Nashville Notes

By Neil Diercks '93

Some wonderful things have been happening in our neck of the woods. Foremost, President Roger Brown joined more than 140 students in the Music City during the Berklee's annual Nashville spring break trip. The 18th annual trip was coordinated by faculty members Pat Pattison and Steven Webber and Pete Fisher, vice president and general manager, Grand Ole Opry.

A highlight was Brown's presentation to Earl Scruggs of an honorary doctorate. Scruggs is the first bluegrass or country music artist to receive a Berklee doctorate. Brown also announced the establishment of the Earl Scruggs Endowed Residency Fund, a permanent fund to bring Nashville-based artists to Berklee for clinics. Among the performers that evening were Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Bela Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch '92 and David Rawlings '92, and Berklee faculty vocalist Donna McElroy

Other alumni contributing to the trip included Jeff Socher '01 and Steven Beers '02, who gave tours of top recording studios. Jesse Terry '04, Nicole "Nyk" Porter '01, Elaine Nurse '04, Greg Becker '95, Megan Kirschbaum '04, and Matt Hauer '02 shared their music industry expertise with students.

After three years of leading the Nashville Alumni Chapter, I am retiring from my duties. I give special thanks to the many people at the college who have been great supporters of our chapter including President Brown, President Emeritus Lee Eliot Berk, Mrs. Susan G. Berk, David McKay, Adrian Ross, Mark Small, and the Berklee Board of Trustees. I'd also like to thank all the alumni of our organization. It has been a phenomenal experience to share in one another's growth and development over the years.

There are too many alumni to thank individually, but I'd like to acknowledge a few who have generously helped the chapter over the years. They include Beth Schackne '97, Alan Green '98, Neil Konouchi '01, Dani Amendola '92, Shane Adams '95, James Pecora '93, David Robinson '96, Joe Free '94, Katie Miner '99, Melissa Bauer '03, Jason Fridenstine, '99 Kellee Gooch '03, Jesse Lingo '03, John Mattick '99, Dillon Dixon '91, and Laura Clapp '01. I will always remember the experiences we shared during my time leading the alumni chapter. Thank you.

I am excited to introduce the Nashville Chapter's new president, Megan Kirschbaum, a talented and energetic musician with a passion for Nashville and Berklee. She moved here for an intership at Warner/Chappell Music and quickly established a presence in the business. She will undoubtedly take the chapter to new heights. You can contact her at


Best regards,
-Neil Diercks '93
Trustee and Nashville Alumni Chapter President