Alumni Affairs/See All BT IssuesBerklee Today Fall 2015

A Magazine for Contemporary Music and Musicians


Deploying the Power of Music

By Mark Small

A collaborative effort between a government agency and Berklee music therapy faculty members and students provides a glimmer of hope for healing in Colombia.

Berklee Beat

Special Thanks. . .

By Cindy Albert Link

Cindy Albert Link Curtis Killian

Berklee Methods for India’s Classrooms

By Mirek Vana

Chandrika Tandon

Optimism for the Year Ahead

By Ed Symkus / Kim Ashton

The August 30 convocation welcomed this semester’s entering students, including addresses from alumnus and keynote speaker James Morales ’06, student Ryfer Cohen, and staff Betsy Newman, Jay Kennedy, Larry Simpson and Roger H. Brown.

George Russell Jr. Named Harmony Chair

George Russell Jr. has been chosen as the new chair of the Harmony Department. Known to students and fellow faculty members, Russell’s philosophy is “inspired to do” as opposed to “required to do.”

Driessen Takes Valencia Post

Casey Driessen ’00 has been named as the director of the master’s degree program in contemporary performance with production concentration at the Valencia campus. Driessen has gained renown playing five-string fiddle on tours by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Tim O’Brien, and Darrell Scott.

Hit Maker Charlie Puth Addresses Summer Students

By Kim Ashton

In early August, with his single “See You Again” from the Furious 7 movie soundtrack still perched near the top of the Hot 100 (where it spent 12 weeks at number one), singer/songwriter Charlie Puth ‘13 returned to campus to talk to students enrolled the summer program.

Master’s Degrees for 143 at Valencia Graduation

In July the third class of graduates collected their master’s degrees at commencement exercises at the Berklee Valencia campus in Spain and set out to enter the worldwide music industry.

Berklee and the Boston Conservatory Discuss a Merger

In June, President Roger H. Brown announced that he and The Boston Conservatory (TBC) President Richard Ortner had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) paving the way for an eventual merger.

Expert Testimony

Wisdom from Sony Music Entertainment’s CEO

By Doug Morris H’15

A conversation with Doug Morris, widely regarded as the most influential music executive in today’s industry.


Innovation, Creativity, and Emotion: Let it Flow

Experience and advice from Stephen Webber, the program director for music production, technology and innovation and the senior advisor for technology and strategy at Berklee’s Valencia Campus.

Regional Spotlights

Nashville Pros

By Mark Small

Zac Brown Band bassist Matt Mangano ’00
Joe Kraemer ’93

Mission: Possible

By Peter Gordon

Joe Kraemer ’93

L.A. News Briefs

By Justine Taormino

A few alumni share their experiences working with American Idol music director and producer Rickey Minor, the musician regarded as the “King of Los Angeles” for their generation.

In the Spotlight: Singer’s Robots

By Ryan Fleming

Eric Singer ’91 launched Singerbots (, a successful enterprise that blends the fields of music and robotics in fascinating ways.

The Woodshed

The Basics of Metal Bass Lines

Excerpts from Metal Bass Lines, published in 2015 by Berklee Press, from author David Marvuglio, a performer and an instructor in Berklee’s Bass Department.

Lead Sheet

Building Berklee’s Future

The Senior Vice President for Innovation Strategy and Technology presents Berklee's mission and philosophy and updates regarding the Vision for Berklee in 2025.

Global Groove

Musicians as Cultural Communicators

By Jason Camelio

Students come to Berklee to learn a range of skills and approaches to find success in the world of music.

Faculty Highlights

by Ryan Fleming

Watching assistant professor Vessela Stoyanova ’00 perform live with her band Bury Me Standing, one realizes that she is probably the only faculty member whose style blends elements of traditional Balkan vocal music, punk, and odd meters. Oh, and she plays it all on a MIDI-controlled marimba...

Assistant professor Vadim Neselovskyi and his Agricultural Dreams Trio recorded a new CD featuring Gary Burton. Neselovskyi appears on another album with Arkady Shilkloper, and completed a residency at the MacDowell Colony. Visit

Associate professor Ben Sher gave a masterclass on fretboard harmony in July at Berklee’s Valencia Campus for master’s degree program guitar students.

Alumni News

by Mark Small

Film composer Andrew Simon McAllister creates music in a range of styles for dramatic features, documentaries, and video games, including Shooting for Socrates, the Planet of the Apemen miniseries, the BBC World War I drama 37 Days, and MTV’s My Super Sweet 16.

Paolo Cognetti MM’13 of Firenze, Italy is a freelance pianist and the in-house composer for L’Officina Sonora Bigallo studios, working on a range of projects. He recently took second place in a composition contest and had his winning orchestral piece premiered on Italian national TV and radio in August.

Singer/songwriter Holt Vaughn of Orchard Park, NY, released the album These Songs, Vol. 1, featuring Phil Keaggy, Will McFarlane, Ashley Cleveland, Rick Cua, Jerry Livingston, Tony Morra, and Ted Reinhardt. Visit