Students Jam at Thursday Bookstore Patio Concert Series

By 
Kimberly Ashton
May 3, 2013
A crowd gathers outside the bookstore to listen to Nigel Tay.
Nigel Tay and his band perform outside the bookstore.
Max McKellar, Nigel Tay, and Joseph Moon relax before their set.
Photo by Kimberly Ashton
Photo by Kimberly Ashton
Photo by Kimberly Ashton

Started as a way to give summer program teens the opportunity to perform live, the Thursday patio concert series outside the Berklee Bookstore has grown into three-season alfresco showcase of the college's talent.

"It's a great way to expose people to the college and to the performers that are here," said Frank Moore, manager of the 1090 Boylston Street bookstore. Two years ago, Moore began working with instructors in the Five-Week program, a summer performance course designed for high school teens, to put together the free weekly afternoon shows. The series proved so popular that organizers decided to carry it into the fall and start it up again in the spring.

"They were really excited about it," Moore said of students. "Every week we always had groups and performers asking us how to sign up to perform." The shows are booked through the Berklee Student Activities Center

Nigel Tay, a 22-year-old professional music major from Malaysia, heard about the gig through the Berklee Christian Fellowship. On May 2, he played an hour-long set of original songs with four other Berklee musicians. 

As the group performed, friends and passersby stopped to check them out. One of those was Berklee film scoring student Tommy Saegusa of Japan. "This is a benefit (to) Berklee," he said of the concert series. "Many people think of Berklee as a jazz school, but today (this group) plays pop. This shows to people that Berklee is doing many genres of music."

Typically, each concert runs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and features one group or soloist. During the summer, however, the shows include three to five performers so that that Five-Week students get a chance to take the stage. 

This year's season started April 4 and will run each Thursday, with the exception of May 16 and 23, until Aug. 15.