Daddy's Junky Scholarship

Elisabeth Nicula
August 7, 2009
Cory Sperling, 19, performs at the contest.
Fred “Daddy” Bramante, Sterling, Fender representative Tony Rerrick, and Dana Acker of Berklee’s Office of Special Programs show off Sterling’s prizes: the Guitar Sessions scholarship, a Fender Blues Jr. amp, and an Ovation iDea guitar.
Photo courtesy of Daddy's Junky Music
Photo courtesy of Daddy's Junky Music

Jazz guitarist Cory Sterling of Portland, Oregon nabbed the top prize at the second annual Daddy's Junky Music/Berklee Summer Programs Battle for Berklee, a contest for guitarists that took place at the instrument store across from campus on July 23. Among other prizes, Sterling won a scholarship to Berklee's Guitar Sessions summer program, which runs from August 16-21. The program emphasizes practical playing experience through a variety of classes, clinics, and performance activities.

Sterling is a recent graduate of Cleveland High School in Portland. He plans to take a year off to study guitar privately and to hone his chops at some regular gigs. 

Of 43 applicants, 11 were chosen to perform in any style before judges including Berklee guitar professor Julien Kasper, renowned rock/surf guitarist Gary Hoey, and keyboardist T Lavitz of Jazz is Dead and the Dixie Dregs. The event was emceed by Fred "Daddy" Bramante, the owner of Daddy's Junky Music. Participants came from as far away as Aruba, Minnesota, and, well, Oregon, for the opportunity to participate in the event, which has reached a surprising level of recognition among high school guitarists in just its second year. There are plans to add a version for drummers next year.

Visit Daddy's blog for a full account of the contest.