Berklee Today

Faculty Notes

  Julius P. Williams
  Composition Professor Julius P. Williams

Composition Professor Julius P. Williams produced two CDs, The American Soloist and The New American Romanticism for the Albany Records label. On them, Williams conducts the Dvorak Symphony Orchestra in works by Berklee faculty members Beth Denisch, Andrew List, Arthur Welwood, and former faculty members Leroy Southers and Jack Jarrett.

Associate Professor of Percussion Mike Mangini is featured on an upcoming Rush tribute album with bassist Stu Hamm '80 and guitarist Vinnie Moore. Mangini also played on MullMuzzler 3 for Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie. Additionally, the Zildjian Company chose Mangini to perform for its Pacific Rim tour that took him from South Korea to New Zealand.

Assistant Professor of Ear Training Gilson Schachnik signed with the British label Candid Records and is releasing the CD Lampiao, which features drummer Antonio Sanchez '97 (Pat Metheny), saxophonist Miguel Zenón '98 (Danilo Perez), faculty bassist Fernando Huergo and saxophonist Rick DiMuzio. In November, Schachnik performed with Brazilian singer Monica Vasconcelos at Pizza Express Jazz Club in London.

Music by Associate Professor of Composition Francine Trester is featured on the Albany Records release Secrets, and her composition commissioned by trumpeter John Holt appears on the Crystal Records release Facets II. Her song cycle Bus 66 will be performed in May by baritone Richard Lalli and pianist William Braun at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Faculty vibist Dave Samuels and his band Caribbean Jazz Project released Here and Now, a two-CD live recording. Samuels is planning an April 1 release for the CD Schuur Fire, a collaboration with Diane Schuur. Both discs are on Concord Records. Caribbean Jazz Project features Samuels (vibes and marimba), Diego Urcola '90 (trumpet), Dario Eskenazi '88 (piano), and faculty members Oscar Stagnaro (bass) and Mark Walker (drums).

Music Education Professor Peter Cokkinias recorded Underground Spring, a "septet for one" inspired by late Berklee legends Joe Viola and John LaPorta. Professor Arthur Welwood composed all of the music on the CD, which features multi-tracked flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, and bassoon.

Faculty drummer Mark Walker played with Yo-Yo Ma, Michel Camilo, New York Voices, and other special guests at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Paquito D'Rivera. Walker, performing with the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet, also recently opened Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, a new club in New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie.

Associate Professor of Voice Charles Sorrento and his band Bellevue Cadillac are releasing a new CD, Love Always, Picasso. Visit to preview the new material.

Assistant Professor of Composition Apostolos Paraskevas completed a tour of Ukraine performing his guitar concerto The Life in Death with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra.

Associate Professor of Harmony Steve Rochinski was profiled in the 2005 edition of Who's Who in America, from Marquis.

Assistant Professor of Guitar Jane Miller transcribed 12 songs for singer/songwriter SONiA. She also played two solo sets as well as a set with former faculty bassist Joshua Davis at the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival in Darlington, Maryland.

Berklee's first mandolin instructor, John McGann, released Rhythm Tune Up, a DVD focusing on rhythmic musicianship for all instruments. Visit

Mili Bermejo  
Voice Professor Mili Bermejo  

Associate Professor of Voice Lisa Thorson was the keynote speaker at a statewide conference on the training and employment of artists with disabilities sponsored by VSA Arts of Massachusetts. She was also featured at A Celebration of Song, three days of panels, concerts, and activities at New England Conservatory in October.

Associate Professor and saxophonist Rick DiMuzio released First Offerings, a CD of original compositions that features drummer John Hollenbeck, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, and faculty members Mark Shilansky, Greg Burk, and Jamey Haddad. Visit

Voice Professor Mili Bermejo's CD A Time for Love received an enthusiastic review in the October issue of Cadence magazine, which called Bermejo "one of the most, if not absolutely the most, emotive singer of Latin jazz music currently recording." Visit

Assistant Professor of Ear Training John Funkhouser played at Birdland in New York with 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy Matt Savage for the release of Savage's new CD, Cutting Loose. Visit

Associate Professor of Voice Joyce Lucia has completed her second book, Voice for Musicians. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. will release the book later this year.

Faculty Trumpeter Tiger Okoshi performed alongside Makoto Ozone '83 at the Music Meets Aloha Festival in November, and in October, he toured Japan with pianist Daniela Schachter '02, bassist Justin Purtill '02, and drummer Jordan Perlson '04. Okoshi recently presented a memorial concert in Ashiya, Japan, for the 10th anniversary of the 1995 Kobe, Japan, earthquake.

Professor of Jazz Composition Greg Hopkins played lead trumpet on jazz legend Dave Brubeck's oratorio The Gates of Justice. Hopkins also played the music of Bobby Darin with actor Kevin Spacey for shows at the Somerville Theatre and Foxwoods.

Percussion Instructor Sergio Bellotti played on his brother Marco's newest CD, Centro Asociale. The disc is currently climbing the charts in Italy. In January, Bellotti performed with Grammy-winning pianist Dan Siegel on Bob James's Showboat Cruise.

Professor of Contemporary Writing and Production Michael Farquharson engineered, coproduced, and performed on Jeff Friedman's CD Slo & Lo, featuring vocalist Eric Mingus '81. Farquharson is also currently finishing compositions for an album with Contemporary Writing and Production Chair Matthew Nicholl, which will feature a string orchestra and saxophonist Tim Ries, who has played with the Rolling Stones and John Patitucci.

Associate Professor Charles Lewis traveled to Seville, Spain, in October to participate in a seminar on brass band processionals. Lewis gave clinics on breathing and trumpet technique.