Berklee Investing in Young Memphis Musicians

By 
Nick Balkin
February 2, 2009

Boston's Berklee College of Music is making it possible for talented young musicians from Memphis to study at the world's largest independent music college with significant scholarship support. In an economic time when private education is inaccessible for so many, Berklee is going to extraordinary lengths to grant opportunities to Memphis's most talented and promising young contemporary musicians for learning and development regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

Berklee admissions reps will be at Stax Music Academy in Memphis February 14–15 to audition and interview applicants for full-time study, listening for the best students for the entering class of fall 2009. Auditions and interviews are open to all applicants on a first-come, first-served basis; all slots are currently filled for February 14–15. 

Berklee's investment in the area is twofold: First is the annual trip by admissions reps and professors to Memphis. Second is a partnership between the Berklee City Music Network and the Stax Music Academy to identify talented and deserving teens from the after-school music program offered at the institution. 

Every student applying to Berklee is required to audition and interview live at the Boston campus or at sites all over North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. The ambitious goal is identifying students who are the best fit for Berklee: applicants who are passionate, entrepreneurial, motivated, and who display talent and potential. All students who audition and interview for Berklee are also considered for scholarships. 

The partnership with Stax Music Academy brings the Berklee education to Memphis high school students in an after-school music program and rewards some with scholarships for summer study at Berklee in Boston. Stax Music Academy became part of the Berklee City Music Network in 2007. The network was established in 2001 to partner with community organizations across the U.S. and deliver high-quality contemporary music instruction to underserved youth. Together, Berklee and Stax Music Academy are providing students with mentors who are professional musicians, ensembles for working on performance skills, and recording and production opportunities.