Berklee Today

Lead Sheet:

We Heard You

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Over the past two years, Berklee has been developing a strategic plan to improve upon what we already do and to expand upon the programs that are central to Berklee's mission. I want to report on the alumni relations part of the plan.

The college's relationship with a student does not end upon graduation. In an effort to reach out to alumni, staff in the alumni and development offices spoke with thousands of alumni face-to-face, by e-mail, and through surveys. Three commonalities became clear: Berklee graduates want ongoing education, a stronger alumni network, and for the college to be mindful of their locations, careers, and relationships to music.

There are 35,000 Berklee alumni worldwide, and many of you have multifaceted careers. Some of you have put aside your instrument for computer programming manuals or the financial pages to earn a living, but music still remains at the core of daily life for a majority of you. You might start to see our challenge in planning alumni events; no single program will pique the interests of everyone.

Many of you expressed desires for educational programs, so we expanded them. Programs have ranged from the business how to's to the technology how to's. We have also held events for writers, singers, and those who want to jam; museum tours; and a day-long Career Expo.

While most events have been music-related, you have expressed interest in topics like financial and estate planning. For more informaton, visit It lists our educational programs and lets you suggest programs you would like us to consider.

This newly launched site has been a major focus of our efforts this past year. While it will continue to evolve, presently you can buy Apple Computer products at the college's educational discount, advertise in Berklee's "yellow pages,” search for gigs, list gigs, and keep up with what other alumni are doing. Future versions may feature a yellow pages section that includes digital files of your music and an online alumni directory.

Some alumni have asked why we create these programs. The answer is straight forward. The focus of the strategic plan is to develop a two-way relationship with alumni and provide advantages to help you succeed in the music industry. One way to accomplish that goal is to strengthen our alumni network in order to help one another become more competitive. Part of that relationship also includes your financial support so that we can continue to provide the music industry, schools, and hospitals with well-prepared graduates.

I welcome your comments, and I look forward to the time when we might meet at an alumni event or even in your living room.


Five New Faces on the Board of Trustees

Robert Morrison
Bill Holodnak
Dr. Eli H. Newberger
Phil Ramone
Rhoda Sapers
Photo by Bob Kramer

The appointment of five new members to Berklee's board of trustees was recently announced by Allan T. McLean, board chair. The new members come from various professions that range from a hit record producer to medical professionals to CEO from the business community.

Bill Holodnak is founder and president of the J. Robert Scott executive search firm, a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments. Holodnak has managed the firm since its founding in 1986. Prior to establishing J. Robert Scott, Holodnak worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and managed the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Holodnak holds degrees from Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, and Canisius College.

Robert Morrison, vice president of public affairs for VH1, and CEO of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading advocates for music and arts education in public schools. Since its inception, Save the Music Foundation has restored music programs to over 500 public schools.

In addition to his work with VH1, Morrison was a founding member of the National Coalition for Music Education and has worked to promote the National Standards for Arts Education. His educational advocacy has earned him an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Music Distributors Association, and the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Award.

Dr. Eli H. Newberger is a senior associate in medicine at Boston's Children's Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. His extensive work in the area of child abuse prevention has been recognized by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to his medical work, Dr. Newberger is a lifelong music enthusiast and jazz performer. He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music and Yale University and has played tuba on more than 40 recordings by the New Black Eagle Jazz Band and other groups.

Phil Ramone, a renowned record producer and recording-industry innovator, began his career as a child prodigy on the violin. He performed for the Queen of England at age 10 and later studied violin at the Juilliard School of Music. He worked as a performer and composer in New York until 1961 when he opened the now legendary A&R Recording studio.

Ramone has earned nine Grammy Awards for producing and engineering hit records for Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Elton John, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and others. He also received an Emmy Award for his work on movie soundtracks.

Ramone is regarded as an innovator in recording technology. Among his many firsts was his use of Dolby surround sound, digital live recordings, and a fiber optics system to record tracks in real time from different locations. Ramone received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee in 1987.

Until 1998, Rhoda Sapers worked as a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital and taught at Beth Israel School of Nursing. She has extensive community leadership experience after serving as president of the Leventhal Sidman Jewish Community Center, vice-president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, chair of the Russian Resettlement Committee, and president of the women's division of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. She is the daughter of the late Fred Berman, founding chair of Berklee's Brass Department. Sapers and her family have created scholarships for brass students.

"We are fortunate to be attracting trustees of the level and quality of our new board members,” said Berklee President Lee Eliot Berk. "They represent a big vote of confidence for Berklee's ongoing success.”