Berklee Today

Alumni Beat

  Brian Grzelak
  Brian Grzelak
  Nick Balkin

It was a fairly quiet summer for Berklee's office of Alumni Affairs. We had a successful and very enjoyable alumni dinner with Berklee President, Roger H. Brown on June 16. Brown spoke to Boston-area alumni about Berklee at present and where the college is striving to be in the future. He spoke about plans for new facilities, additional technology, expanded curriculum, and stricter admissions processes. President Brown also took questions and made himself available to talk one on one with the alumni after his remarks.

On June 27, our New York City alumni chapter coordinator, Lisa Hearns '96, hosted an alumni networking event. The gathering took place at the Cutting Room and was followed by a CD release party for Brooke Fox '98, whose new recording is titled Breathe the Same Air. Also performing at the party were alumnus Ian Jeffreys and alumni duo Sorensen & Mechlowicz.

Ragsdale and Bethune  
(From the left:) Jeremy Ragsdale '05 and Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Lawrence Bethune at the Vineyard Vibes preconcert alumni reception.  
Toni Ballard  

A few weeks later, on July 23, Lisa Hearns and Brooke Fox cohosted the New York City Alumni Songwriter's Forum at Manhattan Center Studios. The forum gives alumni songwriters the opportunity to present their original material for feedback and critique. This recurring event is open to all alumni who would like to receive insights from their peers about their writing styles.

On Friday, August 5, we took our annual alumni trip from the Massachusetts mainland to Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Cape Cod, for the Vineyard Vibes festival. The four-day music festival featured a variety of Berklee acts including Juliana Hatfield '90, Phil Wilson and the Berklee Rainbow Band, faculty member Eguie Castrillo's Palladium Night Orchestra, and Dennis Montgomery, III and the Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir.

After a reception at the Mansion House Inn in Vineyard Haven, the alumni group made its way over to the Hot Tin Roof nightclub. Salsa lessons were given on the dance floor to warm up the crowd. Then Associate Professor Eguie Castrillo's Palladium Night Orchestra hit the stage in a tribute to the Mambo Kings. Eguie and the band were incredible. With an 18-piece band on stage and not an inch of unused space on the dance floor, the energy in the room was amazing. Everyone in the club was on his or her feet throughout the performance, and the audience had a great time.

  Roger and Eugie
  (From the left:) President Roger Brown sits in on a percussion jam with Eguie Castrillo during the tribute to the Mambo Kings concert featuring Castrillo's Palladium Night Orchestra.
  Toni Ballard

We are looking forward to some great alumni events this fall. In Nashville and New York City, the songwriter groups will hold their regularly scheduled meetings. In Los Angeles, Peter Gordon is hosting a number of events including songwriter forums, networking socials, and two educational events at Dolby Laboratories. Stay tuned to the events page on the alumni web site for details on all upcoming events.

We are pleased to announce that Karen Bell '90 has just come on board as the new director of alumni affairs. She will introduce herself through this column in the next issue of Berklee Today.

Best regards,
-Brian Grzelak,
Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs

Click here to see all upcoming Alumni Events.

Click here to contact your chapter president.