Berklee Today

Alum Notes: Class Connections

Capitol recording artists Marcy Playground with Adrian Ross after the band's performance for the WBCN Xmas Rave at TT The Bears. in Cambridge. From the left, John Wozniak, Dan Rieser '90, Zeke Zima '91, Ross, and Dylan Keefe '90.

I would like to take the chance to introduce myself as the new Director of Alumni Affairs. Having attended the college from 1992-1996, I am very excited to begin building new paths for alumni growth and development.

One of my first focuses is to heighten all communication between alumni, and to develop a powerful Berklee Alumni Network (BAN). In this highly competitive industry, we often have to look for support from friends, classmates, and colleagues to achieve success and growth within our careers. Over the past months, I have spoken to and corresponded with hundreds of alumni, and I am in the process of expanding our e-mail database. I encourage all alumni to forward your e-mail addresses to me at <> in the event that you are not in my current directory. Eventually, through the use of regional directories and the Berklee web site (which is in the process of being remodeled), we will able to interact globally and disseminate information more efficiently.

Another area that I want to focus on is continuing education. People have expressed to me their need to stay up-to-date and competitive in this ever-changing market. There is a need to network amongst ourselves and with leaders in the industry to ensure that we advance with breaking technology and that we continue to lead the way in our specialized fields.

Toward that end, on December 6, 1999, Berklee hosted a panel discussion called "Listening to the Sound of Music" at ASCAP in New York. It was billed as a provocative discussion of how MP3 and other digital distribution formats are changing the rules in the industry. The panel featured Gian Caterine, director of business development for; Brian Cohen, vice president of marketing for Elektra Entertainment Group; Jamie Kitman, president of the Hornblow Group USA Inc.; and Julie Wong, of the New Media Department at ASCAP. The seminar was well attended and touched on an array of topics ranging from legal issues growing out of new technologies, to scenarios pertaining to specific artists.

A visit to Nashville in November introduced me to a very active alumni chapter in a region that is in the forefront of the music scene today. We are in the process of creating a Nashville web page and planning the next alumni event. By increasing the number of annual events and building interstate communication, Nashville will become a model for developing chapters.

As for other alumni news, Vice President David McKay and Berklee Today Editor Mark Small held meetings with alumni in London in November to get a feel for what types of events will best serve their needs. I send special thanks out to those who performed at or attended Berklee's Singer/Songwriter Showcase at Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts in November. The event was a great success, and presented some great talent. In February, Berklee, New England Conservatory, and Boston Conservatory will collaborate to produce the Music Career Expo and Job Fair 2000. It will feature various panels of music professionals, specialized presentations and mentoring sessions, employment presentations and special exhibits. It will provide pertinent music-related information presented by prominent figures in the industry. For more information call (617) 747-8970.

Lastly, I am reaching out to all successful alumni to participate in future events as guest speakers or artists to nurture the next generation of leaders. Hearing your "real world" experiences and advice is of great value to those wishing to follow in your footsteps. This kind of connection and allegiance will continue to increase Berklee's overall presence within the music industry.

Until next time, best regards,

Adrian E. Ross '96
Alumni Affairs