Alumni Profiles

Alumni
Guitarist/Composer
Class of 1999 (Guitar)

A member of the class of 1999 and an entrepreneurial visionary in the business of creative music and education, Prasanna was voted among the top 50 creative Indians by Open Magazine.

Alumni
Jazz Trombonist; Composer; Educator
Class of 1971 (Brass, Ensembles)
Side profile of Hal Crook playing trombone.

Award-winning jazz trombonist, composer, and former Berklee professor Hal Crook ’71 has been playing music for more than 60 years. He took up the piano at 5 years old, started composing original pieces at 8, and moved on to trombone at 12. He attended Berklee on a scholarship from DownBeat magazine and received a Bachelor of Music in arranging and composition.

Alumni
Bassist; Vocalist; Songwriter; Arranger
Class of 2005 (Bass, Professional Music)

Esperanza Spalding graduated from Berklee in 2005, making history upon graduation by becoming one of the youngest instructors in the college’s history. This was just the tip of the iceberg, however, as Spalding went on in 2011 to become the first jazz musician to win the Grammy for Best New Artist, beating out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter
Class of 2008 (Music Education, Songwriting)

The song “Jealous of the Angels” became a viral hit for Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jenn Bostic ‘08, racking up more than two million views on YouTube, winning five Independent Country Music Association Awards, and reaching number one on the UK singer-songwriter charts.

Alumni
Composer
Class of 1970 (Film Scoring Department)
Composer Alan Silvestri

Alan Silvestri, one of the most prolific and celebrated film composers in Hollywood, credits his years at Berklee College of Music as the impetus for his career. Life at Berklee in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he said in an interview, “was just filled with the greatest living talent in the jazz world. ... You were living in that environment and receiving as much by osmosis as by direct teaching. It had a huge impact.”

Alumni
Class of 1951
1951 Schillinger House graduate Eugene Carrescia

Gene Carrescia '51, a member of the first-ever graduating class of the Schillinger House, has been making music for over 70 years, including during World War II. 

The Backstory

Eugene Carrescia was born in 1925 in Massachusetts. His father, who made a living as a musician traveling across the country with circuses, started teaching him to play the trumpet at 10 years old. In high school, Carrescia was already playing in nightclubs as well as in his high school band as drum major.

Alumni
Music Editor
Class of 1995 (Film Scoring Department)

Tanya Noel Hill’s career as a music editor for such films as Elf and The Jungle Book began with her father, who once surprised her with a guitar she coveted despite its high cost. Then a teenager, Hill was so encouraged by his support of her dreams that she pursued her musical goals and ended up attending Berklee. She majored in film scoring and graduated in 1995.

Alumni
Singer-Songwriter
Class of 2011 (Voice, Professional Music)

Kiesza, whose full name is Kiesa Rae Ellestad, blazed into fame after her YouTube video “Hideaway” received nearly 60 million views in 2014.

Alumni
Drummer; Percussionist
Class of 2004 (Professional Music, Percussion)

Drummer and percussionist Demian Arriaga was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At age 19, he moved to Boston to attend Berklee, graduating in 2004. He has performed with a variety of musicians including Iggy Azalea, Richie Kotzen, and the Jonas Brothers, among others.

Alumni

Israeli saxophonist, composer, and educator Lihi Haruvi was awarded a full scholarship to Berklee while in high school. Two years after completing her mandatory military service, she pursued her studies and started her career.

Alumni
Record Producer (Kanye West, Fun.)
Class of 1999
Jeff Bhasker

Musical ability and imagination plus technical finesse in the studio have turned Jeff Bhasker’s career red hot.

Alumni

New York City-based singer/songwriter Sara Rachele '13 has received praise from the likes of NPR  and SPIN for her heartfelt songs rooted in Americana, alternative rock, and folk.

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