Berklee Today

Berklee Beat: Berklee's Helping Hands

Vivian Male Benefit Concert Nets $20,000

The band included (from the left) Langston "Skip” Smith, Bill Pierce, Frank Wilkins, Vivian Male, Armsted Christian, Ron Savage, Jeffrey Lockhart, and Rollins Ross.
Photo by Rob Hayes

On June 8, Berklee's Board of Trustees Vice Chair Vivian Beard, who performs under the name of Vivian Male, presented a benefit concert at the David Friend Recital Hall. The event raised $20,000 for the Sarah Vaughan Scholarship at Berklee.

This effort has been close to Beard's heart since she became a trustee, and she has spent a considerable amount of her time building the fund. Conceived by Beard, fellow trustee Dolores Johnson, (a benefactor at this year's event), and former trustee David Lee, the fund provides scholarship support for outstanding African-American students at Berklee. The goal is to generate sufficient funds to provide full-scholarship support for deserving students.

Newbury Comics, which provided a challenge gift to initiate the fund, was also a benefactor of the June 8 event and Marilyn Zacharis was an event patron. The annual concert has earned the reputation as one of the most enjoyable evenings out at Berklee. The comfortable surroundings of the David Friend Recital Hall create an intimate atmosphere for enjoying jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music performed by Male and a band of well-known Berklee performers who donated their time to support this effort. Male's band featured pianist Frank Wilkins '78, vocalist Armsted Christian '78, tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce '73, bassist Langston "Skip” Smith '73, drummer Ron Savage '84, and pianist Rollins Ross '70. Jeffrey Lockhart rounded out the group on guitar. Donations can be made to the Sarah Vaughan endowed scholarship fund by calling (617) 747-2569.


Dale DeJoy '84 Hosts Second Concert

Combining his love of music, respect for Berklee student musicians, and his quest for a meaningful way to honor his father's memory, alumnus Dale DeJoy '84 recently produced the second of two Best of Berklee 2000 Concerts in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, featuring top Berklee performers.

"I was energized by the success of last year's sold-out concert,” DeJoy said. "Once again, the music was outstanding and the Berklee name attracted a large audience. The Best of Berklee 2000 Concerts showcased the talent that defines the college. Some great connections were made. I was so impressed with the performers that I heard that I am now managing Michael Ruzitschka ['01] and his group and producing their CD. I hope that we can continue to build connections for these great student musicians.”

DeJoy took full advantage of all the skills of the Berklee students. He offered internships to Berklee students to publicize and promote the event and to handle logistical details. Berklee's Rainbow Ensemble, directed by Professor Phil Wilson, performed to rave reviews in front of a sold-out audience.

The proceeds from the concert established an endowed fund in the name of his deceased father, George Angelo DeJoy. "Establishing a named fund in memory of my father to support the students for years to come made this a very special undertaking for me. I cannot wait to do it again next year.” The fund will begin making scholarship awards this year.


Corporate Friends: BitHeadz and SRW

Berklee College of Music has teamed up with BitHeadz, Inc., to bring state-of-the-art software-based synthesis and sampling tools to students at Berklee. Through this new relationship, Berklee will provide BitHeadz's Unity DS-1 to its students on approximately 250 campus workstations, in support of their music-production needs. In addition, 500 Music Technology majors will have access to BitHeadz's Retro AS-1 software-based analog synthesizer.

"Unity DS-1 software turns a computer into a professional musical instrument,” says David Mash, Berklee's vice president for information technology, "Berklee provides students access to the real-world music-production tools they will use when they enter the profession. In line with this mission, Unity DS-1 gives our students access to an incredible library of high-quality sounds via the personal computer.”

"This is one of the most technologically exciting times in history for musicians,” according to André Rocke, director of marketing for BitHeadz. "Our software has made quality samplers and synthesizers accessible and affordable for everyone, not just professionals. We are particularly excited to be involved in Berklee's commitment to equip the next generation of musicians for excellence both musically and technologically.

SWR Sound Corporation has donated 10 special bass combo amplifiers to the college's Bass Department to be used in private instruction rooms and practice facilities.

"Berklee is a world-class music school with a world-class bass department,” says Bryan Bellar, SWR product development manager and Berklee alumnus. "We're proud to help the next generation of professional bassists in the best way we know how.”

The special edition TD 30 bass combos are based on SWR's acclaimed LA Series, the latest line of bass products to benefit from SWR's reputation for designing and building professional quality bass gear.

—Marjorie O'Malley
Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement