Matthias Lupri here writing from Santa Fe, New Mexico as team leader for the Berklee Gracenotes Habitat for Humanity trip 2017. Eight of us recently arrived via flying to Albuquerque on Monday (then a fun van drive) and looking forward to a full week of helping out. We are scheduled to assist building a home at Oshara Village for some much deserving folks through the Habitat for Humanity Santa Fe organization.

Above is completed Pueblo styled small home with Adobe wall right next door to our build site, built by Habitat for Humanity for people who cannot afford housing in Santa Fe.



This will be my second time doing a Gracenotes trip after first going to New Orleans a number of years ago. It was extremely rewarding and moving, working side by side with the young couple who were in need after Hurricane Katrina, and would be making that their new home. This trip will be the first time for Gracenotes Berklee in Santa Fe after a good stint of 10 years helping out in New Orleans. Along also are Joanna, Adam, Nathan, Jeremy, Alissa, Ellen and Lauren.


New Mexico and Santa Fe have a high poverty rate and we appreciate the opportunity from Berklee to be given a chance to help out a bit, while also getting to know our teammates better outside of our regular college environment. We also have Alissa from Boston Conservatory joining us since the merger came through, which is great as we are learning more about BoCo from her perspective too.

After many various ways of motorized travel to get here we have had a day to check out the Santa Fe town and surrounding area by foot and get a feel for the region       first. It has a rich history and strong culture with many various different arts.  The seeds of these arts are everywhere within the culture and surrounding earth , and we are letting it all sink in as we walk around the sites, architecture and history .



After a group dinner with lively discussion of the day, and of the new home building adventure in front of us, we got some rest before construction began.

Day 3 we were bright and early at the Habitat for Humanity building site. The site has 19 homes that are being built and they have over 100 in Santa Fe.  Framing and siding was the main work of the day.



It was very rewarding full first day on the site and we were working with a great Habitat for Humanity Team from various parts of America, many who were with AmeriCorps.

Over the next few days we learned much about framing, siding, sheet rock, and much of what goes into building these Habitat Homes.  Teamwork and working hand in hand is really what it is all about.


We also got out on the town and saw some more of the cultural offerings

Carolina is the new owner of the new framed home and it was great to hear her story and how Habitat has helped her. She works a lot on the home during the weekends and is learning many new skills also.

The communal aspect of the whole overall experience was amazing and really shows how people can come together for positive change. Thank you again Berklee, Habitat for Humanity, and Gracenotes for this opportunity.

Please keep an eye at Berklee for monthly offerings of local Boston volunteer opportunities via Gracenotes, and come on out and meet fellow members of Berklee working within the community.




Matthias Lupri
Associate Director, Percussion Technology

Vibraphonist, composer, painter, alum ’94