Student Emily Elbert Among Glamour's Top 10 College Women

By 
Margot Edwards
September 9, 2010
Emily Elbert
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee student Emily Elbert, an accomplished singer/songwriter, is a winner in Glamour magazine's annual Top 10 College Women Competition, which honors the best college juniors in the country. The magazine conducted a nationwide search, seeking out the top students in several fields, including medicine, humanities, and advocacy. The winners, including Elbert and students from Harvard and MIT, are featured in the October issue of Glamour

Elbert received a $3,000 cash prize and a three-night trip to New York where she attended a ceremony in honor of the winners. Glamour also filmed a video of Elbert, for which she was asked to choose a mentor to include in the interview. "It was hard to choose just one person, but I decided to ask Berklee President Roger Brown," she says. "He's actually the first person I ever met at Berklee, and he's had a great impact on my time at the school."

Elbert, a professional music major studying at Berklee on a full-tuition scholarship, has just released her second album, Proof. The CD features her strong melodies, straight-to-the-heart vocals, and intricate guitar work. The album was coproduced by Elbert and Berklee professor Stephen Webber, and features Berklee players from India, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and around the U.S. Berklee professor and Grammy-winning cellist Eugene Friesen, and Elbert's father Roland are also featured.

Raised in Coppell, Texas, 21-year-old Elbert fell in love with guitar at 15 and taught herself to play. She was soon winning awards, including a spot in the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Foundation's jazz ensemble.  Music lovers have watched her YouTube videos in droves: her acoustic version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" has received over 250,000 views. Elbert has played more than 350 shows in Alaska, Memphis, Austin, New York, Scotland, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, and Peru, and opened for Richie Havens, G. Love and Special Sauce, Janis Ian, Kaki King, and Patty Larkin. She was also named Best New Artist of 2008 by Boston's WUMB-FM.