City Music Encore Gala Raises $2 Million

Berklee raised $2 million at its annual Encore Gala last October to benefit the Berklee City Music® program, which enables students from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, and emotionally through the study of contemporary music. The program has positively impacted the lives of thousands of young people nationwide.

LL Cool J—the Kennedy Center honoree, two-time Grammy Award–winner, recording artist, and actor—served as master of ceremonies. He spoke of the impact music has had on his life and about the importance of music education. During dinner, City Music students and alumni received a standing ovation as they sang “We Are Family,” the theme of the evening.

More than 800 guests sampled a mix of musical genres from funk to reggae to Latin, performed by over 150 Berklee musicians in six nightclub settings. The performers included the Berklee Indian Ensemble, award-winning a cappella groups Upper Structure and Pitch Slapped, and the Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble featuring Santana’s lead vocalist, Ray Greene B.M. ’96.

The event headliner, Nile Rodgers ’18H and Chic, ended the evening with everyone on their feet dancing to an incredible set that included “Get Lucky,” “Good Times,” and “Le Freak.”

The 25th annual Encore Gala will be held Saturday, October 26, 2019, at Boston Marriott Copley Place. Please contact Lindsey Chinni at or 617-747-6418 for more information.