Berklee Student to Take Part in White House Music Series

By
Nick Balkin
November 2, 2009
Molly Manarchy
Photo by Mary Beth Manarchy

Berklee College of Music student Molly Manarchy is headed to the White House to assist Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin in a classical music workshop for middle and high school students from across the country. Manarchy was hand picked by Isbin to take part in the workshop in connection with the White House Music Series. The event will take place place on Wednesday, November 4, at 2:15 p.m., in the East Room. First Lady Michelle Obama, the honorary chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), will make introductions at the event. 

Earlier in the day, Michelle Obama will speak about the importance of after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities education by giving the PCAH's Coming Up Taller Award, the country's highest honor in this field. Berklee won a Coming Up Taller Award in 2008 for Berklee City Music, its program that offers musical instruction, as well as performance and scholarship opportunities for underserved Boston-area youth. 

Chicago-born Molly Manarchy is one of the most decorated young guitarists in the U.S. In 2008, she won the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Guitar Competition and received the Down Beat student award for Best Classical Soloist. That year, she also graduated from the Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she was valedictorian of her class and a member of National Honor Society. She started playing the guitar at the age of 8 and by 10 was studying with Mark Maxwell at DePaul University. At 14, she won the Senior Division of the Society of American Musicians Competition and was a featured musician on a PBS special about the Academy for the Arts. Manarchy is in the first year of a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee, where she came to refine her classical skills and learn to play metal.