Berklee Returns to Dublin, April 5-11

By
Nick Balkin
March 4, 2010
Students and faculty jam at last year's Berklee in Dublin event.
Students and faculty jam at last year's Berklee in Dublin event.
Photo by Nick Balkin
Photo by Nick Balkin

For the second straight year, Boston's Berklee College of Music will return to Dublin to invest in Irish musicians, April 5 to 11. In addition to a week of improvisation workshops with Berklee's world renowned faculty, applicants for full-time study in Boston will participate in the college's required audition and interview, vying for a piece of the more than $20 million in scholarships awarded annually to musicians from all over the world.

Last year, Dublin saxophonist Matt Halpin was awarded one of Berklee's coveted Presidential Scholarships, covering tuition, room, and board for all four years of attendance. 

Berklee in Dublin will take place at the Newpark Music Centre, at Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Students must apply online for the workshop by March 19. For more information, contact the Newpark Music Centre at newparkmusic@eircom.net, 011-353-1-288-3740, or 011-353-1-288-3989. 

The improvisation workshops will be offered to all musicians, from classical and Irish traditional to jazz, pop, and rock and roll. Students will study with Berklee faculty members Greg Badolato, Jim Kelly, John McGann, and Ken Zambello, and Ronan Guilfoyle, artistic director of the Newpark Music Centre. Wednesday, April 7, Berklee will present a free, public symposium on improvisation. Friday, April 9, students will receive their awards and certificates at a special closing event. 

Berklee has strong international student representation, but Irish students are still a minority—Berklee in Dublin was created to remedy this. The initiative is a result of efforts led by Berklee trustee and Grammy-winning Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, and Berklee's dean of admissions and Dublin native Damien Bracken, to step up recruitment in Ireland. 

Links between Berklee and Ireland are growing stronger each year. In addition to his Presidential Scholarship, Halpin was named to the inaugural class of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, the college's new center for musical creativity. Whelan, since joining the board of trustees, has brought Riverdance musicians to Boston to work with students. In 2007, U2 guitarist the Edge, who grew up in Ireland, received an honorary degree from the college. Dublin's Newpark Music Centre has held Berklee auditions for more than 10 years.