Nashville Notes

by Dave Petrelli '05
Dave Petrelli '05
Dave Petrelli '05

After weeks of unseasonably cool weather, the familiar warmth has returned to Music City. Before we look forward to the heat of summer, let’s recap the past few months.

March always means spring break, and in Nashville that means the Berklee bus arrives from Boston for the annual pilgrimage. This year, a number of alumni gathered to inspire and influence young Berklee minds. Our alumni panel featured Nashville veterans like Dillon Dixon ’91 and hit songwriter Greg Becker ’95, but a new generation of Berklee influence was on hand to offer insight, including Ernest Chapman ’05, Natalie Stovall ’04, and Nashville newbie, Charlie Worsham ’06.

Other segments throughout the week gave students rare face time with such superstars as Gretchen Wilson, Rodney Crowell, Kathy Mattea, and Beth Neilson Chapman along with Nashville heavyweights like Gary Nicholson, Gillian Welch ’92, Mike Reid, and Dave Berg.

The highlight of highlights, however, took place at the famous Grand Old Opry. There, Berklee president Roger Brown presented country music legend Loretta Lynn with an honorary doctor of music degree as part of the Opry’s live nationwide broadcast.

Meanwhile, Berklee alumni continue to make their mark among the Nashville elite. Beth Schackne ’97 recently departed Vector Management after seven years to take over as the creative director at Ash Street Music. She is pitching songs for the publishing company, and helping the organization and writers grow to a new level, which will eventually include signing new writers and artist/writers.

Nia Allen ’03 has begun traveling with the Women of Faith Conferences that are designed to inspire and provide hope and encouragement to women through drama, word, and song. Allen’s performance of her original tune, “I Love You More Each Day,” will appear on the live DVD recording for CeCe Winan’s Pure Worship project, scheduled to be released next year.

Stacy Allyn Baker ’04 recently won Nashville’s Song Service’s grand prize in their lyric writing contest for her work entitled, “Jesus and Jim Beam.”

Renowned jazz vibist, Jerry Tachoir ’76 and award-winning composer/pianist, Marlene  Tachoir ’77, are currently finishing up the recording on their new Tachoir Quartet CD slated to be released this summer.

Charlie Worsham, a recent addition to the promising band, KingBilly, was the grand prize winner of the CMT/NSAI Song Contest for his song, “Makin’ Do.” Worsham and cowriter Kyle Hurlbut ’06, join Jessie Terry ’04, as Berklee alumni who have won this prestigious contest.

Bassist Justin Glasco ’04 recently completed a tour with Columbia Records artist Matt Kearney. The tour included TV appearances on Ellen and The View.

Songwriter Greg Becker recently secured a Chris Cagle cut for his song, “Change Me.” Natalie Stovall was invited to perform at the 93rd Annual White House Press Correspondent’s Dinner where she performed for President and Mrs. Bush and other distinguished guests. This was the first time in the history of the event that a soloist was invited to perform. Stovall gave an

a cappella rendition of “God Bless America.”

For updates or more information about the Nashville Chapter of the Berklee College of Music Alumni Association, contact Chapter President Dave Petrelli at

—Dave Petrelli ’05, Nashville Berklee Alumni Chapter President