Helping Berklee City Music Scholars Cross the Finish Line

David and Lori Sprows
Curtis Killian

For students in the Berklee City Music Program (BCMP), receiving a full-tuition scholarship is a tremendous boon. But for some of these scholars from cities across the nation, the additional costs of attending Berklee have made it challenging for them to finish their degree programs. Through a generous gift from David and Lori Sprows to BCMP, additional financial support will aid these students for years to come. Their sponsorship of scholarships to cover housing costs will go a long way toward helping students complete their undergraduate studies and earn their bachelor’s degrees.

To date, 238 students from underserved backgrounds have received full-tuition scholarships for their four-year career at Berklee, thanks to support from numerous individuals, foundations, and the proceeds from the annual Encore Gala [see related story on page 3]. These students are often the first generation in their families to attend college and, without these scholarships,would not have had the opportunity. But despite this support, housing costs for City Music scholars can be overwhelming, prompting some BCMP students to question whether completing their studies is practical.

Unlike BCMP students from Boston, some of the students coming from City Music network sites outside Massachusetts cannot live at home while earning their degrees.

David Sprows has done much to assist the BCMP students. He is a member of the Berklee City Music Advisory Board and, with his wife, Lori, served as a cochair for the 2015 Berklee Encore Gala, which raised $2 million for the BCMP scholarship. The Sprows recently demonstrated that they are willing to do even more. They made a personal commitment to address the housing challenge with a generous gift to Soundbreaking: The Campaign for Berklee, to offset living expenses for out-of-town BCMP students.

“A big highlight of the summer for us is attending the City Music concert and meeting the incredibly talented young people whose lives are changed when they find out they are going to attend Berklee on scholarship,” David Sprows notes. “However, while the City Music scholars do graduate at a higher rate than the general population, some are still not able to graduate because they can’t afford basic living expenses. The idea of the housing scholarship is to help cover that gap and remove another obstacle for these students that have worked so hard to get to where they are.”

The Sprows gift will enable more BCMP students to cross the finish line.