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Global Groove


 
  Professor Dan Moretti works with young musicians living in Haba na Haba, Nairobi, Kenya.
  Photo by Sam Skau

Since joining Berklee more than a decade ago, I've had the opportunity to meet, collaborate with, and help guide many students through their experiences at the college. The steady stream of exceptionally talented and motivated musicians with whom I have interacted daily is truly energizing. But what I find most awe-inspiring is to see graduates contribute to Berklee's educational programs abroad and to observe the connections alumni have formed with the next generation of Berklee students. Our recent programs in Nairobi and Los Angeles are cases in point.

Berklee in Nairobi

During a recent visit to Nairobi, Kenya this past June, a dynamic team of faculty, students, and alumni-led by Sam Skau '90, the assistant director of international educational operations-presented a variety of events.

At our host institute, the Brookhouse International School, faculty members Dan Moretti and Ron Reid presented workshops to local music educators and students. With the help of alumni working in and around Nairobi, they discussed resources and best practices for sustainable music-education programming in the region.

Additionally, the team provided music-education outreach at the Starehe Boys Centre and Haba na Haba (a local performing-arts organization), with help from Berklee student Joey Guglielmo and the March to the Top-Africa Foundation. During the visit, another highlight was a performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" by Eric Wainaina '99 at a July 4 celebration hosted by Kenya's U.S. ambassador, Michel E. Ranneberger. The collaborative nature and broad range of quality events presented by the team in Nairobi paint a compelling picture of the effectiveness of Berklee's Africa Scholars Program.

 
Eric Wainaina '99 sings the "Star Spangled Banner" at the home of Kenya's U.S. ambassador, Michel E. Ranneberger on July 4. Faculty members Dan Moretti and Ron Reid backed Wainaina.  
Photo by Sam Skau  

Berklee in Los Angeles

In August the offices of International Programs and Special Programs enlisted an array of industry professionals to produce the exceptional Berklee in Los Angeles program "It's All in the Song." This unique endeavor offered students a series of lectures, masterclasses, and hands-on labs to enhance their skills as songwriters, producers, and performers. Instructors included Sarah Brindell, Nancy Morris, Michael Farquharson, Tom Griesgraber '95, and Music Business/Management Department Chair Don Gorder. Berkleemusic.com instructors and alumni David Franz '99 and Neil Diercks '93 rounded out the team of faculty. Some exceptional students and alumni-including guitarist Christian Hernandez '09, drummer Joey Lefitz '10, and bassist Michael Manke '09-provided assistance.

We greatly appreciate the support of our Berklee alumni Music Business/Management panel, which included Steve Cielinski '06, Chelsea Cloud '06, Tatiana Ferrer '10, Nils Gums '06, and Joe Kara '95. Special thanks go to Tom Love '82 at Kawai America Corporation, Jim Haler at Yamaha Corporation of America, and Bob Morris at Fender Musical Instruments for supplying excellent equipment. We also thank Dr. Peter Knapp and his team at Long Beach City College for their tremendous support and hospitality.

The Africa Scholars and Berklee in Los Angeles programs are just two examples of how the college reaches out to graduates for expertise, professional experience, and program support. We send our well wishes and gracious thanks to all participating alumni for lending a hand to the college's international endeavors.

 
  CD jacket for a new album recorded by Berklee exchange students in Athens. The music blends Greek traditional elements with contemporary American music styles.

Semester-Abroad Program

For four years, Berklee has run its Athens, Greece, and Freiburg, Germany, study-abroad programs. These programs' popularity and value have grown dramatically. As of the 2010 spring semester, 114 Berklee students spent a semester abroad at our partner institutions in Athens and Freiburg. This fall 10 Berklee students are studying in Greece, and 16 in Germany.

And with the assistance of our Berklee International Network (BIN) partners, we have continually enhanced our semester-abroad programs to provide rich musical and cultural experiences for students. Our Athens students, for example, recorded an album of original material derived from their musical studies in the survey course "Greece Crossroads of Rhythm &Sound." Led by instructor and master percussionist Petros Kourtis, the students blended elements of traditional Greek music with their own contemporary music styles. Throughout the fall semester, the Berklee Internet Radio Network (BIRN) will broadcast the album. Visit www.thebirn.com for additional details.