Alumni Affairs/See All BT IssuesBerklee Today Fall 2017

A Magazine for Contemporary Music and Musicians


Career Retrospectives: From Hollywood to Rome

By Mark Small

Victor Vanacore ’74 is preparing for a concert that is the culmination of a life of study and work throughout his four-plus-decade music career. On October 8 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, he will conduct the premiere of his composition La Sorgente (The Source).

Berklee Beat

Welcoming the Class of 2021

Berklee President Roger H. Brown was among the many who welcomed members of the class of 2021 during the Entering Student Convocation ceremonies at the Berklee Performance Center.

Graduates Number 137 in Valencia

By Amanda Tornel

On July 8, the commencement celebrations at the Berklee Valencia, Spain campus kicked off with a concert titled “La Nit de Berklee,” that attracted thousands to Valencia’s Hemisfèric. The concert also marked the fifth anniversary of the graduation of the class of 2013 with an alumni reunion that...

A New Crop of Academic Leaders

Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Scholarship Named for Fred Taylor

On September 12, an all-star cast of musicians performed at the Berklee Performance Center to pay tribute to Fred Taylor, Boston’s revered jazz promoter and concert producer. Taylor has devoted more than five decades of his life to booking countless musicians primarily in jazz, but in popular...

Beyoncé Chooses Berklee

By Beverly Tryon

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the critically acclaimed and academically heralded visual album Lemonade, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter chose Berklee to receive a $25,000 Formation Scholars Award. It was awarded to Sadiya Ramos, a sophomore at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Reach Out Initiative Promotes Student Well-Being

By Leah Driscoll

Thanks to the Gary Slaight family’s continuing support of an initiative called Reach Out, there has been increased awareness and focus on issues related to mental health and well-being, substance abuse, and violence prevention specifically as they relate to the performing artists’ experience....

The Woodshed

The Woodshed: Arranging a Jazz Classic for Solo Piano

By Hey Rim Jeon

“Autumn Leaves” is one of the most recognizable melodies in popular jazz repertoire, and has been recorded by countless jazz artists, including vocalists Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughan, and pianists Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Monty Alexander.

Expert Testimony

Expert Testimony: A Career Built to Her Specs

Lori McKenna has become one of country music’s most sought-after songwriters without having ever having lived in Nashville. A lifelong Massachusetts resident, she opted to stay local even when it became apparent that moving to the Music City could boost her career.

Regional Spotlights

West Coast News

By Justine Taormino

Northern California alumni are abuzz with news of their work in a variety of areas. Here are some recent highlights.

Nashville Pros

By David Petrelli


Lessons Learned While Going to Play

Ed Bettinelli ’79 found his drumming career take off after enrolling at Berklee, landing a gig with the band Preview. Two major record deals and 20 years later, Bettinelli set up a teaching studio and later developed and manufactured the innovative Thumb Thang.

Lead Sheet

Preserving Cultural History

In 2012, the Stan Getz Library received a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant to establish the Berklee Archives.

Mayer Tunes Up Songwriters

By Bryan Parys

Professor Pat Pattison handpicked six top songwriting students to present original songs at a master class held by John Mayer ’98 at the Berklee Performance Center.

Faculty Highlights

by Mark Small

After returning to Berklee from a semester-long sabbatical, bass professor Bruce Gertz dove into his duties in the summer bass workshop with Victor Wooten, the Berklee Global String Intensive, and Berklee’s Five Week Summer Performance Program.

Professor of piano Joanne Brackeen was among those named 2018 National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters. Also on the list were guitarist Pat Metheny H’96, vocalist Dianne Reeves H’03, and producer, artistic programmer, and club owner Todd Barkan.

Music by professor Marti Epstein was performed in September at Trinity Church in New York City during the Time’s Arrow Festival celebrating the music of Anton Webern.

Assistant professor Jennifer Andrews launched a summer writing program at Port Townsend School of the Arts in Washington State. Andrews is currently writing a book titled Proud Flesh.

Alumni News

by Mark Small

After completing her studies at Berklee, Sharon Farber heard an orchestra play her music for the first time. That was it. “After hearing the sound of my music coming at me I was hooked,” she says. Since then, her composing career has unfolded across genres and international boundaries.

David Federman ’14 (Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games) of Toronto, Canada, scored John Lives Again, a film screened at the Maryland International Film Festival and the Silicon Beach Film Festival in April. The score features performances by Tom McGeoch ’14 and Billy Centenaro ’14 and was mixed by instructor Pablo G. Schuller in Valencia. Visit

Saxophonist Sonya Jason of Montara, CA, released her fourth solo CD,Feels So Good: Live in Half Moon Bay. The album is a tribute to the contemporary jazz artists of the 70s and 80s. Visit