Soundbreaking: Mike Gordon Scholarship Continues to Grow


From the left: Kevin Beatty, Paul Gordon, Mike Gordon, and Jordan Bertier
David Green

In the spring, Berklee announced a new scholarship created in honor of Phish cofounder Mike Gordon. The Mike Gordon Endowed Scholarship continues to grow and will support Berklee students studying bass who are also well-rounded artists with skills in such areas as songwriting, production, arranging, or creative entrepreneurship. An initial group of Berklee supporters pooled funds to establish the scholarship in honor of Gordon. Thus far, donors to the endowed fund include Kevin Beatty (Berklee Presidential Advisory Council member) and his wife Kathleen, Claire Newton and Ted Maloney (Berklee friends and regular Encore Gala supporters), Vicki and Hank Hodges (Berklee parents), and Doris and Bob Gordon (Mike Gordon’s parents).

An influential bassist and vocalist, Gordon drew a crowd of Berklee students, faculty, and staff members to his March 30 seminar at Cafe 939. Gordon spoke on a range of topics including music as meditation. “We have an exercise [in my solo band] where we play the same pattern as long as we can without changing it,” Gordon told the crowd. “You’re focusing on your breath and it always leads to a new song idea.” He also shared insights about the band’s longevity. “It’s about being open, and being able to say when we don’t like something and finding compromise despite the differences,” he stated.

The event was moderated by Berklee associate professor Loudon Stearns, who is a longtime friend and a former teacher to Gordon. Stearns was also instrumental in the creation of REEL, a crowd-surfing keyboard that allows fans to interact with Gordon during his live solo concerts.

While Gordon isn’t a Berklee alumnus, he has studied privately with Berklee faculty members. In addition to Stearns, other members of his “cabinet of Berklee teachers” who turned out for the seminar included professor Pat Pattison, whom Gordon cited as an influence in his songwriting. Associate professor Linda Balliro, Gordon’s vocal coach for the past five years, also attended. Anyone wishing to help further grow the Mike Gordon Endowed Scholarship should contact Davis Wimberly at dwimberly@berklee.edu.