New York News

by Ren Collins
From the left: Ian Jeffreys ’98, Jeff Franzel, Eric Beall ’84, Susan Wybiral ’89, and Brooke Fox ’98.
From the left: Ian Jeffreys ’98, Jeff Franzel, Eric Beall ’84, Susan Wybiral ’89, and Brooke Fox ’98.

This year the momentum continues to build for Berklee’s New York City Alumni Chapter. On February 26, the New York City Alumni Songwriter’s Forum hosted “Right Song, Right Time: How to Pitch Your Songs to Labels.” Held at Fluid, a music, sound design, and visual effects studio in Soho, the panel discussion featured songwriter Jeff Franzel (a songwriter for Clay Aiken, LeAnn Rimes, and Shawn Colvin) and label representative Eric Beall ’84 (the author of Making Music Make Money: An Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Music Publisher and a representative for Shapiro Bernstein and Company).

The two spoke candidly about navigating the A&R waters, the courtesies of collaboration, and how to “write up” and produce a targeted demo. Songwriter’s Forum chair Brooke Fox ’98 introduced the panel, which was moderated by alumnus and songwriter Susan Wybiral ’89.

On March 26, Berklee Visiting Professor Terry Lyne Carrington led a student ensemble featuring guitar prodigy Julian Lage at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club. Two days later, private accountant and Berklee Associate Professor Martin Dennehy led the annual “Tax Prep for Musicians” clinic. Dennehy advised alumni on how to avoid tax pitfalls common to members of the industry. On April 2, our alumni supported fellow chapter members at the Alumni Showcase at the Cutting Room. Performers included Mariam Abubakr ’00, Shinya Miyamoto ’95, Jacquelyn Schreiber ’06, Harrison Young ’02, Sham Sundra ’83, and Igmar Thomas ’06.

This summer’s events include a panel titled “Legal Aspects of the Music Business,” featuring alumni Jason Vogel ’88 and Adrian Ross ’96. In July the Songwriter’s Forum will hold an event called Berklee at Fluid.

Thanks go to the 139 New York alumni who donated to the Ernie Boch, Jr., Alumni Challenge. A total of 1,600 Berklee alumni donated funds to the college; as a result, Boch made a $65,000 donation. Congratulations to all for making it happen.

Stay current with Berklee and the alumni community by visiting E-mail Lisa Hearns at with your gigs; accomplishments; news; album release information; notices about internships, jobs, or discounts; or any other items you’d like to share with the community. If you have questions or suggestions or would like to get involved with the chapter, contact Brooke Fox, Lisa Hearns, or Ren Collins, or call the new Berklee New York Chapter hotline at (877) 423-7553.

—Ren Collins, New York, Alumni Chapter Coordinator

Lisa Hearns and Brooke Fox contributed to this article.