Berklee Today

Nashville Notes

Spring ushered in a busy and exciting time for the Nashville Berklee Alumni Chapter. Berklee faculty members Pat Pattison and Stephen Webber led the annual Nashville trip, bringing 115 students to town during the college's spring break for a concentrated dose of the Nashville music industry.

Highlights of the trip included tours of recording studios, clinics with Allison Krauss, hit makers Mike Reid and Tim Nichols; a night at the Grand Ole Opry; a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame; and performances by Nickel Creek and Ricky Skaggs; as well as a panel featuring Steven Beers '02, Dillon Dixon '91, Luis Espaillat '94, Jesse Lingo '03, Colleen McFarland, Beth Schackne '97, and Peter Overton '03.

The alumni chapter hosted a special reception at B.B. King Blues Club to honor president Lee Eliot Berk for his years of service to the college and contributions to music. The event included a media presentation put together by Pamela Roller '95 and Neil Konouchi '01; a presentation by Alan Green '98 on behalf of the chapter, of a guitar signed by alums bearing a plaque honoring President Berk; a pair of Stetson hats for President Berk and his wife, Susan G. Berk presented by Pat Pattison and Stephen Webber commemorating their Nashville connection; alumni musical performances by Justin Amaral '99, Quentin Bradley '99, Laura Clapp '01, Dillon Dixon, Rob Giles '96, Neil Konouchi, Oscar Utterström '02, and Christina Watson '01.

The night was capped by students, alumni, faculty, staff, and President and Mrs. Berk all getting out on the dance floor to groove to the pulse of the New Orleans-style jazz of the band Halfbrass.

The event would not have been possible without the work of alumni Justin Coutu '03, Kellee Gooch '03, John Mattick '81, Katie Miner '99, and Beth Schackne. It was without a doubt one of the best Berklee spring break trips ever. It left us thinking that the only way to follow up such an event might be to convince incoming Berklee President Roger Brown to come down and play the drums with our alumni next March.

Thanks to the many alumni who generously contribute their time and talents to the development of the chapter, allowing us to develop programs for studio and touring musicians, songwriting, artist development, music industry contacts, community events, and more. The Berklee Nashville family is a truly wonderful group of people and we welcome new alumni from the class of 2004 to town.

For more information on the Nashville alumni chapter, contact me at ndiercks@comcast.net or (615) 403-5300. That's it for now.