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Violinist Vijay Gupta inspires student to use music for public good

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To many people, music is a form of entertainment, but for violinist Vijay Gupta, music is a public health tool. This is what the musician and activist told students in the Metea auditorium this past Tuesday. In collaboration with the ArtSpeaks organization, Gupta has been speaking and performing at various high schools across the country, including schools in district 204 and at the Wentz Concert Hall Wednesday night.

Gupta, who has been playing since he was four and has been a member of the L.A. Philharmonic since he was nineteen, is the founder of the organization Street Symphony. The organization uses music as a vehicle to help lift the homeless and impoverished in Los Angeles, particularly the community in Skid Row. They have held over 350 performances in the last eight years.

In his talks, Gupta emphasized how the issues of homelessness and poverty are directly related to how society treats mental illness. The key to solving that issue, Gupta described, was through civic engagement and using music’s ability to connect people on a common ground. These ideas inspired and connected to students and audience members.

“It was the way he described engagement, where it wasn’t just about speaking at people, but having a conversation where both parties left with a better understanding of not only the world but themselves,” Waubonsie senior Zeel Parikh said.

Part of the connection that students and audience members felt was due to Gupta’s own narrative.

“His ability to move past his parents’ expectations to do what he loves in helping other people really motivated me to be content with what I want to do rather than follow the expectations of other people.” Waubonsie senior Zeel Parikh said.


Gupta and the Street Symphony organization hope to develop a sort of blueprint to help activists and musicians build similar organizations in their cities. The ‘toolkit’, as Gupta described it, would be free and they hope to make it easily accessible on their website.

About the Contributor
Thuy-An Nguyen, Headlines Reporter
Thuy-An Nguyen is a senior and a headlines writer. This is her first year on the staff and when she’s not drawing or painting on anything she can find, you can find her taking photos, reading three books, and trying to achieve a hip life aesthetic.

16 Responses to “Violinist Vijay Gupta inspires student to use music for public good”

  1. Abby on March 3rd, 2018 1:06 pm

    I was deeply moved by his performance and speech with vids

  2. Reality Doctor on March 5th, 2018 11:15 am

    You know what else should be inspired to use music for, the comment section. There are so many mean people and nobody is speaking up, until now…

  3. Nintendo #1 Fan on March 5th, 2018 1:53 pm

    Tell me about it. It’s dumb how some users bring people who just give their opinions down, and the mods don’t seem to do anything about it.

  4. That's Harsh on March 9th, 2018 2:22 pm

    Why don’t we form an alliance?

  5. Nintendo #1 Fan on March 9th, 2018 2:23 pm

    We might as well form an alliance

  6. Reality Doctor on March 12th, 2018 1:40 pm

    That’s not a bad idea, actually. Then it’s settled.

  7. That's Harsh on March 13th, 2018 7:24 am


  8. nice on March 5th, 2018 2:11 pm

    Can we all agree that Vijay Gupta is more powerful than Goku?

  9. alright buddy on March 7th, 2018 9:26 pm

    Clearly you cannot even comprehend the simple nature of reality. The fact is, Goku is unfathomably more powerful than Vijay Gupta could ever hope to be. You see, Goku has the power of Ultra Instinct and his Super Saiyan forms on his side. What does Vijay have? The power of music? You can’t be serious. Vijay’s power level isn’t even close to Goku’s (which is over 150 million, by the way). Why don’t you open your mind to what real life is truly like and accept the fact that Vijay has no chance of ever beating Goku.

  10. nice on March 8th, 2018 12:29 pm

    This might just be the dumbest response I have ever seen. Someone who thinks Goku is more powerful than Vijay is a degenerate. Vijay has the power of both creation and destruction. Vijay was responsible for all life on this planet, and is higher than god himself. In fact, Vijay CREATED Goku, so obviously Goku can’t be as powerful as Vijay. Vijay’s power level is estimated to be infinity times as high as Goku, to merely comprehend this amount of power would kill all but the most savvy Rick and Morty viewers. You just have to accept reality, and not live in some fairy tale world where Goku is more powerful than Vijay.

  11. okay kiddo on March 8th, 2018 9:06 pm

    You say that Vijay created Goku, but you neglect to mention the fact that Goku is an all powerful being that has existed among the stars since the dawn of the universe. Also, Vijay’s power level simply cannot be infinity times as high as Goku’s because infinity isn’t even a real number. If you think that Goku was created by a higher power, then you are disgustingly mistaken. You see, Goku is the higher power. Goku is the all-mighty being that watches over us as we tie our shoes and pour milk into our cereal bowls. Vijay Gupta is outclassed by Goku’s unfathomably high power level, and Richard Sanchez himself likely could not begin to understand the magnitude of Goku’s power. Vijay obviously does not stack up against the universal force that is Goku. Among the infinite parallel universes, there is not a single one where Vijay could ever hope to best Goku. If you truly believe Vijay to be more powerful, then you need to seek psychiatric help immediately.

  12. Auto Moderator on March 9th, 2018 10:16 am

    Well, since I can’t directly respond to your previous comment I will do it here. Firstly, I have to address your assertion that Goku is a supernatural being. That is false, Goku was made by Vijay, just like all other living things in the universe. Secondly, There is historic evidence that PROVES that Vijay’s power is infinity times as high as Goku. In Romans 1:20 it says: “Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power, and divine nature. ” Here, it clearly shows that Vijay has eternal and unceasing power. Additionally, it is clear of Rick’s reverence for Vijay in his catchphrase “wubba lubba dub dub” because he is imitating the sound of Vijay’s violin and is showing that he respects the fearsome power of Vijay. So, due to these mounds of evidence it is clear that Vijay is much more powerful than Goku, perhaps infinitely times as powerful. I think you need to look deeply into your flawed beliefs and atone for your sins by asking Vijay for forgiveness.

  13. Reality Doctor on March 6th, 2018 9:54 am

    You always write the best articles, despite that you didn’t tell us which teacher got injured on that one article.

  14. Cialisonline on March 16th, 2018 8:36 am

    Thanks Kathrine dear!!

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Violinist Vijay Gupta inspires student to use music for public good