Berklee Helps Build Homes in New Orleans

Mitzi Dorbu
June 18, 2008


Berklee has almost doubled the number of staff that will travel to New Orleans this year June 23-28 to spend a week building homes in the New Orleans Musicians' Village. This is the latest effort from the first college of jazz in the birthplace of jazz, and the second time the college has sent staff to work on location. Last year, the effort was documented by several media outlets to remind Bostonians that the rebuilding process continues in that region. One of those stories ran on Boston's CBS-TV affiliate, WBZ. Read updates written by this year's Berklee team on the Berklee in NOLA blog.

Staff members traveling to New Orleans are:

Camille Colatosti - Chair, Liberal Arts

Herman Hampton - Assistant Professor, Ensembles

Jon Hazilla - Associate Professor, Percussion

Kathryn Hencir - Academic Advisor, Counseling Center

Juliana Horton - Director of Academic Services, Academic Affairs

Jeff Muzerolle - Senior Data Technician, Administrative Systems

Patricia Peknik - Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts

Diane Richardson - Associate Professor, Voice

Gabe Roses - Special Services Advisor, Counseling Center

Paul Stiller - Associate Professor, Ear Training

Barbara Thomas - Major Gifts Coordinator, Development

Michael Willliams - Professor, Guitar

Maegan Wright - Senior Administrative Assistant, Financial Aid

Linda Embardo-Project Manager - Senior Training and Support Coordinator

Roya Nassery - Project Manager - Faculty Development, Academic Affairs

This is Berklee's only sponsored volunteer program for staff and this year includes faculty as well. A committee reviewed letters of intent submitted by applicants describing their motivations and expectations for the experience. Sponsorships include travel, hotel, meals, and daily expenses. The team will work from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. No previous construction experience was required; all training will be done on site.

Outreach began a month after Hurricane Katrina hit, when Berklee organized the New Orleans Resurrection Brass Band to march in Boston as a fundraising event featuring alumni and Big Easy natives Donald Harrison and Christian Scott. That year the college also hosted New Orleans musicians for teaching and performing residencies whose lives were affected by Hurricane Katrina, including Ellis MarsalisMarva Wright, Harrison and others. Since then two tremendously talented young musicians from the area, Joe Dyson and Max Moran, have been awarded the prestigious, full-ridePresidential Scholarship and a full-tuition scholarship respectively for study at the college.

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