Members of Lambda Chi Alpha combine music and community service

Special Olympic athlete, Steven Higgins, poses with Cisco Cervantes, Trysten Garcia, Michael Linseman and Scott Dow from Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at CSU-Pueblo.
Special Olympic athlete, Steven Higgins, poses with Cisco Cervantes, Trysten Garcia, Michael Linseman and Scott Dow from Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at CSU-Pueblo.

The brothers of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Colorado State University-Pueblo are regularly involved in community service and recently spent an afternoon performing music for developmentally disabled individuals at the Pueblo Community Resources Day Program.

Cisco Cervantes, Trysten Garcia, Michael Linseman and Scott Dow brought their musical talents to the center where they played several songs and taught listeners about their instruments.

Although they had only practiced together a couple of times, their renditions of Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” and “Neon Moon” by Brooks and Dunn brought laughter and smiles to their audience.

“We literally just started practicing together as a group the Sunday before the event on Tuesday,” explained Cervantes, who was featured on acoustic guitar. “We all have our own backgrounds, how we learned to play and the inspirations which encouraged us to do so. We all did learn on our own, though. I just knew that between the four of us, we had an extraordinary amount of talent and felt very confident about pulling this off.”

Dow grabbed the audience’s attention as lead guitarist by playing his red Stratocaster behind his head and then with his teeth.  Linseman tied the music together with his five string Ibanez bass.

Garcia, who provided the vocals, is a member of the choir at CSU-Pueblo along with several other Lambda Chi Alpha brothers.  When asked if they planned to turn the group into a real band, he shrugged and said they might.

“Maybe we’ll call ourselves the ‘Lambda Guys’,” he laughed.

Cervantes said, “I’m more than positive that we will be performing again, but as far as developing into a legitimate band, probably not.  We are simply having fun.”

Cervantes’ uncle, Manuel Casias, works at Pueblo Community Resources and along with his supervisor Theresa Sandoval, he helped arrange the group’s visit.  He said that on Tuesdays, those who attend the day program play music, and various staff members lead music classes.  To encourage learning, each of the four musicians took the time to explain a little about their instruments and field questions.

During the performance, a special certificate of recognition was presented to Steven Higgins who attends the day program at Pueblo Community Resources.  Higgins, a silver medalist in the Special Olympics, was made an unofficial brother in the CSU-Pueblo chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha.

Higgins, who was all smiles as he accepted his award, has played a number of sports including basketball, softball, volleyball and track and field.  His silver medal was awarded for football and he has become a celebrity among his friends who cheer him on as he plays for the Pueblo Crush, his local Special Olympics team.

“I love playing sports for the Pueblo Crush.  I’ll always be a Pueblo Crush, for life,” Higgins said.

He said he plans to continue competing in sports and is excited to be a part of the brotherhood of Lambda Chi Alpha.  According to Cervantes, Higgins’ unofficial status will allow him to participate in the fraternity’s events including tailgates and community service projects, and their door will always be open to him.

Lambda Chi Alpha’s community service work includes highway clean-up, the Feeding America Food Drive, working with housing students at CSU-Pueblo on move-in day and volunteering at the Pueblo Zoo.   Cervantes said they will definitely return to Pueblo Community Resources to play music and interact with the day program participants.

“We’ve only just begun,” he said.