Berklee Today

Berklee's Helping Hands

  Ashley Rodriguez
  Vocalist and Berklee City Music Program graduate Ashley Rodriguez was among those awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee at the August Berklee City Music awards ceremony.
  Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Alex Frank Scholarship for Rock Musicians

Alex Frank was a fixture in the Detroit rock music scene and an ardent supporter of up-and- coming bands. Before his passing, he asked family and friends to honor his memory by providing tangible support for aspiring young musicians. After he died at a very young age last summer, the Alex Frank Scholarship Fund was created at Berklee to fulfill his wishes. The outpouring of support for this fund has been astonishing, especially in light of the fact that Alex never attended Berklee. Alex and his family chose to perpetuate his memory by providing scholarship support for young rock musicians who have the talent, dedication, and commitment to create great rock music but lack the financial resources to reach their dreams

Meeting the Berklee City Music Challenge

The Berklee City Music Program provides education and performance opportunities for urban youth starting as young as middle school-age and continuing through high school. It's a multifaceted program that works with each participant for numerous years and awards full-tuition Berklee scholarships to its top graduates. It also relies on private funding.

The Clowes fund made a $20,000 gift to the college to undertake the Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach Program to strengthen teaching and learning in Boston's public-school music programs.

The William E. and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust and the Massachusetts Cultural Council each made $10,000 gifts to support the Berklee City Music Saturday School. Both recognize the merit of making multiyear gifts to develop the program into one of the most respected in the country. We are grateful that the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund made a $10,000 gift to fund a scholarship for a student demonstrating financial need.

Now there is a tremendous opportunity to make this successful program reach even more young people. The Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation has pledged $2.25 million over five years to Berklee. To receive the funds, Berklee must raise $2.9 million over the same period. Thanks to some generous donors, including the New Balance Foundation, which recently made a gift of $10,000, we have met the first fundraising target. We are aggressively pursuing funders interested in a program that has a proven track record of reaching struggling young musicians, inspiring them to finish high school and providing the education and experience they need to succeed in college. The program has changed countless lives and is producing very talented musicians each year. To make a gift, e-mail Marjorie O'Malley or by phone at (617) 747-2569.

  Paul and Joan Sadowski
  Paul and Joan Sadowski
  Photo by Sarah Huo

Creating a Living Legacy

Joan Sadowski of Stoneham, Massachusetts, began piano lessons at age seven and developed a love of jazz. Her teacher suggested that she enroll at Berklee to fully explore her passion for jazz piano. Sadowski's two years at Berklee during the late 1950s provided a forum within which to play, learn, and grow.

When Sadowski's husband, Paul, decided to retire, the couple saw the need to revise their estate plan. They wanted to design a will that would support the causes most important to them (music and animals) after they were gone and no longer needed money. They hope to see their values perpetuated for future generations by designating Berklee as a major beneficiary in their will.

The Sadowskis are excited about their decision to make a bequest to Berklee. The simple, generous act of including Berklee in their will provides support for scholarships far into the future. They have become founding members of the Legacy Society, an organization that acknowledges donors of planned gifts during their lives. Berklee and jazz continue to be strong threads running through the Sadowski's lives. "We need to give back to the organizations we value," says Joan. "This bequest allows us to make the largest gift possible to a college that we regard so highly."