Berklee Today

Lead Sheet

Seeking Urban Connections
By Curtis Warner, Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and David Mash, Vice President for Technology

Over the past 15 years, Berklee has offered the Berklee City Music Program (BCMP), a music-teaching initiative for underserved sixth-through twelfth-grade students in the Boston area. The year-round music education program prepares students for higher education and strives to close the musical achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers. To date, more than 1,000 Boston teens have benefited from this unique educational experience at no cost to them or their families.

Now Berklee seeks to build on the success of this program and expand it through a network of partners and by engaging our alumni. With a goal to bring the program to 50 sites across the United States by 2010, the college has formed partnerships with various organizations to offer a new and exciting after-school contemporary music curriculum taught by Berklee graduates. (For more information on how the Berklee City Music Network will bring real-time and web-based education to underserved youth nationwide, visit 2007/01/0102.html.)

Developed by Berklee College of Music faculty, the PULSE music method has been honed over the past 15 years through BCMP. Reaching young students through the music they love, PULSE integrates instrumental and vocal instruction; ensemble performance; and musicianship classes with state-of-the-art online learning materials and community-building tools to immerse students in a holistic learning experience. Berklee will train interested alumni in how to teach the Berklee PULSE method.

With caring, professionally trained mentor-instructors and online support materials, students get an opportunity to develop their talent. By participating in an online community that provides interactive music experiences and social networking, these young students can become more connected with peers, mentors and educational goals, all of which help to build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. They also become better musicians and more engaged students.

Our first new partner to join the City Music Network and offer the PULSE method is the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington. We are actively seeking Seattle-based alumni to participate in this pilot program. We will also offer PULSE through our existing City Music Network partners: A Place Called Home and Sound Art in Los Angeles; the Mt. Airy Cultural Center in Philadelphia; and eSharp Music in Washington, D.C.

We are currently looking for new partner sites in major metropolitan areas across the nation and will be announcing them via our website at If you are a of Berklee alumnus and want to become involved, contact Karen Bell ( If you already teach at an institution that is interested in joining the Berklee City Music Network, contact David Mash ( or Curtis Warner ( This is a great opportunity to spread the joy of music making, reconnect with Berklee, and earn some income as well.

Jon Luther Joins Berklee Board

Jon L. Luther  

At the October 2006 meeting of the Berklee College of Music Board of Trustees, Jon L. Luther was appointed to the board. A veteran of the food-service industry, Luther is the CEO of Dunkin' Brands, Inc., and a proven leader in the restaurant industry. Between 1997 and 2002, he served as president of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. During his term with the company, the Popeyes store count grew 67 percent to reach 1,672 units, and average annual unit volume topped the $1-million mark. Under Luther's leadership, Popeyes won industry awards for menu strategy, store redesign, and customer satisfaction.

Prior to his work at the Popeyes franchise, Luther was president of CA One Services, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, Inc. He has also held leadership positions in the contract food-service division of Marriott International, Inc., and at the ARAMARK Corporation in Philadelphia, where he began as a vending sales director and later became president of Davre's, ARAMARK's luxury restaurant subsidiary. Luther also founded Benchmark Services, Inc., a food-service management firm specializing in business dining for corporations.

Luther earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Paul Smith's College and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Bentley College and Johnson & Wales University. In addition to his membership on the boards at Berklee and the Culinary Institute of America, Luther sits on the board of directors for the Elliot Leadership Institute and the executive board of directors for the Companions in Courage Foundation, which builds interactive playrooms in children's hospitals throughout North America.