Berklee’s Signature Series Explores Seven Decades of Song
Berklee's 2021 Signature Series continues as the college celebrates its 75th anniversary with Singers Showcase: Sentimental Journey—Seven Decades, Seven Songs. Featuring some of Berklee’s most outstanding vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, arrangers, producers, and engineers, the concert explores seven decades of songcraft, with music handpicked by members of the Berklee community. The virtual concert will be broadcast on Berklee’s YouTube channel on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Produced by Maureen McMullan ’09, the performance features a full rhythm section, horns, strings, background vocalists, and dancers. Presented in the style of a TV music special, the show opens with an instrumental version of “Sentimental Journey,” the biggest hit from 1945, the year that Lawrence Berk founded Schillinger House (later renamed Berklee College of Music). Moving through the decades, Singers Showcase will feature commentary from student host Nia Ashleigh Harris, as well as rare photos and ephemera from the Berklee Archives highlighting key elements of the college’s storied 75-year history.
“The eclectic setlist features seven seminal songs across seven decades, all of which were recommended by members of the Berklee community,” says McMullan. “While not exhaustive, the songs celebrate the rich and diverse history of Berklee from its founding as Schillinger House to the present day.”
In addition to “Sentimental Journey,” the songs include a haunting string-laden jazz arrangement of “Nature Boy,” made famous by Nat King Cole, performed by Serbian student Ilija Mihailovic; the seminal rock classic “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, sung by student Grace Perhman; and TLC's iconic ’90s R&B hit “Waterfalls” featuring Keira Smith on the rap penned by the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.
“The concert reflects the evolution and interplay between music and culture, while demonstrating the many curricular innovations, milestones, and technical advances within the college,” says McMullan. “With this diamond anniversary, a new chapter has begun in our institution. Here's to the journey just getting started.”
Watch the concert on Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. ET: