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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Los Altos High duo collaborates to raise money for EP


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Best friends and Los Altos High students Zach Gospe, from left, and Riley Soward created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record Gospe’s EP. Gospe is the musician and Soward is his manager.

United in song since an art lesson in kindergarten at Almond School, Zach Gospe and Riley Soward have a friendship cemented by music.

The two Los Altos High School seniors are collaborating to create Gospe’s first professional EP (extended play, a recording that’s more than a single but not a full album), with Soward acting as his manager.

After meeting with Mark Mazzetti – an executive with Entertainment, Music and Media – Soward and Gospe began raising money to record the EP in Los Angeles with Mazzetti as producer.

The journey

Gospe was raised in a musical family and began playing piano at age 5. At 8, he took up drums and joined his parents’ jazz ensemble at the Community School of Music and Arts. At 12, he picked up a guitar and began writing his own music.

“I really like the freedom the guitar has as a writing tool and as an instrument,” said Gospe, who mentioned John Mayer and Eric Clapton as musical inspirations.

Last summer Gospe attended the GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles, which pairs pros in the music business with high school students with musical aspirations.

“It was kind of an overwhelming, immersive jump into the music industry,” said Gospe, adding that the camp taught him how to be a songwriter within the music business while still maintaining his creativity as an artist.

Gospe has recorded his music before. Through one of Soward’s social-media connections, the duo borrowed some high-tech equipment and recorded five songs in a cozy Los Altos Hills cabin. The first EP featured only Gospe and his guitar.

Gospe and Soward attended the West Coast Songwriters Conference at Foothill College two months ago. Gospe sat in on songwriting lectures while Soward learned about the business side of the music industry.

After studying the faces of prominent people in the music business attending the conference, Soward spotted Mazzetti and introduced himself. After chatting a bit about Gospe, Soward introduced the two and they handed Mazzetti a copy of their first EP.

“It was unusual, because most people of his status in the music industry won’t call you back,” Soward said. “But he listened to the EP and he liked it, so he called us.”

Mazzetti owns Record Company in a Box, which provides one-on-one, specialized artist development for artists, singers and songwriters seeking commercial success. Mazzetti has worked with top-selling artists such as Mayer, Janet Jackson and Sting.

The EP

The return call from Mazzetti inspired Soward and Gospe to find creative ways to raise money for recording the EP with Mazzetti and professional studio musicians.

“It’s such a big project and it’s my dream,” said Gospe, who connects with Mazzetti twice a week via Skype to work on his song development. “It’s one of those projects that you can keep pouring time into and it just keeps getting better and better.”

Soward has spent several hours on the pair’s Kickstarter campaign, an online platform for creative projects that fundraises via pledges. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the EP.

The two have been spreading the word at performances during school functions and local house concerts.

“It’s been cool to see him grow as a performer,” Soward said of Gospe. “We’ve scaled up the performances slowly. Seeing him grow as an artist is pretty impressive.”

They see the EP as a way to showcase Gospe’s talent and range as a musician and songwriter. Gospe said he hopes the six radio-quality tracks are a “stepping stone” to greater things.

Mazzetti said he is impressed with Gospe and Soward, praising their “real passion and enthusiasm.” After they make the EP, Mazzetti plans to help Gospe secure a distribution contract from a record company in Los Angeles.

Gospe and Soward are excited about the possibility, but they won’t regret all the hard work if it doesn’t pan out.

“This has the potential to be big, but even if it doesn’t go anywhere, this process has been great for us,” Soward said.

To donate to the Kickstarter campaign and for more information, visit kickstarter.com/projects/2032161415/zach-gospe-17-year-old-singer-songwriter-original.


Musicians on the rise: Zach Gospe and Riley Soward - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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