Krystal Banfield Appointed Dean of Berklee City Music

By
Allen Bush
August 28, 2012
Krystal Banfield
Photo by Sian Wittke

Krystal Banfield has been appointed dean of Berklee City Music. In this role, she becomes the first African-American woman on the college's executive leadership team. Banfield previously served as senior director for the department. She is now the chief academic officer and operational leader for City Music programs in Boston and at 38 Berklee City Network sites across the United States. She’s responsible for establishing and upholding academic standards for education and broadly guiding faculty development, research, assessment, and programming for all locations. Berklee City Music is a nonprofit program that provides music education to 4th through 12th graders from underserved communities in 20 states and Puerto Rico.

“Within a short time after her arrival, Banfield raised the academic standards for the Berklee City Music Boston program, creating a richer experience for students through collaborations with the Music Education, Liberal Arts, Africana Studies, and Professional Performance Departments,” said Berklee College of Music president Roger H. Brown. “In her new role as dean, she will broaden her oversight to give similar direction on a national level."

Banfield came to Berklee in 2006. Prior to that, she served as director of education for the American Composers Forum, and was responsible for developing national curricular products including BandQuest and the Composers Suitcase. She also served as an adjunct voice professor and music lecturer at University of St. Thomas, and taught voice at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music.

Banfield has performed as a soloist and chorister in such venues as the Kennedy Center, in Washington D.C., Orchestra Hall, in Minneapolis, and the Five Flags Center, in Dubuque. 

She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Howard University, a Master of Music from Indiana University-Bloomington, and a Doctorate in Education with concentrations in curriculum development, critical pedagogy, and educational leadership from the University of St. Thomas-Minneapolis.

Currently, she serves as a board member at-large for Orchard Gardens K-8 Boston Pilot School, and on the board for the Boston Children’s Chorus. 

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 importantly—to become confident and well-rounded individuals who are ready to shape their world.