Tower of Power Sits In

Berklee Office of Communications
March 4, 2009
Tower of Power guitarist Mark Harper (left) demonstrates technique to student Mauricio Hersykowicz on Hersykowicz's Telecaster.
From left: Students Amanda Corvini and Ami Nakazono listen while ToP saxophonist Tom Politzer demonstrates a horn part.
From left: student drummer Jake Cohen, ToP leader and saxophonist Emilio Castillo, student pianist Dane Farnsworth, and ToP keyboardist Roger Smith.
THE TWO LEADERS–From left: Emilio Castillo and associate professor of harmony Wayne Naus, director of Berklee's Tower of Power Ensemble
From left: Student vocalists Lara Wilson and John Engle
DOUBLE TIME-Both Tower of Power ensembles pose.
Photo by Alex Wright
Photo by Alex Wright
Photo by Alex Wright
Photo by Alex Wright
Photo by Alex Wright
Photo by Alex Wright

Funk music is about feel. So when members of a great funk band drop by a rehearsal where you're working on their music and show you how they would play it on your drums or guitar, that becomes a pretty good day of contemporary music education. Even if you're already at Berklee.

The 19 members of Berklee's Tower of Power (ToP) Ensemble got that and more when several members of the Bay Area-based band visited Berklee last semester.

"He was the one who made me want to play the horn. I was really nervous," said student saxophonist Amanda Corvini about ToP reedman Stephen "Doc" Kupka, in an interview with a reporter from an Emerson College news service.

Wayne Naus, associate professor of harmony, founded the student ensemble in 2000 and continues to direct the group. He said he believed the band's visit would have a long-term impact on his students.

Learn more about the Tower of Power visit by viewing our slideshow and reading the story by the Emerson College Journalism Students Online News Service.