Berklee Today

Berklee's Helping Hands

  From the left: Berklee City Music Program scholarship students Anthony Nembhard, guitarist Will Junior, and tenor saxophonist Marvin Balan
  Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Not satisfied with a track record of 20,000 wedding receptions, 7,500 parties, 4,500 proms, 30 albums, presidential inaugurations, Grace Kelly's engagement party, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's wedding, and Queen Elizabeth II's 60th birthday party, legendary bandleader Lester Lanin set his sights on nurturing future musicians for years to come. Before passing away at the age of 97, Lanin made provisions in his will for a $1.9 million donation to establish the Lester Lanin Scholarship at Berklee. This fund will provide scholarships for students with physical handicaps or learning disabilities and for students who demonstrate financial need. The gift is one of the largest bequests received by the college, and will provide support for Berklee students in perpetuity. Berklee is proud to carry on the legacy of this remarkable music luminary.

Boston Magazine
Boston Magazine and Volkswagen of America, Inc., have donated $20,000 for a Berklee scholarship to be presented annually to a student who is in the Music Business/Management program and who works at the college's student-run label, Heavy Rotation Records. The Boston Magazine Award will be presented to its first recipient for the 2006 fall semester.

The scholarship was established in appreciation for a group of eight Heavy Rotation students who worked with Boston Magazine to identify bands and secure licenses for a free, downloadable sampler of Boston music for their October 2005 music issue.

Boston Magazine Publisher Paul Reulbach stated, "Boston Magazine is proud to contribute to Berklee College of Music and to the education of these exceptional students and future leaders of the music industry."

Riley Foundation, Johnson Foundation, Schrafft Charitable Funds, and an Anonymous Donor Support the Berklee City Music Program
The Berklee City Music Program (BCMP) has produced outstanding musicians who have enriched the college and the local music scene for more than a decade. Long considered an undiscovered jewel, BCMP's successful track record with disadvantaged urban youth is finally catching the interest of philanthropists.

The cornerstones of BCMP are an aggressive peer-to-peer outreach among area middle- and high-school students and a curriculum of private lessons, ensemble work, music theory, harmony, and ear training to prepare participants for the opportunity to obtain a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee upon completing the program. The results are impressive. Students who enter Berklee upon leaving BCMP have excelled academically at the college and have graduated in significant numbers.

Berklee is therefore pleased that an anonymous donor has made a $200,000 gift to build the City Music Faculty Outreach Initiative. These funds will allow Berklee to provide faculty at the Roland Hayes School of Music and Orchard Gardens K-8 School, both in Roxbury. Importantly, these two schools have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining the arts as core academic subjects and maintained successful music programs. The BCMP faculty members will provide in-school music instruction including private and group piano instruction, ear training, and music theory.

The Riley Foundation's first-time grant of $75,000 to BCMP will be used to meet a fundraising challenge to Berklee made by the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation to raise $2.9 million over five years. The Johnson Foundation, the single largest donor to BCMP, made a gift totaling $450,000 in 2005. Berklee was also pleased that longtime BCMP supporter, the William E. and Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust recently made a gift of $15,000 to the program. We at Berklee are grateful for the donors that have enabled this program to grow and serve more deserving young people.

Roland and Submersible Music
Berklee's long-standing relationship with Roland Corporation has enabled the college to stay abreast of the latest digital music technology. Most recently, Roland donated 17 Fantom-XR Synthesizers, 10 XV-2020 expandable synthesis modules, and 55 Roland GI-20 GK-MIDI interface units.

"We're proud to be able to support Berklee and the invaluable programs that they offer to our young musicians," says Roland President Dennis Houlihan. "It is an honor to work with such a prestigious institution, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with Berklee in the future."

Berklee was also delighted to receive a gift worth $747,000 from Submersible Music's DrumCore software for creating drum tracks. The package will be installed on the laptops of incoming freshmen. Submersible Music will also make DrumCore available for free to all Berklee students who want to try it. The program was created for producers, composers, and others needing drum content in a range of styles.

Berklee Vice President for Information Technology David Mash is thrilled to be working with both Submersible Music and Roland. "The Roland gear has worked really well for students in our Professional Writing Division, Music Synthesis Department, and Performance Division," says Mash. "As well, students will find DrumCore to be a valuable tool in their composing and performing arsenal. Companies like Roland and Submersible Music are allowing us to enrich the Berklee student experience with product exposure, industry experience, and expertise."