Record $1.6 Million Raised at Berklee Encore Gala

The 17th annual gala raised money for Berklee City Music.

October 18, 2011

More than 900 guests filled the ballrooms and event spaces of the Westin Copley Place on Saturday, October 15, for Berklee College of Music's 17th Annual Encore Gala to benefit the Berklee City Music Program. Berklee City Music brings year-round music education and individualized mentoring to underserved fourth- through twelfth-graders. The Boston-born program—now nationwide in 32 cities—grants underserved youth a music education regardless of financial means or location, and awards scholarships for summer and full-time study at Berklee's Boston campus.

This year, the event raised nearly $1.6 million, a record for the Encore Gala. CSI actor and Canton, MA native Paul Guilfoyle served as MC. Emmy Award–winning and Grammy Award–nominated film director, actor, musician, and Berklee trustee Christopher Guest performed alongside award-winning violin virtuoso Mark O'Connor and Berklee president Roger H. Brown as a guest artist with Berklee bluegrass musicians. Other special guest performers included soul legends Average White Band and the renowned Al Kooper. Partygoers dined and danced to the sounds of more than 150 faculty, alumni, and student musicians performing world music, rock, soul, salsa, folk, jazz, classical, and bluegrass.

The live and silent auctions featured exotic vacations, a trip to the 2011 Grammy Awards and the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year Gala, a VIP trip to the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 2011, a VIP Sting concert package, a Yamaha AvantGrand Model N2 piano, and a private concert by Livingston Taylor.

The Encore Gala was sponsored by Bain Capital Children's Charity. Colead sponsors included Abrams Captial, the Boston Celtics' Shamrock Foundation, and Subaru of New England. Lori Comeau and Berklee trustee Carmichael Roberts served as Gala cochairs. For more information on donating to Berklee City Music, visit