Ten Scholarships Awarded at Berklee City Music Blowout

Ten young musicians from urban Boston neighborhoods accepted full scholarships to Berklee at an emotional presentation on Tuesday, August 12.

August 15, 2008

Ten young musicians from urban Boston neighborhoods accepted full scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music starting this fall at an emotional presentation at the Berklee Performance Center on Tuesday, August 12.

Berklee president Roger H. Brown and associate vice president for education outreach/executive director for Berklee City Music J. Curtis Warner Jr., along with director of Berklee City Music Krystal Banfield and associate director of Berklee City Music programs Lynette Gittens, handed out the Berklee City Music Continuing Scholarships. The students have all been participants in Berklee City Music, a scholarship, tutorial, and mentoring program that gives urban teens from Greater Boston and other urban areas access to music education at no cost to them or their families. If all 10 students complete four years of study at the college, the collective amount of the scholarships awarded will be more than one million dollars.

The scholarships were awarded during the annual Berklee City Music Blowout Concert where City Music students performed a showcase of gospel, r&b, jazz, and rock music. The 10 recipients were among 62 young musicians between the ages of 15 and 20 who were enrolled in Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program on Summer Youth Scholarships for Talent and Excellence in Music (SYSTEM 5), another scholarship component of Berklee City Music.


Recipients of the 2008 Berklee City Music Continuing Scholarships:


  • Sean Alexander, 19, keyboardist, Dorchester
  • Gerami Groover, 17, pianist, Roxbury
  • Dewin Hernandez, 17, vocalist, Lawrence
  • Jessica Johnson, 18, vocalist, Dorchester
  • Nora Lutz, 17, bassist, Dorchester
  • Jennifer Manzanillo, 18, voice, Dorchester
  • Christina Rodriguez, 18, voice, W. Roxbury
  • Rocio Mejia, 18, voice, Lawrence
  • Nehemiah Williams, 18, bass, Culver City, CA
  • Brogan Woodburn, 18, guitar, West Linn, OR
  • Jesse Taitt, 18, piano, Roslindale


Currently under the direction of Krystal Banfield, Berklee City Music has provided educational and mentoring opportunities to more than 2,000 underserved teens from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Lynn, and other urban areas since its inception in 1991.