Matt Glickstein is a songwriter and musician born and raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. His commitment to helping the environment, his community, and those in need has led him to writing Songs for a Better World.
Songs For a Better World was inspired by the tragic events that took place in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Glickstein was moved to create a music video tribute to bring comfort to all those affected, and composed Steppingstone: A Benefit Ballad for Japan.
In January 2012, Glickstein collaborated with students from Lanai High and Elementary School to write and record several songs and music videos. Working together with their classroom teacher, Sandy Patterson, Glickstein and Lanai’s fourth grade class (Class of 2020) wrote songs about peace (Singing to the World), the environment (Every Day is Earth Day and Being Green), and more. The children’s passion inspired ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (pictured left) to accompany them in their first music video.
The work of Glickstein and his students has generated local, national, and international recognition. The Singing to the World music video was shown worldwide during two Dalai Lama events in Honolulu in April 2012, and the song was also selected as a finalist in the John Lennon Song Writing Contest. The Every Day is Earth Day music video won the Debris From the Sea Contest, as well as the Project Earth 2012 Earth Day Contest (national). Dream What Could Be Done, a song and music video about Hawaii’s homeless, was featured in the Huffington Post, and Glickstein was selected to be the opening speaker at the Statewide Homeless Awareness Conference. In honor of their accomplishments, Glickstein and his students were formally recognized by the Maui County Council, and received a Proclamation from Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa.
In November, 2012, One World, a music video about the past, present, and future of Lana’i, and the hopeful realization of Larry Ellison’s vision, was selected as the winner of the Eia’o Lana’i Film and Video Contest, sponsored by the Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i and the High Maka Maka Film Society.
Matt is also the founder and Executive Director of the Lana'i Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA). He has served as Music Director for every LAPA musical (11) since the organization was formed in 2013. He also wrote the original musicals "Island Below the Star" (2013) and "Day of Conquest: A Story of Kaululāʻau (2019), which were performed by LAPA.
Matt was awarded one of the highest honors an individual can receive at the 2019 Junior Theater Festival. It is given to a person who has shown that a musical is much more than just a performance – it is an opportunity to make a positive, life-long impact on a young person’s life.
He received an all-expense paid trip to New York City, complete with professional development, Broadway performances and unforgettable celebrations as well as $5,000 from Freddie and Myrna Gershon to enhance the Lanai Academy of Performing Arts arts program.