Berklee Today

Grants Totaling $50,000 Awarded to Four Alumni

President Lee Eliot Berk presented Berklee's first alumni grants to recipients in November. From the left: Juri (Shigeta) Jones '02, President Berk, Kendrick Oliver '95, and Hans Schuman '90. Not pictured is grant recipient Catherine Goldwyn '78.
Photo by Sarah Godcher Murphy

In November, President Lee Eliot Berk presented grant awards to four Berklee alumni in support of their efforts to promote music education and outreach initiatives in their communities. The grants, totaling $50,000, were presented to Catherine Goldwyn '78, Kendrick Oliver '95, Hans Schuman '90, and Juri (Shigeta) Jones '02.

Goldwyn, Oliver, Schuman, and Shigeta are the first to receive funds from Berklee's new alumni grant program. The ongoing program will provide seed money for initiatives that foster the creativity of the college's alumni, further Berklee's mission of contemporary music education, and help improve society through music. The grants were established by the college's board of trustees, with funding from endowment income. A review committee will award new grants annually, and all Berklee alumni are eligible to apply.

All four of the inaugural grants will support education projects developed by these alumni. Catherine Goldwyn helps to provide music education to students from the South Central district of Los Angeles. Kendrick Oliver leads his New Life Jazz Orchestra in conducting educational clinics in the New York City area. Hans Schuman is director of JazzReach, a performance-based group educating public school students about jazz. Juri Jones works with juvenile offenders in the Boston area and in Washington state.

Catherine Goldwyn, of Santa Monica, California, received a $25,000 grant. Goldwyn is the director of Sound Art, a nonprofit organization that offers musical training and exposure to inner-city youths in Los Angeles. The grant will help provide up to five portable recording studios, that will be available for use by young people in public schools, after-school programs, and community centers in the L.A. area.

Kendrick Oliver of New York City, received a $5,000 grant. Oliver is a tubist and composer, and the conductor of the New Life Jazz Orchestra, a 19-member big band that features 15 Berklee alumni. The orchestra presents an educational program called Sing, Swing, Stomp & Shout in New Yorkarea public schools. The grant will help offset the expense of these presentations.

Hans Schuman of Brooklyn, New York, received a $15,000 grant. Schuman is the founder and artistic director of JazzReach, a nonprofit organization that promotes greater awareness and appreciation of jazz through performance-based education programs. The grant will help increase the staff of JazzReach, enabling the program to reach a greater number of young people.

Juri Jones, of Boston, Massachusetts, who received a $5,000 grant, recently founded Genuine Voices, a nonprofit organization teaching the basics of music and sequencing to youths at juvenile detention centers. Through focused lessons and increased personal attention, the program aims to build musical skills and encourage young offenders to make positive decisions. The grant will help offset operational costs and provide a catalyst for others to contribute to the program.

"I am pleased to recognize and support the good work of these four alumni whose creativity and compassion make Berklee proud," said President Berk. "So many of our graduates have undertaken work of significant social value. This alumni grant program is just one way the college hopes to reward those who have given so much to their alma mater and their community."