Berklee Today

Helping Hands

The Schrafft Charitable Trust Invests in Berklee City Music

From the left: Richard Soref, Assistant Professor Angelamia
Bachemin, and Performance Division Dean Matt Marvuglio at the
April 18 Performance Division convocation
Photo by Nick Balkin

The Schrafft Charitable Trust recently made a $15,000 award to Berklee College of Music to support the Berklee City Music Saturday Program. This gift makes it possible for six inner-city youth to participate in music lessons, ensembles, music classes, visiting artist clinics, and more, throughout the school year. The goal of City Music Saturday is to reach out to at-risk young people interested in music and to provide a challenging music-education curriculum throughout the school year designed to put them "on par" with students from affluent school districts with strong music programs.

Berklee's City Music Saturday program was initiated in response to the needs of young people who were awarded scholarships to attend Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program. These young performers thrived in the Five Week Program but lacked strong music programs during the school year in their schools or communities.
Those at Schrafft Charitable Trust understand the importance of investing in young people early, and of keeping them engaged in order to provide them with the skills, confidence, and experience to excel in college. Schrafft is a pioneer in seeing the connection between young people's passion for music and Berklee's ability to capitalize on this by focusing the students' energy on developing themselves as musicians, and students. We are grateful for Schrafft's leadership. Dozens of young people in the city of Boston participated in Berklee City Music programs, received scholarships to attend college, and succeeded in college through the generous support of Schrafft. Karen Faulkner, executive director of the Schrafft Charitable Trust, has visited Berklee to meet the students, see the program in operation, and watch the young people perform. This kind of personal attention is what makes Schrafft's partnership with Berklee and the young people of Boston work so well.

The Richard Soref Excellence in Teaching Award

The Richard Soref Excellence in Teaching Award was established in November 2002 with a gift made by Richard Soref. He was impressed by the dedication of faculty members who inspired students at Berklee College of Music to become outstanding performers. To reward such dedication among Berklee's female faculty, Soref worked with me to establish a process for seeking nominations of female faculty at Berklee who teach performance classes and, in a tangible way, inspire their students to strengthen and develop their performance abilities.

The first award of $5,000 was made to Angelamia Bachemin on April 18 at the Performance Division Convocation. Bachemin, who since 1991 has been an assistant professor in the Percussion Department, was applauded by her colleagues as she accepted the award from Richard Soref and Matt Marvuglio, dean of Berklee's Performance Division. In addition to her duties in the Percussion Department, Bachemin has worked with Berklee's Urban Outreach Program to create Berklee's first hip- hop ensemble. This high-energy and talented group of Berklee students has earned acclaim for their performances at schools throughout the Greater Boston area.

Over the next four years, the Richard Soref Excellence in Teaching Award will be made to a different female faculty member annually.

—Marjorie O'Malley
Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement