Berklee Today

Nashville Notes

Berklee's Nashville Alumni Chapter looks forward to the March Nashville spring break trip again this year. The trip, led by songwriting professor Pat Pattison and MP&E professor Stephen Webber, will bring about 125 students to Nashville for an action packed week. The itinerary includes visits with top Nashville artists, songwriters, producers, and other music industry professionals. The students will have the opportunity to attend clinics, lectures, and performances, and tour recording studios. Additionally, our chapter is excited about the visit of President Lee Eliot Berk and his wife Susan planned during the trip.

The annual Nashville trip has been a major reason for the large alumni presence in this town, and it continues to bring new, talented musicians to the area as well as strengthen the ties between the college, the alumni chapter, and the music industry.

Career developments among members of the Nashville alumni include news that songwriter/ producer/pianist John Mattick '81 was nominated for a Grammy Award for best polka album as a member of the polka band Jerry Darlak and the Touch. Early last year, the band asked Mattick to write a waltz for their CD Polkas in Black and White. Mattick's tune "Still Waltzing With You" became the album's single. Additionally, Mattick played piano on the recording.

While we're on the subject of polkas, another alumnus, guitarist Charlie Kelley '88 produced a different Grammy-nominated polka album. Polka artist LynnMarie garnered her third Grammy nomination for LynnMarie and the Boxhounds. The album blends contemporary rock and pop sounds with traditional and original polkas. Berklee alumnus Brian Pruitt '97 played drums on the record and with fellow alumnus Tim Denbo '02 on bass, toured as a Boxhound this year.

Drummer Kevin Rapillo '90 is working with Curb Records artist Rodney Atkins who is supporting his debut album, Honesty. The single of the same title reached the top five on the country charts. Kevin performed with Atkins at the Grand Ole Opry on January 30.

Jack Kincaid '92 (guitar), Nick Buda '96 (drums), and Peter Sternberg '97 (bass) are touring with RCA recording artist Aaron Lines. Frank DeBretti '91 (guitar) continues to tour with Warner Bros. recording artist Blake Shelton. Greg Becker '95 recently signed an exclusive songwriting deal with Famous Music, and his song "Words I Couldn't Say" was cut by RCA/BNA recording artist Kellie Coffey.

For more information on the Nashville Alumni Chapter, Contact me at ndiercks@comcast.net or call 615-403-5300. That's it for now.

Best regards,

-Neil Diercks '93

Trustee and Nashville Alumni Chapter president