Sarah Vaughan Tribute Concert (2002)
On one electrifying night in January 2002, Berklee faculty members and students brought to life the spirit of legendary jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan. Performing before a capacity crowd in the Berklee Performance Center, Associate Professor of Voice Donna McElroy sang signature tunes from Vaughan's career, channeling Vaughan's artistry and power while also putting her own unique twist on the songs. McElroy, who has been an arranger/background vocalist on gold and platinum releases by Garth Brooks, Amy Grant, Reba McIntyre, and BeBe and CeCe Winans, took Vaughan's music across a wide spectrum of emotions, ranging from sensitive romanticism to sassy playfulness.
A 30-piece Berklee orchestra, featuring brilliant solo work by Woodwind Chair and tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce and Professor of Brass and trombonist Phil Wilson, provided accompaniment during the night. "Send in the Clowns" featured student vocalist Nia Allen, first recipient of the Sarah Vaughan Endowed Scholarship.
All proceeds from the concert were donated to the fund for the Vaughan scholarship. The concert was released on CD for Berklee Encore Gala 2002, an annual celebration that acts as a fundraiser for Berklee City Music. The concert's producer was Rob Rose and its music director was Richard Evans.