Soundbreaking: Create Your Legacy at Berklee

The practice of planned giving (also called legacy giving) at Berklee and Boston Conservatory at Berklee is offering important scholarship support to young musicians. Planned gifts are made during estate planning with funds allocated at that time or at a future date. Some planned gifts provide life-long income to the donor. Other gift plans use estate and tax planning to maximize the gift while minimizing its impact on the donor’s estate.

H. Wilfred Churchill ’38, a Boston Conservatory alumnus and devoted piano faculty member, was the first person to gift his estate to the conservatory for student scholarships. Since 1994, the Churchill Piano Prize has provided financial support for many talented young pianists.

A bequest through a will or trust is the simplest way to provide future support to Berklee through the transfer of cash, securities, or property. It costs nothing now and allows donors to retain control of their assets during their lifetime while offering the satisfaction of supporting Berklee. Bequests can go to general college support, scholarships, programs or institutes, professorships, and naming opportunities.

Lawrence D’Addario ’12, a Berklee Online alumnus, recently reached out to discuss a planned gift to the college. D’Addario has taken 29 Berklee Online courses and earned three master’s certificates. His planned gift is designed to help emerging musical entrepreneurs through the online program.

“I believe arts and culture—especially music—are the nexus of any thriving community,” D’Addario states. “A strong creative economy contributes greatly to the balanced development and growth of society. I’m hoping my gift will help future students enjoy the Berklee experience, support their educational needs, and strengthen the musical arts for generations to come.”

“We are grateful that Lawrence’s bequest will support scholarships for our online students,” says Debbie Cavalier, senior vice president of Berklee Online. “Life-long learning is the key to any successful career and we are pleased that Lawrence’s gift will help others to pursue certificate programs, degree completion, and full undergraduate and graduate-level degrees.”

As well, Cavalier, and her wife Beth Barrett, have included Berklee in their estate planning to fund future scholarships for Berklee Online. “Berklee Online will continue to be at the forefront of higher education, helping aspiring musicians around the world pursue their dreams, including alumni seeking to complete their degrees,” Cavalier says. “Beth and I are proud to support scholarships to continue this important work.”

Don Gorder, chair of Berklee’s Music Business/Management (MB/M) program, has included Berklee is his estate plans. Gorder came to Berklee in 1991 to establish the MB/M major, and his gift will provide an annual scholarship in perpetuity for entering or matriculated MB/M students.

“I have long recognized the importance of scholarships in students’ attainment of their educational goals,” Gorder says. “With rising higher education costs coupled with the ever-increasing competition for the best, brightest, and most talented, scholarships are essential. The vast number of MB/M graduates who have forged successful, rewarding careers, attests to the strength of the program that I built here with much help from faculty and staff. I would like that legacy to continue, so I have included Berklee in my estate planning.”

For further information about creating your legacy at Berklee through planned giving, contact Beverly Tryon ( or Danielle Parillo (