Berklee Today

Alumni Beat

  Karen Bell
  Karen Bell '90
  Nick Balkin

Hi, everyone! Since my last column, alumni have been busy with many events and gatherings. The year started off with a bang at the IAJE alumni reception in New York. Nearly 200 alumni and other members of the Berklee community gathered on January 13 to catch up and hear college news from President Roger H. Brown. On Saturday, January 28, Berklee celebrated its 60th anniversary with a concert that packed the house at Boston's 3,600-seat Wang Center. Now that's the way to start a new year!

Alumni equipped themselves for the rigors of April 15 by attending the Tax Tips for Musicians information session on February 13 in Boston and on March 8 in New York. Music Business/Management Associate Professor Martin Dennehy, a private accountant, and Associate Professor of Professional Music Linda Gorham did an excellent job of sharing their expertise. Be sure to keep an eye out for these sessions next year.

At a reception held in tandem with the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) convention on March 16, alumni gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston to meet Cecil Adderley, Berklee's new chair of the Music Education Department. Everyone joined Adderley and John Hagon (the former Music Education Department chair) in honoring Deanna Kidd-Szymczak, who is retiring after 30 years of service to the college. Many thanks and congratulations to Deanna.

On March 17, a number of Berklee alumni performed in a Neil Young tribute at the South by Southwest music convention in Austin, Texas. Nashville-area alumni had a great time on March 20 at The Bound'ry restaurant at a reception held during the annual Nashville spring trip for Berklee students. Megan Kirschbaum '04 received our thanks for the great work she did as Nashville Alumni Chapter coordinator. She handed the reins to Dave Petrelli who will continue giving quality service to the Nashville alumni. Under the leadership of faculty members Pat Pattison, Stephen Webber, and Mark Wessel, students and alumni came together for five days of information sharing, friendship building, and music making.

From the left: John Hagon, Deanna Kidd-Szymczak, and Cecil Adderley. Kidd-Szymczak was honored for her 30 years of service at Berklee during the alumni reception held in conjunction with the March MMEA conference in Boston.  

On April 12, participants played great original music at the Boston Alumni Singer/ Songwriter's showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston.

The Berklee Scholarship Ensemble, led by faculty member Terri Lyne Carrington, performed for a Berklee at the Blue Note Jazz Club event on April 17 in New York. The group played to a very appreciative New York audience including those who attended an alumni reception that preceded the concert.

On April 24, the Boston Alumni Chapter hosted a social at the Hard Rock Cafe. The new Boston Alumni Chapter cocoordinators, Jennifer Truesdale-Brogan ( and Darcie Nicole Wicknick ( enjoyed the chance to interact with the Boston-area alumni.

  Faculty member Terri Lynne Carrington (center) is pictured with the student members of the Berklee Scholarship Ensemble that played at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club on April 17.

April ended on a strong note with an alumni reception preceding the Singers' Showcase concert on April 27. At the preconcert gathering of alumni at the Hilton Hotel, President Brown introduced Charlie Worsham '06, the 2006 Billboard Endowed Scholarship Award recipient. Worsham then wowed everyone with a banjo tune he calls "Shucking the Corn."

Of late, President Brown has been traveling the country to discuss Berklee's vision statement with alumni. He spoke with alumni staff and faculty at the college during a luncheon in March. Of the staff and faculty working at Berklee, 40 percent are alumni. As an extension of the discussions among President Brown and the alumni working on campus, I have had the pleasure of meeting with various groups of alumni. As a result of trying to hear alumni voices, we've had great conversations regarding experiences, successes, challenges, hopes, and expectations. I look forward to the continuation of this effort.

We want to be sure that you are aware of all the events happening in the alumni chapters and at Berklee. Sources for information include the alumni website and our periodic e-mails and postcard mailings. Feel free to e-mail me at with any concerns or comments. Thanks for your positive response to the Alumni Affairs Office. Your information and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Until next time,

-Karen Bell
Director of Alumni Affairs

Click here to see all upcoming Alumni Events.

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