Alumni Affairs/See All BT IssuesBerklee Today Spring 2015

A Magazine for Contemporary Music and Musicians

Berklee Beat

A.R. Rahman and Berklee Pack Symphony Hall

The October 24, 2014, tribute concert and honorary doctorate presentation to A.R. Rahman, India’s foremost film composer and songwriter, sent a surge of excitement through the Berklee campus to Boston’s Indian community and beyond, with the show sold out weeks in advance.

George Clinton (center) performs with Parliament-Funkadelic.

Star-Studded Encore Gala Nets Nearly $2 Million

By Laurie McFarlane / Beverly Tryon

The 900 enthusiastic guests who celebrated the 20th anniversary of the annual Berklee Encore Gala filled the Boston Marriott Copley Place and raised nearly $2 million for the Berklee City Music program. Special guests included Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, George Clinton and Parliament-...

Larry Bethune

Teaching, Moving Couches, and Leading

By Mark Small

Berklee’s vice president for student affairs and dean of students retires after 42 years of service to the college.

Larry Oppenheimer ’77

Berklee Online to Award First Degree

Larry Oppenheimer ’77 (aka “Larry the O”) will be the first person to complete his degree through Berklee Online, the digital campus for Berklee College of Music, and will be among the graduates at Berklee’s 2015 commencement exercises.

Dan Harple

New Additions to the Board of Trustees

The Berklee Board of Trustees grew in 2014 with the addition of six highly accomplished professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Pianist and vocalist Sarah McKenzie

Young Berklee Artists Dazzle Monterey Jazz Fans

By Rob Hochschild

At the September 2014 festival in Monterey, California, a quintet of Berklee alumni and current students, led by pianist and vocalist Sarah McKenzie ’14, captivated the audience.

The late Walter W. Harp

Walter Harp Memorialized with Endowed Scholarship

By Jessica Halton / Peter Gardner

An endowed scholarship has been established in the memory of late faculty member Walter W. Harp, awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in civic engagement through music.

The Woodshed

Matt Jenson


Keyboardist, singer, composer, and arranger, assistant professor Matt Jenson shares techniques in roots, rock and reggae grooves.

Expert Testimony

A.R. Rahman

Expert Testimony

By Mark Small

India’s premier film composer and songwriter, A.R. Rahman has written songs and underscore for more than 100 movies, including Slumdog MIllionaire and 127 Hours. Rahman spoke to Berklee today during his visit to Berklee in October.

Regional Spotlights

Reuben Rogers ’94

New York Spotlight

By Michael Gaskins

Reuben Rogers ’94 is among the most sought-after upright bassists of the past decade, having recorded and toured with legendary artists such as jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Goldberg, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.

Sarah Wheeler '91

Boston Beat

By Michael Gaskins

Sara Wheeler ’91 helms Little Groove to help infants through preschoolers learn and interact through sound, sight, and touch in a live-music setting.

Denise Hudson ’06

L.A. Newsbriefs

By Justine Taormino

Berklee alumni featured include those working behind the scenes on the NBC show The Voice, Hollywood Music in Media Awards recipients, and songwriters for Disney productions and other major films.

Composer and social activist Yuval Ron ’89

Creating Light and Hope

By Peter Gordon

Composer and social activist Yuval Ron ’89

From the left: Al Schmitt, Roger Brown, and Carl Beatty during Schmitt’s honorary doctorate presentation at Capitol Studios September 10, 2014.

Berklee Today's 25th Anniversary

Berklee today celebrates its 25th anniversary, and renowned recording engineer Al Schmitt receives an honorary doctorate.

Songwriter, performer, and social media master Ernie Halter ’97

Nashville Pros

By David Petrelli

Nashville singer/songwriter Ernie Halter is a do-it-yourself, grass-roots, superfan-building machine of a musician who has toured all 50 states, Europe, and Asia.

Gino Vannelli

“I Just Wanna Stop”

Following a concert at the Berklee Performance Center, hit songwriter and singer Gino Vannelli visited the dorm room in the 160 Massachusetts Avenue building named in his honor.


David Frank '75

I Hope I’m Not Alone

By David Frank

Keyboardist, producer and songwriter David Frank delves into musical devices, connections and influences in the songwriting process. A founding member of pioneering synth duo The System, Frank has produced and played on recordings by Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan and Phil Collins.

Lead Sheet

Amping Up Popular Music Education in New York

by Lee Whitmore, Ed.D.

Little Kids Rock
Berklee has joined forces with Little Kids Rock, a like-minded nonprofit, and the New York City Department of Education, to train certified music teachers to bring more popular music education to tens of thousands of NYC students in the next three years.

Global Groove

A Look Back at 2014

by Jason Camelio

As part of the 2014 Berklee on the Road: São Paulo Contemporary Performance Jazz and Rock program, Berklee professors George Garzone and Jon Finn shared the stage with Conservatorio Souza Lima bass and drum instructors.
A slideshow of images from some of the many events Berklee produced throughout 2014

Faculty Highlights

by Ryan Fleming

Bill Elliott

Bill Elliott, professor of contemporary writing and production (CWP) who deftly weathered many shifts in taste and technology while honing his musical expertise, is determined to pass on his on-the-gig wisdom.

Professor Ed Saindon was filmed playing solo vibraphone and marimba for the promotion of his signature Vic Firth Mallet and for Vic Firth’s YouTube channel.

Professor Michael Williams published the book Blues Guitar Technique, covering the styles of B.B. King, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, and others.

Alumni News

by Mark Small

Dr. William Junior ’07

Dr. William Junior ’07 has many helping hands along his path to becoming an M.D. specializing in anesthesiology.

Jonathan R. Lax of Summit, NJ, performed at the Festival of Trumpets Concert at the International Trumpet Guild conference.

Michael Nicolella ’85

Classical guitarist Michael Nicolella of Seattle, WA, released the album The Complete Bach Cello Suites. He teaches at Cornish College of the Arts. Visit