Not long after discovering a shared passion for combining music with social change and service, then school of music students Stephen Spies B.A. ’17 and Kyle Dombroski M.M. ‘17 sought to form a band. The two, who met while teaching at an elementary school in Compton with the UCLA Music Partnership Program, recruited likeminded music students, sisters Kate Bacich B.A. ‘18 and Rebecca Bacich B.A. ‘19. The result is orchestral, pop-rock band Hello Noon.
“We want to bring a positive message to the music industry,” said Hello Noon. “In a media filled with negativity and toxic messages, we strive to bring a message of hope to the world.”
Hello Noon has already performed for and worked with organizations such as the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, the UCLA Veteran Family Wellness Center, the Healthy Campus Initiative, Best Buddies International, and the LA Cancer Challenge.
This month, the band released a new music video for its song “Run Free,” in partnership with Special Olympics of Southern California. The song is about inclusion.
“We wanted to create a visual story that would correspond to the lyrics,” said the band. “The song and the video celebrate neurodiversity and highlight the intelligence, kindness and positivity Special Olympics Athletes demonstrate that we can all learn from.”
The partnership was sparked by Caley Versfelt, a Special Olympics swimmer and athlete from the Bacich’s hometown. Versfelt, who is featured in the video, made an introduction to Special Olympics Southern California. The organization joined the project and worked with the band to cast two more athletes, Cole Sibus and Jared Cozak.
“I hear a lot of people saying to me, ‘Oh, I’m not beautiful enough or I’m not smart enough,” said Verselt in the video. “But guess what? You have the best two qualities and that’s your friendship, and your personality to other people.”
Most of the audio in the video was recorded at the recording studio in the Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center and, in fact, the band recorded an entire album of work at the school’s state-of-the-art facilities, all at no cost to the students, as is the school’s policy. Several of the band members were also scholarship recipients.
“We are so grateful for the support from the UCLA music community,” said Hello Noon. “Not only financially, but also academically, our values as a band have been sculpted by the lessons we’ve learned at UCLA.”
For every share of Hello Noon’s Facebook post, the band will donate $1 to Special Olympics of California.
To support students like Stephen, Kyle, Kate and Rebecca, consider making a contribution of any amount to the school of music’s scholarship program, here.