Berklee City Music Strengthens Boston Public Music Programs, Students Perform May 26

By 
Allen Bush
May 23, 2012
A map shows all of the Boston schools and neighborhoods served by the Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach program.

The Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach Program breathes new life into the music departments of 12 Boston elementary, middle, and high schools. It dispatches 22 teachers who spend more than 4,000 hours in the classrooms. Almost 900 students hone their music skills in instrumental, vocal, and choral groups. Well-known musicians sometimes share tips in master classes, and in-house teachers sharpen their skills in professional development workshops. All of this is free for students, parents, and the schools. The Faculty Outreach Program, with an annual budget topping $400,000, is among the strategies employed by Berklee City Music, celebrating its 20th anniversary, to provide early access to college through music education.  

On Saturday, May 26, at 2:00 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, students from all the schools will perform a wide selection of music from jazz and blues to rock and pop at the Berklee City Music Faculty Outreach Concert. The concert is free for the public. The wheelchair-accessible venue is located at 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Call 617 266-7455, or visit for berkleebpc.com for details.

Student performers represent educational institutions from all over greater Boston: Blackstone, Mattahunt, William H. Ohrenberger, and Sumner elementary schools; Timilty, McCormack, and Young Achievers middle schools; Murphy and Orchard Gardens K - 8; English High School, the Boston Arts Academy, and Roland Hayes School of Music.

Through the Faculty Outreach Program, students get private lessons, directed ensembles, and performance opportunities. Those who feel that music is their calling have found the motivation to stay in school. Parents also benefit from sessions with Berklee City Music staff to learn how to prep their teens for college. For some of these creative kids, they didn't imagine that college would be a choice for them until the outreach initiative.

Berklee City Music is a nonprofit program that provides music education to 4th through 12th graders in underserved communities. With year-round instruction, expert faculty, individualized mentoring, and a comprehensive curriculum, Berklee City Music combines the breadth of Berklee resources, facilities, and available scholarships with an environment of attention and encouragement. Kids get the tools and support they need to flourish as students, musicians, and—perhaps most important—confident and well-rounded individuals ready to shape their world.