L.A Newsbriefs

By 
Justine Taormino

For Los Angeles alumni, 2013 opened with a celebration. More than 350 alumni and guests assembled to hear Berklee trustee Peter Gotcher speak at the annual January brunch. Gotcher discussed digital royalties and other streams of income in the changing music industry and then took questions. This was the first year to feature a music industry speaker at what has proven to be our community’s flagship event. Thanks to all who turned out.

In March, Professor Pat Pattison held a workshop at the renowned Village Studios, a facility managed by Tina Morris ’97. Bleu ’96 and Holly Palmer ’92 cohosted with Pattison and dissected Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home,” and Bleu and Palmer discussed their careers as artists and songwriters.

Most recently, students from the Film Scoring and MP&E departments traveled to Los Angeles during spring break. They attended small studio tours and a film scoring discussion with Joe Greenier ’04, Trevor Bresaw ’07, Freddie Wiedmann ’05, and Guillermo De La Barreda ’99. Students also attended the ever-popular Green Room event, which drew a record 160 alumni and friends. If you’re new to Los Angeles or plan to move here, sign up for our SoCal newsletter via email at jtaormino@berklee.edu. Consider attending a Green Room when you’re in town to get acquainted with our vibrant community.

Our pilot program with Presskit.to was a success. Ultimately, 300 alumni signed up, 40 opportunities were posted on the board, and eight positions were filled with Berklee alumni. We plan on continuing this service for the Los Angeles community. Your participation is invaluable. Find out more at http://presskit.to/berkleela.

This column has always shone the spotlight on our alumni, and beginning with this issue I will recognize some rising alumni stars who are creating change within the Berklee community and the larger industry.

Jerome Leroy ’05 graduated from Berklee and immediately relocated to Los Angeles. Today, he is a film composer, but back in 2005 he was sitting in his apartment waiting for his phone to ring. An opportunity in the SoCal Newsletter led him to a position with renowned composer John Frizzell. In that position, Leroy honed his technical skills, which led to connections with other projects and people, the most important of whom is composer William Ross.

Leroy coordinated and orchestrated various projects for Ross, including the film The Tale of Despereaux and two Emmy-winning Academy Award ceremonies. In 2011, Ross and Leroy partnered to form the company Momentum RLP, for which Leroy led the design and construction of their new Santa Monica studio. Leroy wrote original music for Mistover and #iKllr and additional music for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Touchback, and Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias. In 2012 he was the music programmer on The Hunger Games. Through other connections, Leroy became friends with Alex Kovacs ’08. Immediately after he graduated from Berklee, Kovacs was hired by composer John M. Keane as an assistant for the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where Kovacs worked for three years. When Keane released an album for which William Ross contributed arrangements, Leroy and Kovacs worked on the project and Leroy hired Kovacs soon afterward.

Berklee student Andy Forsberg ’13 did an internship with Momentum in 2012. His good attitude and hard work paid off when Leroy offered him a position at Momentum, which will begin this summer. It’s notable that alumna Sarah Kovacs ’08 of Kraft-Engel Management represents Leroy. 

The trend in which Berklee alumni work with the college to offer students internships and workshops and to connect alumni with jobs is amazing to watch. The support alumni offer to one another and students who ultimately graduate and become part of our community creates a positive feedback loop in which many benefit.