2016 Berklee Lollapalooza Scholarships Awarded

Margot Edwards
July 21, 2016
Press release
Millisa Henderson
Megan Bishop
Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist

An ongoing partnership between Lollapalooza and Berklee has resulted in scholarship awards for 14 outstanding musicians since 2011. Millisa Henderson of Muskogee, Oklahoma, is the 2016 recipient of the Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition award that will bring Henderson to Berklee in the fall. Megan Bishop of Chicago, Illinois, has been awarded the Berklee Lollapalooza Five-Week Scholarship to attend this summer’s program for high school students.

The partnership also gives Berklee student folk trio Honeysuckle the opportunity to perform on one of the main stages at Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary festival, which will be held in Chicago on July 28-31. Honeysuckle performs Saturday, July 30, at noon on the Pepsi Stage.

Berklee students will also host a silent concert (see below) at Kidzapalooza throughout the festival.

“Five years ago, Lollapalooza celebrated its 20th anniversary, and Berklee and Lolla celebrated together by announcing the endowed scholarship,” said Jeff Dorenfeld, Berklee professor and founding managing director of the Berklee Popular Music Institute, who developed the partnership with Lollapalooza producers C3 Presents. “The scholarships are life-changing for the recipients, while the partnership also educates and enables many more Berklee students to meet their dreams and aspirations through the festival performance and their work at Kidzapalooza. Together, we build careers in music.”

Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship

After a process that included auditions in cities across the U.S., Berklee chose Millisa Henderson to receive the full-tuition Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship. In the spirit of Lollapalooza, the college aimed to find not only an outstanding musical talent, but also a musician with charisma, energy, and a strong interest in rock music who aspires to a performance career.

Henderson, an 18-year-old guitarist who began taking lessons in 2009, has been lead guitarist/vocalist for rock bands Insane Audio and Signs of Warning, and guitarist for the Muskogee High School Jazz Band and the Pride of Muskogee Marching Band. She has also been a member of Guitarchestra, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based orchestra that performs rock arrangements of classical pieces.​ Henderson was awarded second place – out of 900 entries – in the 2015 Queen of Strings competition. Also a vocalist and pianist, her performances cross genres including rock, funk, and fusion. She is currently working on an EP of original music.

Henderson attended Berklee’s Guitar Sessions in 2013 and the Five-Week Summer Performance Program in 2014 and 2015. “After being on campus, taking classes with incredibly talented teachers, and discovering other young people with my same love of music, I knew becoming an undergraduate at Berklee was something I really wanted to do,” said Henderson. “I feel that the key to a sincere, lifelong music career is through music education and study at an esteemed school.” Henderson plans to major in professional music with a concentration in music business/management or music production and engineering. 

The Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship is endowed by Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund. The scholarship was established at the recommendation of Berklee trustee Fran Bermanzohn, partner managing director and deputy general counsel of Goldman Sachs.

Berklee Lollapalooza Five-Week Scholarship

Megan Bishop, a 16-year-old vocalist from Chicago, Illinois, is the recipient of the Berklee Lollapalooza Five-Week Scholarship, awarded annually to a Chicago-area musician. At the Five-Week Summer Performance Program (July 9-August 12), she joins more than 1,000 teens from all over the world who are sharpening their skills in private lessons, ensembles, and concerts. 

Bishop has been taking voice lessons for 10 years, driven initially by her love of musical theater. She has appeared in local musicals as a part of Brain Surgeon Theater and also performed in Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as part of the children’s chorus. In her high school, she’s a member of Tri-M (Modern Music Masters, the music honors society), plays gigs with the Jazz Combo, and is enrolled in band (flute) and choir. Bishop writes and records original songs in her bedroom with the goal of being able to independently produce and sell her music. She is also currently writing a musical.

“I’m really excited to meet new people and collaborate, record music, learn more about who I am as a musician, and explore different kinds of music,” said Bishop. “I am so grateful for the scholarship. Everything about music has thrilled me since I was really young and I’m striving to get better at doing what I love.”

Students Host Silent Concert at Kidzapalooza

Students from Berklee’s Popular Music Institute will host a silent concert at Kidzapalooza, Lollapalooza’s family-friendly festival within the festival. The silent concert is a popular attraction in which Berklee students are paired with kids on instruments—including bass, guitar, keyboard, and drums—that they play while wearing headphones. The instruments are connected to a laptop with Pro Tools and outboard gear through which a Berklee student mixes and engineers the concert. Players and the audience then listen to the finished work through headphones.