World Scholarship Tour in India

By
Jennifer Shanley
January 27, 2010

Berklee College of Music, the world's leading institution for the study of contemporary music, will be holding audition and interview events (A&I) in India for the first time as part of the college's World Scholarship Tour, offering talented musicians the chance to be awarded scholarships to the college. The events—hosted by Performers' Collective/Gurgaon School of Music in New Delhi, February 8 to 11, and by the Jamnabai Narsee School in Mumbai, February 13 to 16—will include clinics, lectures, and an information session. This trip is being co-sponsored by Joseph Gomes of Furtados Music and Peter Eisenhauer at the American Center. For more information or to apply for an audition, visit berklee.edu/wst or email scholarships@berklee.edu.

Berklee's unique audition and interview process is designed to demonstrate the applicant's musical strengths and academic goals while helping the college assess their aptitude and ability to succeed in Berklee's dynamic environment. Each year, the World Scholarship Tour visits more than 40 cities throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America in search of talented instrumentalists and vocalists—an effort that is supported with $20 million in scholarship funds. Continuing to expand its reach globally, the college traveled to three African countries and Australia in the past year. Berklee now holds auditions on every continent except Antarctica.

The clinics, lectures, and information and jam sessions are open to the public and will be presented by some of Berklee's top faculty members, including Dan Carlin, chair of Berklee's Film Scoring Department, and Michael Farquharson, Contemporary Writing and Production professor. "This is the first visit to India of this nature, and we want to provide the musicians there with a large helping of Berklee," says Jason Camelio, director of international programs. "We will bring clinics that represent a broad range of concepts and styles taught at Berklee." For a schedule of events, visit berklee.net/ip/news/2010-01-18.html.

"We are looking forward to connecting with a population of musicians that have grown up with a diverse mix of music cultures," says Camelio. "Indian musicians have a broad background in their classical tradition, Western Classical music, and what they are hearing and playing from contemporary pop music. Interviewing and auditioning students in New Delhi and Mumbai will make for some interesting and dynamic musical interactions."

Jack Thomas, director of New Delhi's Performers' Collective/Gurgaon School of Music, is looking forward to developing a Berklee relationship because many of the faculty, staff, and students of the school have studied or wish to study there. He says, "This new link will help Performers' Collective to reach our goals for excellence in music and to raise the standards and quality of music performance, education, and business in India."

Thomas established Gurgaon School of Music, the first branch of Performers' Collective, in April 2003. The school brings together a dynamic group of highly qualified music educators and prolific performers. With a shared philosophy of maintaining the highest academic standards and professional practice, the school motivates and nurtures a joyful and creative approach to art and its learning.

Sujay Thacker is a trustee of the Mumbai host institution, the Jamnabai Narsee School. The guiding principle of the school is to let learning be a joy and teaching be a pleasure, where the opportunities provided lead to the process of self-improvement. JNS receives over 4,500 students who get to enjoy an in-house amphitheater, multi-purpose futuristic auditorium, IT training rooms, and WI-FI equipped classrooms with audio-visual facilities. The school has a track record of academic excellence as well as co-curricular competency in art, music, sports, and other creative fields. Founded in 1971, JNS has been a proud member of the community and contributed to the education of its youth.

Berklee alumna Satya Hinduja of Tabula Rasa Music made all the arrangements to have Berklee hold its auditions and interviews in Mumbai. Hinduja says, "Although India has historically fostered diverse musical scholarship[s], few institutes in modern India promote and share knowledge about contemporary music. My fantastic experience at Berklee gave me an insight to the intricacies of music appreciation, music making, and production, which I am determined to share."

Musicians come to Berklee from every corner of the earth, making the college uniquely international. While over 20 percent of the college's students already come from outside the United States—among the largest percentages of all U.S. colleges and universities—Berklee is always striving to further diversify.

"I believe that Berklee coming to India will be a big boon for the Indian students, especially since economic factors play a big role in career choices—more musicians will be able to apply to Berklee without incurring an expensive trip to America. I hope that expecting a regular Berklee presence will encourage more youngsters to take up music as a career," says Thomas.