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. Festivities began on July 11 with a spectacular commencement concert produced outdoors on a floating stage on the artificial lake in front of the hemispheric building on the Palau des Artes. Sixteen acts composed of graduates performed before a crowd of approximately 2,000. The program included original songs and covers and was streamed live via the Internet.
A few days later, on July 13, an enthusiastic crowd of 143 students clad in academic robes filled the auditorium of the Palau de les Artes Reine Sofia to receive their sheepskins. The group represented 31 countries and earned their degrees in four fields of study. Breaking it down, there were 33 students who received master of music degrees in scoring for film, television and video games; 34 in music technology and innovation; 37 in contemporary performance; and 39 who received master of arts degrees in global entertainment and music business.
Among those addressing the crowd of students and families on July 13 were Larry Simpson, Berklee’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, who noted, “The students graduating this year are in the vanguard of the music industry and have developed an individual music skill set.”
María Iturriaga, the dean of admissions and associate executive director for the Valencia campus, added, “This year’s graduating class has raised the bar on many different levels. They have learned from us as much as we have learned from them. I am confident that their contributions to the music industry will have a tremendous impact on their respective fields.”
The commencement’s guest speaker, Damian Draghici ’98, a panpipe virtuoso, recording artist, and current member of the European Parliament, urged the graduates to challenge themselves. “If you stay in your comfort zone you’re lost,” Draghici said. “So every time you feel you’re too comfortable, run away and get out of there.” At the end of his address, he took a 10-euro note from his pocket and said, “Let’s see who gets this!” After a student jumped onto the stage to take the note from Draghici’s hand, the parliamentarian stated, “And this is life. When there’s an opportunity, don’t think about it twice, go for it.”