Berklee Percussion Weekend
Whether you play drum set, hand percussion, steelpan, marimba, or vibraphone, explore all the possibilities in a world of rhythm. The festival will enrich your repertoire with different methods for improvisation, percussion craft, effects, sound, rhythm, and performance skills. Through clinics, concerts, and personalized ensemble instruction Berklee's faculty and visiting artists will guide you through a variety of styles and take your percussion skills to the next level.
|Program length:||Three days|
|Program dates:||Friday, June 19, 2015 to Sunday, June 21, 2015|
|Age range:||15 years and older
The program’s curriculum include principal instrument and ensemble classes in the following areas of specialty: jazz drum set, rock drum set, fusion drum set, funk drum set, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian drum set, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian hand percussion, West African hand percussion, orchestral percussion, vibraphone, marimba, and steelpan.
Aside from the hands-on instruction from our world-class faculty, the Berklee Percussion Festival also offers a diverse array of educational and performance-based activities, including concerts, clinics, and master classes presented by renowned guest artists, in the past including Harvey Mason, Victor Lewis, and Calixto Oviedo Mulens. Additionally, students in the program will have the opportunity to participate in nightly jam sessions in a wide range of musical styles.
The program begins with registration and auditions in the morning, master classes and faculty concerts throughout the day, and a special evening faculty concert. The program will feature the following:
- two hours of class on your principal instrument;
- a one-hour styles class on instruments related to your principal instrument (including a rhythm section in each class);
- nightly jam sessions and repertoire classes in all styles; and
- a final student jam session on the last day.
Other highlights include rhythm classes on drum set through and since the 1960s, a steelpan concert, a hip-hop ensemble workshop, an Afro-Cuban music clinic, a concert percussion clinic, faculty concerts, and visiting artist clinics and performances. There will be ongoing percussion industry exhibits each day at which you can see the latest instruments, equipment, and educational materials.
The final day of the program will include student concerts, a faculty clinic performance, a closing ceremony, a featured R&B clinic performance and the Faculty Blowout Concert. Family and friends are welcome to attend the last day's activities by requesting free tickets from the Percussion Department.
If you are also interested in enrolling at Berklee full-time, there are several benefits to attending the Berklee Percussion Weekend:
- find out what it takes to succeed in music and at Berklee;
- study with Berklee faculty;
- learn about admission, audition, and scholarship requirements;
- get a head start on your full-time studies; and
- get to know Boston, New England's hub of culture and academia.
Musical Preparation and Placement
All participants will be given an entering placement audition so that they may be placed in performance groups or classes with percussionists of similar training and ability: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Auditioners on all principal instrument tracks should expect to perform the various rhythms they feel most comfortable playing, show how they incorporate these into their practice routines, and demonstrate their ability to improvise on their instrument (excluding marimbists and concert percussionists). Marimbists and concert percussionists should prepare one solo work demonstrating their overall ability. Participants with little or no prior experience will meet with a member of the faculty to discuss their music background and their goals for the program.
All percussion instruments, except steelpan, will be available for use in classrooms, ensembles, and jam sessions. There are also limited practice facilities available for participants. However, drummers and mallet players need to bring their own sticks, brushes, and mallets. Some students may be more comfortable bringing their own bass drum pedals. We discourage drummers from bringing their own cymbals due to the fact that all Berklee cymbals and cymbal stands are locked. Also, we suggest bringing music manuscript paper and notebooks for keeping notes.
If you are interested in being considered for a partial tuition scholarship, you must submit video web links of your performance abilities when you submit your online application to the program. The performances you submit for scholarship consideration should be representative of your best playing in the style you wish to study. We recommend that students record their video performances, post them online using YouTube, and include those URLs in their online application.
Please follow the performance guidelines below when preparing your video performances:
- Drum set: A three- to four-minute performance, either solo or accompanied (band or playalong), showing your greatest stylistic strength. Also include a performance of the following rudiments: single-stroke roll, double-stroke roll, and paradiddle. These should be performed from slow to fast to slow.
- Hand percussion: A three- to four-minute performance of a prepared piece (solo or accompanied) on your primary hand percussion instrument (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, or Middle Eastern).
- Marimba: A three- to four-minute performance of either one or two solo works for marimba. These can be either two- or four-mallet works.
- Total percussion: A two-minute performance of a concert snare drum solo, a two-minute timpani solo, and a two-minute marimba/xylophone solo.
- Vibraphone: A three- to four-minute solo performance. This can be a written work or a standard tune that includes soloing and comping.
- Steelpan: A three- to four-minute solo performance. This can be a written work or a standard tune that includes soloing and comping.
Scholarship winners will be notified by email. Your scholarship decision email will be sent separately from other program materials.
We suggest that you submit your scholarship request materials early. No federal aid is available for this program. Only students currently enrolled in high school (secondary school) or graduating from high school in 2014 are eligible for scholarship consideration.