Berklee NYC Honors Largest Class of Master Scholars at 2024 Commencement

Grammy and Tony Award–winning alum Charlie Rosen delivered the commencement address at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

July 8, 2024

The Berklee NYC program celebrated its largest cohort of graduate students at its 2024 commencement ceremony, which took place Saturday, June 29, in the Appel Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.

Betsie Becker, acting executive director of Berklee NYC and Power Station at Berklee NYC, and David Bogen, interim president and provost of Berklee College of Music, conferred degrees to 119 scholars and four post-master’s fellows hailing from 12 countries and six continents from around the world. Scholars were recognized for earning a one-year Master of Arts degree in creative media and technology, specializing in either songwriting and production (74 graduates), live music production and design (23 graduates), or writing and design for musical theater (20 graduates).

“After you leave today, I implore you to catalyze whatever burns within you,” said Becker in her welcoming remarks. “Draw in your collaborators to catapult you through your lives of creativity. Make the art, productions, magic you were meant to make. Explore that crazy idea you had, remembering that your ideas without execution are just ideas.”

The commencement address was delivered by Berklee College of Music alum Charlie Rosen ’12, a Grammy and Tony Award–winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, arranger, orchestrator, music director, and producer. Rosen and his band, 8-Bit Big Band, received the Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella in 2022. He won another golden gramophone this past February for Best Musical Theater Album as orchestrator for Some Like It Hot. Rosen has won two Tonys for Best Orchestrations for his work on Moulin Rouge! The Musical (2020) and A Strange Loop (2023). His other Broadway credits include Be More ChillPrince of Broadway, and American Psycho.

Charlie Rosen '12 addresses graduates at the 2024 Berklee NYC Commencement ceremony

Charlie Rosen '12 addresses graduates at the 2024 Berklee NYC commencement ceremony.

Image by Yusuke Yamanouchi

“This industry and this city can be challenging and unpredictable. Having a community around you of people who understand your struggles, share your passion, and celebrate your successes is invaluable. They will help you navigate the uncertainties, celebrate your victories, and provide solace during tough times,” said Rosen. “As a recent cancer survivor, I can attest most to the power of the support system of friends and peers. If there is one thing I continue to learn, it’s that no one succeeds in this industry alone. The connections you have made at Berklee are just the beginning.”

Additional speakers included Berklee alumna Xenia Rubinos BM ’06, an assistant professor of songwriting and production, who spoke on behalf of the Berklee NYC faculty; and songwriting and production scholar Tamieyah Johnson, who delivered remarks on behalf of her fellow graduates.

“We are people that came from all over the world to embark on such an arduous journey together,” said Johnson of her peers. “We have become stronger, kinder, more creative people that are changing the world we live in because of our sincere dedication to our hearts and to our art. As we move forward in our creative journeys, let’s continue to support and uplift each other. Keep creating together and making eternal magic. The world needs it.”

Music from the ceremony was written and produced by the master scholars, with the processional written by Power Station at Berklee NYC alumnus and staff member Glenn Forsythe ’08. Several other graduates received awards from faculty and peers for outstanding achievements: writing and design for musical theater scholars Letitia Bullard and Aasta Frascati-Robinson; songwriting and production scholars Anuraj Bhagat and Filippo Bubbico; and live music production and design scholars Xurui Li and Brad Roberts.

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