The Show Will Go On

On April 20, Berklee launched the new concert series Boston Rocks at the Royale Boston Nightclub in the theater district. The event drew more than 550 people who gave $288,000 in cash donations and nearly $100,000 in in-kind donations to BCMP, Berklee’s City Music Program.

But given the tragic events of the marathon bombing only five days prior, the Boston Rocks organizers discussed whether the show should go on. Ultimately they decided that the concert could provide an opportunity to help residents return to normalcy after a difficult week in the city.

Of the new fundraising effort, President Roger Brown said, “There is no time more appropriate than now to come together in creative ways to strengthen support for music education. Boston Rocks will make a tremendous difference in the lives of young people.”

As a program supported by the largesse of the donors, BCMP offers Boston children in grades 4 through 12 from underserved communities an opportunity to enjoy tuition-free music education, summer music programs, and college readiness programs. The goal is not only to train participants as musicians and performers but also to equip them with the confidence that they will need to better their communities and world.

The April Boston Rocks concert featured a heavy dose of rock covers and several student originals from Steve Oristaglio and the Berklee Full Circle Band. The band includes Berklee alumni, students, and staff as well as Oristaglio, who is the president and co-chief investment officer of SCS Financial and a member of Berklee’s Presidential Advisory Council.

The new series is part of Berklee’s Executive Sessions, a program in which C-level executives perform and study with Berklee students, faculty, and alumni. In exchange, they share their managerial experience via classroom lectures or in-person mentorship to members of the Berklee community in areas of management, strategic and financial planning, marketing, and other sector-specific skills.

After the generous financial support for the first-time event and a deluge of positive e-mail and text messages, Boston Rocks will return next year. For more information, visit