Clinics and Master Classes

Debra Byrd

Tuesday / February 1, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Debra Byrd's resume is beyond impressive. She's sung duets with some of the world's best-known artists, recorded numerous movie soundtracks and commercials, had roles in five Broadway shows, and conducted nationwide seminars. It's no wonder "Byrd" is in such high demand.

Byrd has been the vocal coach and arranger for American Idol and its North American tours since its inception, bringing her knowledge of musical expression and performance to groups of eager singers. With a natural gift for vocal artistry, Byrd not only helps the "future Idols" perform and arrange their music selections, she is a mentor and in many ways the heart of the franchise.

She believes that one of the keys to vocal success is keeping the essence of what the songs represent by capturing what makes them special. "To be an Idol, you have to have more than a good voice," Byrd says. "You need to have presence, a connection with the songs and understand what you're presenting."

Byrd was born in Cleveland to a musical family. She studied piano at an early age and studied opera for eight years beginning at age 12. As a teenager she cofounded and sang in church choirs, performed in a band, and narrated children's concerts for the Cleveland Orchestra. At the world-renowned Karamu Theater, she received training in acting and improv while serving as musical director there as well as at the East Cleveland and Dobama theaters.

Along with Idol, Byrd has been the vocal supervisor for Ain't Misbehavin' starring Ruben Studdard (national tour) and vocal coach for the Holland America cruise line and All My Children, among others.

Her longtime association with Barry Manilow includes performing as his opening act, providing backup vocals for many of his performances, and creating the vocal arrangements for many of his shows. She has sung duets with Bob Dylan, and performed or recorded with the Eurythmics, UB40, Lyle Lovett, Roberta Flack, and Bob Geldof.

As an actor, Byrd received outstanding reviews for her role as 'da Singer in the national touring company of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. Byrd was also featured on Broadway in The Human Comedy, Haarlem Nocturne, and both the national tour and Broadway productions of Ain't Misbehavin'. In 2001, Byrd was nominated for a Black Theater Alliance Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Byrd has developed an online vocal course, an instructional DVD, and an electronic pitch pipe. In the works is a line of herbal products to protect, soothe, and enhance the voice.

 

 

 

Admission: 

Nicolasa Kuster Clinic

Friday / February 25, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Nicolasa Kuster is the bassoon professor at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, principal bassoon of the Stockton Symphony, and a member of the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet. She discovered a passion for teaching at the college level when she left a full-time orchestra job to take a position as principal bassoon of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, a job that was linked to Wichita State University School of Music and the Lieurance Woodwind Quintet (2000–2008). She is a founding director of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition, an international competition for young women bassoonists. Plans are under way for the second MQVC symposium in January 2012.

Before entering academia, Kuster held positions in the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and spent five seasons performing with the Spoleto Festival orchestra in Italy. She has been a guest artist and teacher at numerous festivals and workshops. Her appearances include a one-month solo tour of Kazakhstan, televised performances in Italy and Panama, and numerous performances in the United States.

Kuster is committed to empowering young musicians to find satisfying lives in music, and her former students can be found performing in a number of professional ensembles including the St. Louis Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; many are active teaching at both the high school and college level around the country, or at work building successful careers in other music-related venues.

 

 

 

Admission: 

Guthrie Govan Clinic

Friday / January 28, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Guthrie Govan is arguably the most exciting and significant new guitarist to emerge in the rock/fusion guitar scene in many years. A brilliant virtuoso who is at home in a variety of musical genres and styles, Guthrie combines astonishing technique with vast theoretical knowledge, down-to-earth feel, sophisticated harmonic vocabulary, superb improvisation abilities with a penchant for memorable melodies, and woody organic tone. Whether it's mainstream shred rock a la G3 or fusion jazz or chicken- picking country or groove-driven funk or down-home blues or whatever other style you could think of, Guthrie does 'em all and does so extremely well.

Admission: 

Jeff Coffin Clinic

Monday / March 21, 2011 / 1:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Jeff Coffin is a world-traveled, internationally recognized saxophonist, composer, and educator. He is a three-time Grammy Award–winning member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, which he joined in 1997. In July 2008, Jeff began touring with the Dave Matthews Band and officially joined the group in 2009 following the death of founding member LeRoi Moore. 

Coffin, who lives in Nashville, has traveled the world performing with musicians of all walks since graduating with a music education degree from the University of North Texas in 1990. Artists with whom Coffin has shared the stage and the recording studio include Garth Brooks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Branford Marsalis, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, McCoy Tyner, the Wailers, and many, many others.

Coffin is an in-demand Yamaha and Vandoren performing artist and, since 2005, has presented well over 150 clinics to students of all ages to rave reviews. Some of his compositions are available as big-band arrangements through the University of Northern Colorado Press and one of his tunes was nominated for a Grammy Award.

In his clinics, Coffin stresses and reinforces the fundamentals of musicianship. A solo performance starts the ball rolling, followed by a thoughtful, open, candid back-and-forth discussion.

Coffin is also an avid photographer and sees photographic composition and musical composition and improvisation as going hand-in-hand.

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Ack, I Hate My Lyrics! with Livingston and Sally Taylor

Wednesday / March 2, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Livingston and Sally Taylor present techniques for fresh, fat-free lyric-writing. Are your lyrics tasting a little stale to you lately? Soggy? Scratchy? Refried? Are you tired of the same old crotchety clichés sneaking into your lyrics and clogging up the authenticity of your songs? This clinic will jump-start your senses and give you new tools and strategies for unveiling your truth in your songs. Come reclaim your inspired and unique perspective on life (and freshen up those lyrics a little too).

Admission: 

Atlantic Brass Quintet Master Class

Tuesday / February 15, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

The Brass Department presents a master class featuring the Atlantic Brass Quintet. The quintet's members are:

Louis Hanzlik, trumpet
Andrew Sorg, trumpet
Seth Orgel, horn
Tim Albright, trombone
John Manning, tuba

Widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest brass ensembles, the Atlantic Brass Quintet has been heard in 48 of the United States and more than a dozen countries across four continents, performing a unique repertory spanning Praetorius, Monteverdi, and Bach; Etler, Stravinsky, Rands; and brass music from the streets of Brazil, Cuba, the Balkans, and New Orleans. 

Winner of six international chamber music competitions, the Quintet's distinctive sound, impeccable ensemble, stunning virtuosity, and warm, inviting stage presence have won praise from scores of critics. Founded in 1985 at Boston University, the group launched its career with a phenomenal string of competition victories over a period of two years. In May 1992, by unanimous decision, the Quintet won the Premiere Prix at the Narbonne Brass Competition, recognized worldwide as the preeminent competition of its kind.

Highlights in the Quintet's busy concert career include performances at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the White House. Thousands have enjoyed their performances at Tanglewood on Parade, and in 1991, as part of Boston's Fourth of July Celebration, the ABQ entertained an audience of over 350,000 on the Esplanade.

The group has been the resident brass quintet at Boston University and the Boston Conservatory, among other institutions; its popular International Atlantic Brass Quintet Summer Seminar, established in 1993, has already secured the ensemble's legacy to the next generation of brass musicians.

Admission: 

So You Want to Be Famous? with Livingston and Sally Taylor

Wednesday / February 9, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02115

Fame and celebrity have huge appeal for many artists and performers. How many times has the image of yourself receiving a Grammy cropped up in your mind after writing a kickass tune? How many times have you mentally walked the red carpet dressed to the nines or mind-jotted your acceptance speech at the Golden Globes? Fame is all around us and the famous are everywhere seemingly all at once: on television, the covers of magazines, charity galas, award ceremonies, radios, and advertisements. In this clinic, Sally Taylor and faculty member Livingston Taylor explore the impact fame has historically had on artists. Examine the pros and the cons behind fame’s tantalizing allure. Thoroughly assess your own goals and motivations when it comes to your artistic dreams and gather some techniques on how to sell yourself without selling your soul.

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IMC Clinics in Quito: Production and Sound

Monday / January 31, 2011 / 8:00 a.m.
Instituto de Música Contemporánea
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Quito
EC
United States

Students in Ecuador can take advantage of an in-depth exploration of music production over three days of eight-hour clinics at Quito's Institute of Contemporary Music, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. The sessions will be led by Berklee's Rob Jaczko, chair of music production and engineering and Stephen Webber, professor of music production and engineering. 

Rob Jaczko, a former staff engineer at A&M Studios (Hollywood CA), has been Berklee's MP&E chair since 2000. His recording credits include sessions with Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Ron Wood, Crowded House, Toto, Graham Nash, Vinnie Colaiuta, Danilo Perez, Pat Metheny, and many others.

Stephen Webber, an Emmy-winning composer, has been a member of the Berklee faculty since the 1990s. A multi-instrumentalist who often contributes guitars, keyboards, banjo, mandolin, and turntables to his productions, Webber has recorded with Mark O'Connor, Tony Trishka and Meshell Ndegeocello, and performed with Bela Fleck, Grandmixer DXT, and Emmylou Harris. Music Production Analysis, Webber's newly authored course for Berkleemusic, recently won the national Best Online Course Award from the University Continuing Education Association.

Admission: 

Armen Donelian Trio

Tuesday / February 8, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

The Armen Donelian trio features George Schuller on drum set and faculty member Dave Clark on bass.

Donelian, a pianist and Grammy-nominated composer, arranger, producer, and educator, was born and raised in the New York City area. His work reflects influences from Armenian, classical, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian music. He has recorded or performed in festivals in 23 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as a featured solo pianist, leader of his own groups, and with bands led by Chet Baker, Paquito D'Rivera, Billy Harper, Sonny Rollins, and Mongo Santamaria.

Called "a pianist with a crystalline touch but a penchant for avant-gardism" by the New York Times, Donelian has composed more than 90 works. Among his honors are six awards as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and six Jazz Performance Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. An adjunct professor of piano and jazz Improvisation at the New School University and at William Paterson University for over two decades, Donelian is the author of the two-volume book/CD set Training the Ear, in use in classrooms throughout the world. In 2011, he is releasing a new quintet album in the United States and publishing a book on piano pedagogy in Germany.

George Schuller, drummer, composer, arranger, and producer, has released several albums as a leader including Like Before, Somewhat After and Round 'Bout Now. He leads several groups (Circle Wide, George Schuller Trio) and coleads several others (Conference Call, Trio This, Whirrrr). Schuller has recorded and/or produced albums with Joe Lovano, Gunther Schuller, Luciana Souza, and Peter Yarrow, among others, and has toured off and on with such sonic mavericks as Burton Greene and Lee Konitz. He was also a coproducer for the 2007 film documentary Music Inn, which was screened at the Tribeca, Berkshire, Galway, Munich, and Prague film festivals.

The trio is recorded on the album Oasis, released on Sunnyside.

 

Admission: 

Jorge Drexler Clinic

Wednesday / January 19, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street
Boston
MA
United States
02215

Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler matches a world music sensibility with the rhythms of his native Uruguay. Artists such as Mercedes Sosa, Shakira, Omara Portuondo, Maria Rita, Ana Belén, Victor Manuel, and Zélia Duncan have recorded on his songs. Drexler released his first album, La Luz Que Sabe Robar, in 1992, the same year he earned a doctorate from the University of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. His albums have received a combined total of seven Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations, and he's won two Spanish Music Prizes. Drexler became the first Uruguayan to win an Academy Award with Best Original Song "Al Otro Lado del Río," from the internationally acclaimed film The Motorcycle Diaries. Drexler's recent work includes the soundtrack for James Ivory's film The City of Your Final Destination.

Admission: 

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