Berklee's Helping Hands

Berklee Alumni Invest in Berklee City Music

Ashley Rodriguez (left), Erin Lyder (right) perform with the 10-piece Berklee City Music All-Stars band.
Ashley Rodriguez (left), Erin Lyder (right) perform with the 10-piece Berklee City Music All-Stars band.

Alex Rigopulos and his wife, Sachi Sato ’02, have taken an interest in supporting the Berklee City Music Program (BCMP). They recently committed to giving $100,000 for an endowed fund that will provide scholarships and room and board for BCMP students to attend Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Rigopulos, who participated in that program, and Sato, a Film Scoring Department graduate, work at Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based video-game development company that Rigopulos cofounded. Harmonix specializes in music-based games, and its newest series, Guitar Hero, enables players to have a virtual experience as a rock guitarist.

When BCMP began to expand nationwide, Berklee encouraged Rigopulos and Sato to make a gift to the program. The couple’s familiarity with David Mash and Curtis Warner, who are spearheading the national expansion, prompted the generous pledge. Berklee is tremendously grateful to Rigopulos and Sato for their support, which will enable young music students to attend the five-week program.

The Clowes Fund, Inc., of Indianapolis, Indiana, has made a multiyear commitment to provide full-tuition scholarships for graduates of the BCMP. Since 2001, Clowes has been a consistent supporter of BCMP. This year’s gift is especially gratifying, as Berklee is in the third year of a fundraising challenge issued by the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation to raise $2.9 million over five years. A family foundation, the Clowes Fund encourages organizations and projects that help to build a more just and equitable society. When the Johnson challenge is successfully met, the Clowe’s investment in Berklee will help provide funding for 11 BCMP graduates to attend the college.

The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation of Boston made a gift of $30,000 to provide scholarships for disadvantaged young people to attend the Berklee Five-Week Summer Performance Program this July. As members of the program, students take private lessons; perform in ensembles; and study music theory, harmony, and ear training. This is the first gift to Berklee from the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, and we welcome the foundation into our community.

Thank you Berklee Alumni!

Ernie Boch Jr. '82
Ernie Boch Jr. '82

Berklee College has met the challenge put forth by Ernie Boch, Jr., to dramatically expand alumni financial support for the college. We closed the books on May, with alumni giving at an all-time high. More than 1,600 alumni donated to Berklee this year. That’s double the number of graduates who gave last year, exceeding our expectations. As a result of alumni support, Boch made a $65,000 gift to the Annual Fund that will significantly expand scholarship support for Berklee students.

Boch is the CEO of Boch Automotive Enterprises, a 1982 alumnus, and a Berklee trustee. He is also an avid guitarist who plays in a band with Tim Archibald ’79, along with Sib Hashian and Barry Goudreau of the legendary band Boston.

For the first time in Berklee’s history, we have raised more than $550,000 in annual support from alumni, friends, and Berklee parents. Participation from all members of the Berklee community has expanded this year, demonstrating strong support for Berklee’s mission. Thank you to all whose donations help make Berklee a vibrant and innovative institution.