The Alumni Beat

  Karen Bell '90
  Photo by Nick Balkin

In September, vibrancy returned to the Berklee campus with the arrival of students ready for the fall semester. With all the alumni gatherings planned this fall, we hope to continue that surge in activity. Visit the alumni website at to view upcoming events.

Last summer the Berklee alumni community hosted a flurry of activities at various locations across the country. On June 23, I joined the head of Berklee's Chicago Alumni Chapter, Steve Nixon '02, as we hosted the Chicago alumni for a lunchtime buffet at the Abbey Pub. On July 31, Fluid, an award-winning New York-based music and editorial studio, opened its doors to alumni to introduce itself and share industry experiences during a panel discussion. Four alumni sat on the panel, including David Shapiro '70, Fluid's executive producer and partner; Andrew Sherman '89, a senior composer and partner; Judson Crane '00, a senior composer; and Ian Jeffreys '98, a producer.

On July 27, alumni from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the surrounding areas gathered for the first time during the New Mexico Jazz Festival. In August, Ginny Fordham '80 and her husband, Associate Professor of Drums Steve Wilkes '80, traveled to Japan, where they hosted an alumni gathering at Vanilla Mood, a cozy restaurant and nightclub in Roppongi owned by Berklee alumnus Norihiko Hibino '97. Details and photos of the event are posted on Wilkes's blog at

Thanks to Rob Jaczko '83, chair of the MP&E Department, for documenting many of our alumni gatherings. Check out Jaczko's websites for a glimpse of the photos of our summer alumni get-togethers in Miami at ( and in Washington, D.C. (

Thanks also to those who submitted proposals to the 2007-2008 Alumni Grant Program. In the coming weeks, we will announce the initiatives that received funding. The winning proposals for the 2006-2007 Alumni Grant Program include the following.


  • David Chandler '86, Children of the Gospel Vocal Workshop;
  • Laurie Cohen '76, the Mill Valley Philharmonic;
  • Andreia Pinto Correia '02 and Johannes Berauer '05, Luso-Austro Jazz Orchestra;
  • Winnie Dahlgren '97, No Boundaries;
  • Juri Panda Jones '01, the Genuine Voices at Judge John J. Connelly Youth Center;
  • Justis Kao '03, Benefit Christmas Concert;
  • Fiandratovo Manavihare (a.k.a Mimy) '03, outreach in Madagascar;
  • Gail McArthur-Browne '98, concerts and jazz workshops in Scotland;
  • Gabriel Riesco '06: Improsounds, contemporary music education project;
  • Marlon Saunders '87, Workin' on a Building;
  • Hans Schuman'90, JazzReach;
  • Michael Shorr '02, a book based on his Song Analyst radio broadcast;
  • Frank Warren '76, Berklee Alumni Composers Consortium; and
  • Darcie Wicknick '01, the Boston Hip-Hop Alliance.


Debbie Bieri, Karen Bell '90, Eileen Knight, Alphonso Jiles '88 (Berklee Alumni Chapter Leader Washington, D.C.), Larry Simpson, Ginny Fordham '80 during the alumni reception at the Kennedy Center in May.  
Rob Jaczko  

We extend our congratulations to all grant recipients for their great work in their communities. Detailed descriptions of each project are posted on the alumni website.

To make sure we support you, the alumni community, it's essential for us to get input. We recently mailed a new survey to members of the alumni community. Please take a few moments to fill out the survey you received by mail or the online version that can be found at and return it to us. This is also a chance to update your contact information for our online alumni directory.

In other alumni news, beginning in January 2008, Berklee today will increase its publication frequency to four issues a year. Kudos to our editor, Mark Small '73, for a job well done!

Finally, congratulations are in order for Brian Grzelak, assistant director of alumni affairs, and his wife, Melissa, for the birth of their son, Colin. We wish them well.

That's it for now. Enjoy the fall.