It’s a concert its organizer Bret Carpenter wished he never had to put together.
But, at the same time, it was a giving time of year, and there was a great need in Santa Clarita. And Carpenter had the ability to get it done.
He knows people. Musicians. Among them: Such top-selling artists as Richard Marx and Colin Hay of “Men at Work.”
So on Christmas Eve he announced a special “all-star concert to benefit victims from the Saugus High School shooting.” It’s scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Canyon Club, Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Familiar performers taking to the stage will include:
- Richard Marx: The singer, songwriter, producer and Grammy nominee has sold more than 30 million albums internationally. He’s snagged four Top 5 singles, including No. 1 songs “Hold on to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.”
- Colin Hay: The Scottish–Australian musician, singer, songwriter was lead vocalist for the Australian megaband Men at Work. They topped the charts with such hits as “Overkill,” “Who Can it Be Now?” and “Down Under.”
- Jeff Babko: A veteran studio keyboardist and pianist who performs on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. His CD is “Crux.”
- Amy Keys: A singer who has appeared with Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and Toto.
- Gregg Bissonette: Best known as the drummer for David Lee Roth’s band.
- Steve Lukather: A founding member of the band Toto.
- And Warren Ham: Vocalist, saxophonist and flautist from Texas.
It might be a new year, but the memories of what happened at Saugus High School on the morning of Nov. 14, 2019, remain fresh. The concert aims to at least to soothe some of that pain, while raising money to help benefit victims and their families.
On Nov. 14, just before first period, a student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita pulled a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun out of his backpack and opened fire for 16 seconds in the campus quad. It was his 16th birthday.
The spurt of violence killed two students, 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell, and left three injured.
The rest of the school was sent into panic, barricading inside classrooms and even jumping fences to flee campus. The shooter later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Weeks of mourning by the Santa Clarita community precluded the resumption of classes two weeks later.
Investigators said they did not find a manifesto or suicide note, but did determine that the weapon was a so-called ‘ghost gun’ – a home-assembled, unregistered gun untraceable by law enforcement. Similar homemade guns were found in a cache of weapons at the shooter’s home which belonged to his recently deceased father, reportedly an avid hunter.
In this era of campus violence, Saugus High School had prepared. An active shooter drill was conducted on campus just weeks prior, of which at least one classroom gunshot wound kit was used in the attack.
The phrase #SaugusStrong remains visible all over Santa Clarita, and students now have access to a wellness center offering mental and emotional resources.
If you go
- Benefit concert for victims of Saugus High Shooting
- Sunday, Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m.
- Canyon Club, Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Blvd., #1351, Santa Clarita.
- Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets $10 (standing room only); $40 table tickets require dinner purchase ($25 minimum); two-drink minimum for all tickets.
- Information: 888-645-5006.
Source: Orange County Register