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Musician with Manu’a roots finds his focus during pandemic

Benjamin Liupaogo
Source: Manu’atele Facebook

Palo Alto, CALIFORNIA — Benjamin Liupaogo is a San Francisco Bay Area born and raised Samoan classical musician. He is an opera singer, pianist, voice teacher, piano teacher, vocal coach, music director, and music lover. He is a freelance artist that explores all avenues of being a performer. When the pandemic started, all performing arts shut down.

At the time of the shutdown, Benjamin was working towards completing his Doctorate Degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and pursuing a career in Opera. When the university shut down as of March 2020, Benjamin decided to move back home to California to be closer to his parents and family. At that time, Benjamin was ABD (all but dissertation) for his Doctoral Degree.

 When Benjamin moved back, he pursued other avenues since performing arts were shut down and on hold. Regional Pacific Islander Task Force reached out and asked Benjamin to work in public health for the Pacific Islander community.

Fast Forward to October 2020, Benjamin was hired on board as a CICT Team member with Regional Pacific Islander Task Force; this led to an education and trajectory different from that of music. It allowed for Benjamin to be involved with the Pacific Islander community as well as to have discussions with counties and other communities about the awareness of Pacific Islanders for health, housing, and assistance/resources.

This environment led Benjamin on a path to ensure that Pacific Islanders are heard and getting the help that is needed. It allowed Benjamin the opportunity to help his community.

 Benjamin is still involved with RPITF. However, he is now continuing his love for music as a full-time Professor at Stanford University. He has joined the voice faculty in the Music Department at Stanford University. He will be teaching Voice Classes from beginning to intermediate levels to undergraduates and graduates. He will teach private voice lessons to students based on their audition in the music department.

Along with teaching, Benjamin will continue to perform and collaborate as the performing arts scene slowly opens back up. While teaching and passing on the knowledge of singing to future students and artists, Benjamin will work towards completing his dissertation for his Doctorate degree.