The ATL Buzz

  Michael Trammel '95

In this first column from Atlanta (which is sometimes referred to as "the ATL"), I'd like to introduce myself and the Berklee Atlanta Alumni Chapter. After majoring in Music Business/Management, I've worked in the music business for years. I was blessed to be a key part of the team that developed recording stars such as Usher, Diddy, R. Kelly, Toni Braxton, TLC, Dave Mathews Band, 'N Sync, and Outkast, to name just a few. I've also worked for record distributors and Jive Records. Presently, I'm an industry consultant specializing in sales, distribution, marketing, and product-brand development. I also devote time to High School Jamz and It Takes SMArTS Foundation's "Saving Music, Arts and Technology" at undeserved schools. Soon I'll hit the studio to record my own album with Grammy Award winner Tony Rich producing.

There are about 200 alumni living in the area, and our chapter has hosted some great networking and other events. Chapter members turned out to support the Berklee Admissions Department 2009 Educational Outreach Tour produced by the African, Latino, Asian, Native American recruitment committee. I hosted the event at North Atlanta High School and Scott C. King '94 documented the proceedings in photos.

The chapter is planning the conference "Music Matters: Financing the Dream." We hope to engage the ATL alumni in raising funds to continue assisting the many talented students who need support to attend Berklee. We're planning panel discussions, networking parties, and performances for high-school and college students and anyone in the community wanting to break into the music industry.

And now, here's a rundown of news about some of the ATL chapter members. Brian Preston '93 owns the Music Factory, a commercial production company. Preston and Marc Battaglia '90 have produced more than 1,147 jingles for such clients as Hasboro, U.S. Bank, DuPont, Starkist Company, Coca-Cola, and others. Drummer and bassist Dana Hawkins '06 is touring with singer Estelle (an artist on John Legend's HomeSchool Records), working with platinum-winning producer Jon Webb, and gigging with various jazz, r&b, and pop artists.

Jordan Owen '06 and his band Incarceri 9 have released the group's debut album, In Prison Till the End, independently. The group has gotten rave reviews from underground magazines.

Michael Rachap '01 teaches piano and early-childhood music at the Eclectic Music school. His Readeez Company is scheduled to release a second DVD that teaches children reading skills through phonics. Rachap is also recording his debut CD in his home studio.

Saxophonist Will Compton '06 has stirred up the Atlanta music scene and is gearing up for his self-titled debut album. Compton hopes to take smooth jazz to another level of artistry and sales.

Marvin Pryor '84 is working wonders as the principal of the New Schools at Carver's School of the Arts in Atlanta. Under his leadership, test scores have gone up and the school achieved a 100 percent graduation rate. Additionally, Pryor-a trombonist who has worked with Cameo, Ray Charles, and others-is recording an album with his jazz duo P.R. Experience for a fall release.

This is a quick look at what is happening in our chapter. We encourage all to participate in local-area events. Feel free to contact me via e-mail at

Michael "BigWig" Trammel '95
Atlanta Berklee Alumni Chapter Leader