Berklee Today

Lead Sheet

Presidential Scholars Arrive




Five students recently enrolled in our inaugural class of Berklee Presidential Scholars. These talented students, drummers Jeffrey Fajardo and Ayeisha Mathis, pianist Victor Gould, saxophonist Robert Hanlon, and vocalist Denise Hudson, have been awarded full-tuition scholarships as well as room and board for their four years of study at Berklee.

Initiated by President Roger Brown, this highly competitive scholarship program aims to attract extraordinarily talented students in the United States who might not have been able to attend Berklee without full scholarships. The program received the enthusiastic support of our Board of Trustees, who have allocated ongoing funding for it from Berklee's endowment.

Our presidential scholars will benefit from a Berklee education, but they will also serve as models who enrich the education of our other students. We also hope that they will attract other musicians who have great potential.

Berklee holds dozens of scholarship auditions all over the world, seeking the best music students. Using the North American scholarship tour as our base, we auditioned hundreds of students for this and other scholarships. The auditioning teams and admissions office nominated a long list of top candidates from those auditions. Next, a blue-ribbon team, led by Director of Scholarships Damien Bracken, scrutinized the résumés and recordings of each nominee. Five recipients who reflect the rich diversity of America were chosen.

We will identify five additional presidential scholars each year for the next three years in order to bring the total number of scholars attending Berklee simultaneously to 20. We trust that these individuals will represent the best student musical talent in the country.

As we've looked back, we've seen that pockets of amazing musicians who would later rock the music world attended Berklee concurrently. President Roger Brown refers to these as "renaissance periods" when musicians such as Kevin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, Terri Lyne Carrington, Wallace Roney, Steve Vai, Smitty Smith, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and others were at Berklee. The earlier Mike Stern-Vinnie Colaiuta-Steve Smith era was similar.

President Brown wants to create as many renaissance periods as possible. We need you, our alumni, to be on the lookout for the best and brightest to help us accomplish this. We're looking for the next crop of great young musicians. If you know any, ask them to consider Berklee. If they are gifted enough, money need no longer be an obstacle to enrolling. Send me an e-mail at lbethune@berklee.edu, and I'll pass on the information to our scholarship team. Together we can make Berklee even greater.

  Ronald Crutcher
  Ronald Crutcher
  Photos by Phil Farnsworth
  Ernie Boch, Jr.
  Ernie Boch, Jr.
  Nora Huvelle
  Nora Huvelle
  John Connaughton
  John Connaughton
  Elliott D. Hillback, Jr.
  Elliott D. Hillback, Jr.

Additions to the Board of Trustees

In recent months, five new members have been added to Berklee's Board of Trustees. While their professional endeavors range from serving as a college president to overseeing a huge auto retail operation and more, each has a deep love of music and a desire to give his or her time and expertise to the Berklee board.

Ronald Crutcher has a long and distinguished career in higher education. He became the president of Wheaton College in March 2004 after serving as provost, executive vice president for academic affairs, and professor of music at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Prior to his work at Miami, he was director of the School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, vice president of academic affairs at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. An active cellist himself, President Crutcher performs throughout the country and Europe, has released several recordings, and has penned many journal articles on music.

Ernie Boch, Jr., heads the multifaceted, billion-dollar Boch family enterprise that was founded as an automobile dealership in Norwood, Massachusetts, by his grandfather Andrew Boch in 1946. After earning his Berklee degree in 1982, Boch began working in the family business, progressing up the ladder from used car salesman to general manager. In 1996 he was promoted to vice president, handling all Boch retail operations. In July 2003, Boch took charge of the entire Boch organization, managing the company's real estate as well as automotive interests. Boch is a fan of bebop and modern rock, and he lists Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John McLaughlin, and Mike Stern among his favorites.

Nora Huvelle earned her undergraduate degree from Lesley College in research and child development and later her master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She serves as a board member and vice president at the Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, and as a board member and committee chair for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Huvelle's musical interests include mostly jazz but also rock and blues. Of her appointment to Berklee's board, Huvelle says, "I'm awfully excited about becoming involved with Berklee and look forward to the opportunity to learn more and become deeply involved in the institution."

John Connaughton is a managing director of Bain Capital, LLC, and has worked for the firm since 1989. Connaughton serves on several of the firm's leadership committees and has played a leading role in transactions in the technology, media/consumer, and medical industries. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Connaughton was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company working with the consumer and technology industries.

Connaughton plays guitar and piano and his musical tastes range from Coldplay and Dave Matthews to Thelonious Monk and Robert Johnson.

Elliott D. Hillback, Jr., comes from the biotechnology industry and is the senior vice president for corporate affairs at Genzyme Corporation, where he has worked for 14 years. As a member of Genzyme's senior management team, Hillback's primary responsibilities include oversight of investor, public, and employee communications groups and functions, the Genzyme Charitable Foundation, and the European government/corporate affairs office. Hillback holds degrees from Cornell University and Harvard Business School and is a Vietnam veteran. A lifelong music fan, he has an extensive jazz library on vinyl and CD and a significant Grateful Dead collection.