Berklee Distinguished Faculty Awards

Berklee Media Relations
January 28, 2010
Stephen Croes presents the award to Richard Boulanger, professor of electronic production and design.
Allen Chase presents the award to Robin Ginenthal, associate professor of ear training.
Darla Hanley presents the award to Peter Gardner, professor of liberal arts.
John Bavicchi
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

Berklee's Office of Faculty Development has awarded the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Awards to Richard Boulanger, Robin Ginenthal, Peter Gardner, and John Bavicchi. These awards honor the best of Berklee's teachers for the influence they have on the development of our students and their part in maintaining the college's commitment to educational excellence. They recognize teaching that inspires curiosity and creativity in students as well as work that contributes to the ongoing development of Berklee's unique curriculum.

The awards were presented at the annual Berklee Teachers on Teaching (BTOT) conference—a vibrant gathering of teachers learning together through collaboration. BTOT nourishes teachers in their commitment to engage students in the finest contemporary music education. This year BTOT celebrated two decades of exceptional teaching and learning at the college.

Richard Boulanger, professor of electronic production and design, excels at teaching technology in a college of contemporary music because he has a unique and particular ability to not only share in the excitement of discovery but to present it within the context of mastery—to help students participate, lead, chronicle, and stretch. By sometimes using tools and techniques that some would find strange or even challenging, he has taken the college to new relationships and accomplishments, with concerts, compositions, travel, publications, and a level of volunteerism that would bring down a lesser spirit.

Robin Ginenthal, associate professor of ear training, has premiered and recorded many faculty composers' works as a vocal soloist, and is an active professional singer in the Boston area and beyond. She has long served as a faculty adviser for GLBT Allies and BUGLE, has mentored colleagues as they prepare to teach new ear training courses, and has for years led an excellent Orientation Week session introducing new students to Ear Training. Ginenthal has served Berklee for nearly 20 years and maintains an exemplary balance between rigor and empathy. She has high expectations of students and teaches with great clarity, devoting a lot of thought to the ways in which students learn. Although she sets high standards, students at all levels know they can go to her for help and understanding. An inspiring example of devotion to lifelong learning, she continues to study voice, repertoire, piano, and solfège privately, while seeking out new and challenging repertoire to perform.

Peter Gardner, liberal arts professor, has contributed to the college since the 1980s. He is a scholar, musician, coach, facilitator, colleague, and fine teacher who always puts students first. Gardner is a mentor and advocate for students—someone who strives to actively engage students in the classroom and encourage creativity, intellectual curiosity, and originality in academic and artistic work. Under his direction, Berklee's ESL offerings now include five sequenced classes that address the needs of all learners, an English-language tutoring program, the IMELI summer program for international student musicians from Berklee and other colleges, and, most importantly, a culture in the Professional Education Division and at the college that recognizes the need for and value of language instruction. The lives of many international students have been or will be enhanced by developing a command of the English lanuage. That command will allow them to use language to thoughtfully communicate with each other and the world; their artistry and careers in music will be better because of their strong communication skills.

John Bavicchi has taught composition, conducting, and music history at Berklee since 1964, an amazing run of over 45 years. He is clearly one of the most beloved, engaging, and successful professors to have taught at Berklee. He is a champion of his students and their work, and he is often mentioned as a formative influence by his former composition students—whose ranks include Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore, The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen, and numerous other successful classical, jazz, rock, and hip-hop composers. Bavicchi has an uncanny ability to transmit his vast knowledge and love of music to his students. Many are transformed by the experience of attending his Beethoven Quartets class—and are equally astonished by his vast repertoire of bawdy limericks. In addition to being a master teacher, Bavicchi is himself a master composer who has had pieces performed and recorded by orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Recently, the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, with Berklee faculty members as soloists and the Arlington Philharmonic choir, presented a 40-year retrospective of his work to a full house here in the BPC.