Tony Germain

Assistant Chair

"I think I might have been one of Berklee's first graduates with what today is called the performance major in piano. So as assistant chair, I have a vested interest in making sure we're still preparing piano, keyboard, and organ students, without being in any way style prejudiced. I also took the position to have a little bit more involvement with the curriculum—to see what I could personally add or help create."

"When I went to Berklee, Ted Pease, Phil Wilson, and Mike Rendish were my role models and my teachers. They set the standard for what I'd become and how I would teach. They were all very good to me, and I could see how much they loved it. Here at Berklee, I'm giving back to something that has given me everything. I often describe Berklee as a musical Fantasy Island. I just don't know where else I'd be happy."

"Prior to becoming assistant chair of the Piano Department, I taught pretty much everything across the board for 33 years: harmony, ear training, arranging, ensembles. I created the Harmonic Ear Training course and taught it from about 1978 until I became assistant chair. I'm equally in love with private and classroom teaching, and have done it all my adult life. I probably get more out of it than my students do. But hopefully I inspire students to further their interests in whichever style of performance they desire—it's my job to prepare them for the long haul. I still teach Survey of Piano Styles: History of Jazz Piano. I didn't want to give it up. And I didn't want to not teach entirely, because you lose touch if you're out of the classroom."

Career Highlights

  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • Performances with Judy Garland, Herb Pomeroy, Joe Hunt, and Dick Johnson
  • Musical director, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well, Charles Playhouse
  • Pianist and keyboardist with jazz and commercial groups
  • Recordings include Forces with Jerry Tachoir; Risa's Waltz with Danny Harrington; Until Further Notice with Steve Rochinski; Sasha Sings Dinah, A Tribute to the Queen, Dinah Washington with Sasha Daltonn; Happy Talk with Christine Fawson; At Last with Kimberly Keating; Read Between the Lines with Jan Shapiro; Live at the Firehouse with Danny Harrington; The Berklee Great American Songbook series; and for Acuff-Rose, Nashville
  • Published articles in Keyboard and Berklee Today magazines
  • Professional performing and recording artist
  • Television and radio experience, including Community Auditions/ Dave Maynard Talent Showcase, WBZ, Channel 4, Boston; Jack Harris Show, Detroit; Nick Clooney Show, Cincinnati; Music America, WGBH Radio, Boston; and Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
  • Performer and clinician, Berklee on the Road programs in Umbria, Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles