire to perform,” Sage said.

His students have come to respect the class and value the insight he offers. For example, DVC student Tim Allen has taken his class six times.

“I like that I’m given the opportunity to play at gigs,” Allen said. “I get real-life experience in this class.”

Both first-time and repeating students agree that Sage has been the driving force behind the class.

From learning about the music industry to honing a desire for music, Sage’s class helps students in a variety of ways.

Kerri Jones, granddaughter of highly acclaimed drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, said that Sage has taught her about the music business.

“I’m learning a lot in this class that my grandfather didn’t tell me about,” Jones said.

Business major Ashley Andreatta has taken Sage’s class three times.

“Music is just something I love,” she said.

 “This class specifically allows me to socialize. You make a lot of connections. And the whole point of music is to bring people together,” Andreatta said.

Philip Liborio Gangi, photo editor for neighborhood newspaper ‘The Richmond Review’ and ‘The Sunset Bacon’, has made a hobby of taking photographs of this class during practices and shows.

“They’re young and you get a lot of exciting energy,” Gangi said. “It’s also one of the few times you get a performing class who goes out and represents the school in public gigs.”