Alumnus inspires with his music

Delilah Brumer


Matthew Sarenana rapidly strums his guitar, smiling. The college junior attends Sonoma State University and has become well-adjusted to the college life.

“A lot of the things we see in high school apply to college,” Sarenana said. “I would encourage you to try to make friends as soon as possible.”

On April 23, Sarenana spoke with Hambright’s music students on Zoom, three years after graduating from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. His major is jazz music education and he plays eight instruments including the piano, guitar, saxophone, trumpet, and violin. He has struggled with being away from home and a very intense workload but has worked hard to overcome these challenges.

“Some of the challenges I faced are how the classes are all spaced out and how some of the classes feel really heavy with work,” the 20-year-old said. “Time management was one of the toughest things.”

While at DPMHS, Sarenana performed in Daniel Pearl World Music Day and with other music students formed a band The Sardines. He also won a music scholarship in 2016,

Sarenana will continue to work toward achieving his dreams, and hopes to one day teach music to others. His major will allow him to earn his teaching credential and spread his love for music to his students. He will graduate in 2021. 

“Being a music major is a tough major, but ultimately it’s so much fun,” Sarenana said.