Encore Gala Raises $1.6 Million for Berklee City Music
|From the right: Berklee Trustee John Connaughton; actor/musician Christopher Guest; Berklee President Roger H. Brown and his wife, Linda Mason; Executive Director of Berklee City Music Curtis Warner; actor Paul Guilfoyle; and violinist Mark O'Connor|
|Photos by Phil Farnsworth|
|From the left: Encore Gala Cochairs Lori Comeau and Carmichael Roberts|
|From the left: Christopher Guest and Al Kooper were among the evening's featured performers.|
|Members of the funk group Average White Band closed out the Gala with a high-energy dance set.|
Principal Lead Sponsor
Berklee's fundraising events continue to raise the bar. After collecting more than $1.6 million, Berkee's 17th Annual Encore Gala held at Boston's Westin Copley Place Hotel in October set a new record.
Renowned actor and former Canton, MA, native Paul Guilfoyle served as the evening's emcee. Fellow actor, director, musician, and Berklee trustee Christopher Guest performed alongside Grammy Award-winning violin virtuoso Mark O'Connor and Berklee president Roger H. Brown and Berklee bluegrass musicians.
Some 900 guests dined and danced to the sounds of more than 150 Berklee faculty, alumni, and student musicians in six nightclub settings that showcased diverse musical talents including the Berklee City Music Program (BCMP) All-Star Ensemble and singer/songwriters Julia Easterlin and Samantha Schultz, award-winning a cappella group Pitch Slapped, and the Funky Faculty (led by music legend Al Kooper). Acclaimed funk masters, the Average White Band brought the evening's festivities to a crescendo with a high-energy dance set to close out the party.
Throughout the night, attendees bid on an array of unique auction items, including exotic vacations to Kauai and the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, a trip to the 2011 Grammy Awards and MusiCares Person of the Year Gala, a Sting VIP concert package, a Yamaha AvantGrand Model N2 piano, and a private concert by Berklee Professor Livingston Taylor.
Special thanks go to Encore Gala principal lead sponsor Bain Capital Children's Charity Ltd. and colead sponsors Abrams Capital LLC, Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, and Subaru of New England. As well, kudos to Lori Comeau and Berklee Board of Trustees member Carmichael Roberts, who served as Encore Gala cochairs.
All proceeds from the event support BCMP, a national nonprofit program now in 32 cities that harnesses the potential of contemporary music to reach underserved middle-school and high-school students each year regardless of financial means or location. BCMP offers year-round, tuition-free instruction by expert faculty members, a comprehensive curriculum, individualized mentoring, academic counseling, and scholarship opportunities.
Over the past 20 years, BCMP's caring instruction has had a positive impact on thousands of young lives and enabled program participants to successfully embark on higher education and professional careers. At the Gala dinner, some of the many success stories from the program were highlighted. They included Bryan Abreau '04, who has performed with platinum-selling recording artist Keyshia Cole, and Ayeisha Mathis '00, who serves as the music director for the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester.
For information on donating to the Berklee City Music Program, visit www.berklee.edu/giving.