Gretsch Endows Scholarship

Allen Bush
October 3, 2008
From the left: John Kellogg, assistant chair of music business/management; Darla Hanley, dean of professional education; Fred Gretsch, Gretsch Company president; and Berklee president Roger H. Brown.
Gretsch clinicians Bob Sabellico (guitar) and Jim Pettit (drums) were joined by faculty bassist Winston Maccow for a Berklee Performance Center clinic/performance.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

On August 11, Berklee celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Gretsch Company, one of the world's best-known guitar and drum makers. Members of the Berklee community packed the Berklee Performance Center for a special Gretsch clinic featuring Jim Pettit, owner of the Memphis Drum Shop, and jazz guitarist/composer Bob Sabellico, who has played on sessions with Béla Fleck, Jaco Pastorius, and Phoebe Snow, among many others.

Prior to the clinic, president Fred W. Gretsch, the fourth-generation descendant of company founder Friedrich Gretsch, and Joe Carducci, Gretsch's guitar marketing manager, gave an account of the company's colorful history.

August 11 also marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary Gretsch Company guitar clinician and marketing manager Jimmie Webster. Accordingly, the Gretsch Foundation has endowed a scholarship at Berklee in Webster's name.

A guitarist, inventor, and marketer, Webster guided Gretsch in an era of explosive growth and popularity beginning in the 1940s and extending through the 1960s. The Gretsch scholarship will support an outstanding student majoring in music business.

"We are deeply honored by the association with the Gretsch Company, and grateful for the opportunity to assist a deserving student in our major," says Don Gorder, chair of Berklee's Music Business/Management Department. "Gretsch products are known throughout the world for quality, and that's what we strive for at Berklee. This gift will help us to attract the best and brightest."