Berklee Today

L.A. Newsbriefs

  Peter Gordon '78

The Berklee Center in Los Angeles opened 12 years ago, and at the risk of beginning this column with a cliche, the one constant over the years has been change. As the music industry has reshaped itself during this period, new opportunities have emerged along with interesting alumni career paths. When I consider the array of success stories and diversity of the individual achievements, examples of which are mentioned below, I'm reminded of the impact our alumni are having on the industry.

Dawaun Parker '05 is already making his mark in the L.A. hip-hop scene. He recently signed a deal with Dr. Dre's label Aftermath/ Universal as a producer/musician and has been in the studio working on Dre's last album The Detox. His first L.A. credit is as a keyboard player on the 50 Cent movie soundtrack to Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Check him out on the track entitled "Talk about Me."

Composer Sharon Farber had her acclaimed concert piece Ashkina (for choir, chamber orchestra and ethnic instruments) performed at the First Annual Festival of Universal Sacred Music in October in New York City. Her song cycle for soprano and piano premiered in Berlin last May, and she is working on a new commission that will debut May 2006 in Los Angeles. Farber also currently serves as the composer for the Emmy Award-winning NBC series Starting Over, which is now in its second season, and she contributes music to another Emmy Award-winning NBC show Passions. Visit

David Grossman was recently named the executive vice president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), the home of the Grammy Awards. Grossman previously served as senior vice president of Television Music for Paramount Pictures overseeing the music to such shows as JAG, Star Trek, and Entertainment Tonight.

Jason Goldman was recently chosen as a winner of the 2005 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. As a result, Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center invited the Jason Goldman Quartet to perform at Dizzy's Coca-Cola Club at Lincoln Center. A talented saxophonist and educator, Goldman continues to direct the award-winning jazz band at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Visit

Amanda Mosher '97 was named female singer/songwriter of the year at the L.A. Music Awards. This success was followed by a November tour to Cuba, where Mosher performed for the U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay. For details, visit

Composer Jeffrey Hepker '00 has completed the score for the film Laffit: All about Winning, directed by Oscar winner Jim Wilson. His recent television work includes the full score for the History Channel's two hour special Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery, as well as additional music for the Lifetime series I Married a Princess. He is currently the lead composer for Zoo Street Music, a full-service music company in Burbank, CA. For more information, visit

Film scoring grad Darren McKenzie '03 is assembling an impressive list of credits that includes serving as the music editor and composer of additional music for the film Trick or Treat, scoring assistant for Steve Bartek on Desperate Housewives, and as score preparation on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride. For additional details, go to http://go.berkleemusic. com/ dmckenzie.

The music of composer Matthias Weber '91 was featured in the January premiere of the CBS movie Surrender Dorothy, starring Diane Keaton. Among Weber's list of credits is a 2003 Emmy Award for music editing in James Cameron's Expedition Bismarck.

If you saw the recent movie Prime, starring Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman, you heard the music of Ryan Shore. The soundtrack was released on Varese Sarabande records. This past year was a busy one for Shore. For more, visit

Lost World by Eddie Reyes is a CD worth hearing. The music is an original blend of flamenco and Afro-Cuban styles, and with featured musicians that include Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Wallace Roney '81, and Alex Acu?a. For more information, go to

That's all for now. Have a great 2006!

-Peter Gordon '78, Director,
Berklee Center in Los Angeles