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Scott Steepleton, Editor
8:57 am PDT August 21, 2020

One of the drags about the pandemic is the inability to hold grand gatherings when we lose an “important person.”

Not naming-rights important. With the right amount of money, anybody can buy their way onto a stadium or tall building.

Not street-named-for-a-living-politician important. See above.

Important in the sense that the person touched the soul.

In that regard, longtime Malibuite Sara Banta, who died recently at 81, was important.

As we report here, Banta was a widow from Indiana who wanted a better life for herself and her two young sons, so she packed them up and moved west to Malibu.

She would study music at USC. She would teach it at Pepperdine. She would use it to lift the glory of her God at her local Episcopal church.

Music was in her blood from an early age — and from St. Aidan’s to Santa Barbara to across Southern California, she used music to touch the soul.

A tribute will be live-streamed on the St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church Facebook page following the 10 a.m. service Aug. 23. (The service generally lasts around 30 minutes.)

If you knew her, tune in.

If you didn’t, sing something in her memory, strum the guitar, beat the heck out of those drums.

Whistle while you work.

Like Sara Banta, you will touch a soul.

And that’s important.

Scott Steepleton is editor of Malibu Surfside News. Email him at