Yahuba Garcia-Torres ’96 has been rocking the national music scene since 2006 as a member of the Ryan Montbleau Band (which headlined at Boardinghouse Park). Yahuba—who sings and plays congas, timbales, bongo and glockenspiel—has toured, recorded and played with musicians like Martin Sexton, Dave Matthews, ALO, Jack Johnson and Los Lobos.
He says UMass Lowell gave him his musical foundation. “Durgin Hall is a special place to me,” says Yahuba, who was an English and music performance major. “I discovered a lot about my musical self in that building and spent countless hours practicing in there."
"The recording facilities in the building were also an extra special feature that allowed us to record and capture a lot of great moments in our musical development. I still dig up those old recordings from time to time and listen to who I was back then.”
He also fondly remembers a University trip to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
“I spent the day with Dr. Ogasapian, who was one of the most feared and demanding teachers in the Music Department,” he says. “I got to see a side of him that day that not many other students got to see. He gave me and my friend a personal tour of the musical instrument wing of the museum that was worthy of several course credits. After the museum, we had a few hours left before getting on the bus, so he took us to some of New York’s most famous churches to show us their pipe organs, as he happened to be one of the world’s leading experts on pipe organs. I’ll never forget it.”