Encore Gala Raises over $1.3 million for BCMP

  The Berklee West African Drum and Dance Ensemble led a procession at the start of the festivities.


  all photos by Phil Farnsworth


  From the left: John Connaughton, Roger Brown, and Steve Barnes. Connaughton and Barnes represent Bain Capital, the principal lead sponsor of the Encore Gala.


  From the left: Javier Rosario, Latoria Boyd, Apollo Payton, and Jessica Johnson of the 13-piece Berklee City Music SYSTEM 5 Ensemble that performed in the City Music room.


  From the left: Bill Holodnak, Roger Brown, Luis Alvarez, and Encore Gala cochair Elliott Hillback


  Paula Cole '90 was the featured performer for the Berklee Showcase.


  In the Starlight Finale, Elisabeth Withers '94 took the spotlight.

On Saturday, October 25, 2008, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, more than 800 guests were on hand for Berklee College of Music's 14th Annual Encore Gala, which raised an unprecedented sum for the Berklee City Music Program (BCMP). The program is a strategic initiative to engage musically talented sixth- through 12th-graders in a yearlong music education program.

Despite the economic downturn, this year the event raised more than $1.3 million - a record amount for the Encore Gala. Partygoers dined and danced to the sounds of more than 150 faculty, alumni, and student musicians performing Latin jazz, rock, reggae, big band, world, r& b, bluegrass, hip-hop, and world music. Special-guest performers included two celebrated Berklee alumnae; Grammy Award-winning vocalist Paula Cole '90 and Tony Award nominee Elisabeth Withers '94, and Emarcy Records artist, guitarist Julian Lage. The Berklee City Music SYSTEM 5 (or Summer Youth Scholarship for Excellence in Music) Ensemble - featuring program participants from Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, Hyde Park, and areas of Boston - also performed.

The live and silent auctions offered great prizes, including special Red Sox ticket packages; trips to the Panama Jazz Festival and the Heineken JazzFest in Puerto Rico, and the annual Grammy and American Music awards broadcasts; an opportunity to attend a scoring session for The Simpsons; and an array of outstanding musical equipment.

The Encore Gala was sponsored by Bain Capital Children's Charity. The event's colead sponsors were Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Fidelity Investments, and Subaru of New England. Gala cochairs included Teresa Koster and Berklee trustees Elliott Hillback and Carmichael Roberts.

BCMP is a life-changing experience that has benefited thousands of talented teens and helped them jump-start their education by incorporating the excitement of college during their middle-school and high-school years. Since its inception in 1992, BCMP has provided thousands of inner-city teens with access to a free music education. The program offers high-quality music instruction and mentoring to underserved students from Boston and other Berklee City Music Network sites across the country. BCMP components include a Saturday preparatory program, summer study, and full-tuition scholarships to earn bachelor of music degrees at Berklee. For information on donating to BCMP, visit www.berklee.edu/giving.


Special Thanks to our sponsors

  • Principal Lead Sponsor
    Bain Capital Children's Charity Ltd.

    Colead Sponsors
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
    Fidelity Investments
    Subaru of New England

    Platinum Sponsors
    Abrams Capital LLC
    ARAMARK Education
    Newbury Comics
    Carmichael Roberts and Sandra Park

    Superstar Ballroom Sponsors
    Charlesbank Capital Partners
    Elliott and Marjorie Hillback
    J. Robert Scott Executive Search

    Nightclub Sponsors
    Academic Risk Resources & Insurance LLC
    Ascent Venture Partners
    Barnes & Noble College Booksellers
    Bond Brothers Inc.
    Charles River Ventures
    Citizens Bank
    Lori and Peter Comeau
    Gallagher Koster Insurance Agency
    Helen H. Hauben Foundation
    Lee Munder Capital Group
    Longwood Security Services Inc.
    McCall & Almy
    Miller Dyer Spears Inc.
    State Street Corporation
    Stonyfield Farm Yogurt

    Starlight Finale Sponsor
    Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. Sapanski