Alumni Affairs/See All BT IssuesBerklee Today Fall 2018

A Magazine for Contemporary Music and Musicians


Fostering Jazz in Dublin

By Mark Small

Bassist Ronan Guilfoyle is a champion of jazz education in Ireland and the point man at Dublin City University, a Berklee Global Partner.


What Is an Arrangement Anyway?

By Richard Niles / Mark Small
Since Berklee’s earliest days, courses in arranging have been staples of the curriculum. Through the years, students came to Berklee seeking the skills to arrange for big band, orchestra, small ensemble, and even solo instruments. Many have parlayed their arranging skills into successful careers...

The Woodshed

Writing String Pads

Adapted from the book Arranging for Strings by Mimi Rabson. “Strings can play the melody, add a countermelody, insert fills between melodic phrases, hold the harmony together with pads, comp with the rhythm section, and more.”

Expert Testimony

Expert Testimony

By Mark Small

Renowned acoustic bass luthier Bruno Destrez ’89 explains how to improve any bass—whether it’s a 300-year-old, European-built vintage instrument or a new and inexpensive plywood bass.

Berklee Beat

Preparing the Class of 2022 to Tell Its Story

By Mark Small

With the theme “Tell Your Own Story,” the annual convocation for the class of 2022 focused on the importance of being authentic.

EDI Initiative Looks to the Future

By Tori Donahue

Beginning in 2019, Berklee College of Music will offer incoming students the option to choose an electronic digital instrument (EDI), a computing device equipped with music software and performance controllers, as their principal instrument.

Two Berklee Titans Retire

By Lesley O'Connell / Mark Small

Last summer, two prominent leaders in the Berklee community, J. Curtis Warner Jr. ’76 and Kari Juusela ’86, retired from their positions after decades of service.

City Music Scholars Announced

By Tori Donahue

Seven young musicians from underserved communities in Boston and across the United States were awarded four-year, full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee during an emotional presentation at the Berklee Performance Center on August 7.

Kathryn Bostic Selected for Film Scoring Residency

By Margot Edwards

Kathryn Bostic, a composer, singer/songwriter, pianist, and vocalist known for her work in film, TV, and live theater, has been named Berklee’s 2018–2019 Film Scoring Artist in Residence.

Pictures and Tunes from Travelers

By Tori Donahue

Royal Caribbean teamed up with experts from Berklee and technologists from around the world to create SoundSeeker, a unique tool that transforms travelers’ most memorable photos into an original, shareable soundtrack with a video to match.

Regional Spotlights

Nashville Pros

By David Petrelli

Since arriving in Nashville in 1995, Greg Becker ’95 has made his living by getting inside people’s heads. But instead of doing so as a doctor, he’s been doing it as one of the more successful songwriters in Nashville, Tennessee.

West Coast News

By Danielle Dreilinger

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Neara Russell ’10 played piano, wrote classical music and pop songs and dreamed of being Sheryl Crow. And now? It’s not all that far off, though she’s not center stage.

Luciana Souza’s Songs of Longing

On her latest album, The Book of Longing, Los Angeles alumna Luciana Souza ’88 sings the poetry of Leonard Cohen, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, and herself in settings she composed.

Here, There, Everywhere

The Berklee Summer Initiative (BSI) was launched in the summer of 2017 to foster a strong sense of African American community, support, and cultural history on campus for entering students of color.

Lead Sheet

Pathways Roadmap

By Panos Panay

It is no secret that the role of higher education is evolving and the media and music industries are changing rapidly.


Soundbreaking: Mike Gordon Scholarship Continues to Grow

By Davis Wimberly / Nick Balkin

In the spring, Berklee announced a new scholarship created in honor of Phish cofounder Mike Gordon to support students studying bass who are also well-rounded artists with skills in such areas as songwriting, production, arranging, or creative entrepreneurship.

Soundbreaking: Music and Health Institute Takes Shape

By Mary Giurleo / Danielle Parillo

More than 100 participants from the academic, medical, healthcare, biotech, pharmaceutical, music, and civic sectors gathered for the Berklee Music and Health Institute’s inaugural event, “Crossroads of Music and Medicine.”

Faculty Highlights

by Mark Small

In July, associate professor of composition Panagiotis Liaropoulos left Boston to begin his work as a Fulbright Fellow in the Small Cyclades, a group of islands in the Aegean Sea southeast of the Greek mainland. Liaropoulos has made his home in America for more than two decades. But he continues...

by Lucía Burbano

After teaching at various Spanish educational institutions, Olga Román B.M. ’87 joined the Berklee Valencia faculty in Valencia, Spain, in 2015 as a voice instructor in the Master of Music in Contemporary Performance program (production concentration). “Teaching is something I have always...

Professor Tom Stein traveled to Serbia for the second time as a Fulbright Specialist. He worked with universities, non-governmental organizations, cultural organizations, industry, and government to promote music as a tool for public diplomacy and economic development for the Balkan region.

Professor John Funkhouser and associate professor Jerry Leake perform as the duo Piandia playing North Indian (Hindustani) classical music on piano and tabla. They performed at Berklee on September 11.

Alumni News

by Kim Ashton

Ishaan Chhabra was 3 years old when he heard something so wondrous that it stamped the first indelible imprint on his memory. It was the industry-changing soundtrack to the 1992 Indian blockbuster Roja that had made composer A. R. Rahman a household name across India.

Alan Tauber of Arlington, MA, owns the 31-year-old percussion school DrumConnection. The school closed its retail shop in July, but continues to hold classes for kids and adults. Visit

Eric Gross of Freehold, NJ, has received the 2018 Monmouth County Arts Education award for Outstanding Educator in the Performing Arts.