Alumni Beat

By Adrian Ross '96

On the first of February the Boston Alumni Chapter hosted a seminar entitled "How Music Gets Out of the Clubs and Into the Press" that featured a panel of professionals from the media. The discussion, hosted by Allen Bush, director of media relations at Berklee, drew more than 40 alumni and touched upon many current issues pertaining to self-promotion and publicity. Panelists included Matt Ashare, music editor, the Boston Phoenix; Jim Sullivan, music columnist, the Boston Globe; Bob Young, jazz columnist, the Boston Herald; and Lee Doerr, music director, WERS-FM. Many thanks go to the panelists for volunteering their time and expertise. 

On February 6, the Austin Alumni Chapter hosted "Matching Lyrics to Melody," led by Berklee professor Pat Pattison. He attracted a large crowd and shared a range of songwriting methods and techniques. Pattison hosted a similar seminar in April for an enthusiastic audience in San Francisco. Alumni in both New York and Boston turned out for Marty Dennehy, Music Business/ Management faculty member who hosted seminars titled "Tax Preparation for Musicians." Those attending came with an array of questions and received information on various taxation scenarios and tips on filing standard tax returns. On February 27, a group of songwriters gathered for an Alumni Songwriter's Forum Meeting at the Manhattan Center Studios. The group meets on a regular basis and is growing and becoming increasingly active. To get involved, please contact Lisa Hearns at

The Florida Alumni Chapter hosted an Alumni Showcase on March 6 at the Chocolate Moose Music Cafe in Davie, Florida. The event was packed and reunited alumni from throughout the area. It was no surprise that the music that evening was incredible and ranged from Latin to rock to folk/acoustic. On the bill were Donna Cutler '79, Katherine Farnum '96, Matthew Goldberg '92, Alan Palanker '74, and John Sacca '01. I wish to thank all of our star performers. On March 14, Nashville welcomed Berklee's new president, Roger Brown, at a number of events coordinated with the annual Nashville spring break trip. Later in March, Boston alumni held a reception at the Park Plaza hotel in conjunction with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association conference. 


A group of technologically savvy Boston alumni joined Jeff Baust of the Music Synthesis faculty for tips on desktop mastering on March 24. Baust examined a range of mastering techniques and software programs such as Logic Audio, Pro Tools, and Peak. On March 28, Jeff Dorenfeld, Music Business/Management associate professor, moderated a panel on management, A&R, and touring and how all of them work in conjunction. The panel of industry veterans shared personal accounts and insights on the music business and the direction in which it is heading. Guests included John Czajkowski, a tour manager, production manager and tour accountant; Jeff Price, cofounder and former general manager and president, spinART records; and Ronald S. Bienstock, a senior partner, Bienstock & Michael, P.C. The event drew a capacity audience and was very well received. 


In April, the New York Alumni Chapter hosted a special Songwriter's Forum Meeting featuring Eve Nelson, who produced Chaka Khan's latest album. Nelson discussed this and other projects she has worked on. Alumni in Chicago hosted a panel discussion on maximizing press coverage and gaining visibility locally and abroad on April 14. Participants included Paul Abella, of WDCB public radio 90.9 FM; Chris Force, a publisher and editor at Alarm magazine; Mike Gibson, music director, WLYW-FM; and Jason Koransky, an editor at Down Beat magazine. 

This is my last column as I will start a new job at ASCAP in New York this summer. You can still contact me via e-mail at I'd like to thank all of the tremendous alumni I have gotten to know and work with over the years and wish you every success in your musical pursuits. I'll be watching for your names in the pages of Berklee today and Billboard.

Best regards,
-Adrian Ross '96
Director, Alumni Affairs

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