George Russell Jr. Named Harmony Chair

George Russell Jr.
George Russell Jr.
Kelly Davidson

George Russell Jr. has been chosen as the new chair of the Harmony Department. According to Professional Writing and Music Technology Division dean Kari Juusela, “Mr. Russell is an amazing musician who understands the needs of Berklee students through his teaching of all levels of Berklee harmony, advanced harmony electives, ensembles, and private piano lessons. He is also known as a top-level educator who knows how to build enthusiasm for learning regardless of a student’s background and prior knowledge.” Known to students and fellow faculty members, Russell’s philosophy is “inspired to do” as opposed to “required to do.”

Russell holds a master of music degree from New England Conservatory and a bachelor of education degree from Duquesne University. Prior to his work at Berklee as a professor in the Harmony Department, Russell was the chair of the jazz department at a Pennsylvania Governor’s School, chair of the jazz department of New England Conservatory of Music’s preparatory division, and a piano instructor at Tufts University. Russell has been recognized for his teaching and leadership with several award including Berklee’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011, the Professional Writing Division Curriculum Award in 2010, the Ted Pease Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009, and the Gospel Music Award from New England Conservatory, 2001.

Russell replaces previous department chair Joe Mulholland, who will return to classroom teaching as a professor in the Harmony Department.