Berklee City Music Dean Receives Award for Inspiring Success in Youth

Allen Bush
March 23, 2016
Press release
From left: Leon Powe, formerly of the Boston Celtics; Ted Dalton, senior vice president, corporate partnerships and business development, Boston Celtics; Crystal Hudson; and Krystal Banfield.
Image credit: Brian Babineau

Krystal Banfield, dean for Berklee City Music, received the 2016 Amtrak Pioneer Award, created in celebration of Black History Month to honor African-American leaders who have made impactful contributions to the city of Boston and the greater community. Also receiving awards were Adrian Mims, founder of the Calculus Project, and Robert Lewis Jr., founder and president of the BASE. 

This year, for the first time, the Boston Celtics joined Amtrak in presenting the awards to the three distinguished community leaders during the February 29 game against the Utah Jazz. Banfield, Mims, and Lewis were recognized for their hard work and dedication, the positivity they bring to their organizations and communities, and for being pioneers in creating pathways towards success for Boston youth.

“Whether through music, sports, or academics, each recipient has influenced countless lives of adolescents,” said Crystal Hudson, principal officer of Amtrak Sports and Affinity Marketing. “Krystal Banfield has been a pioneer in creating pathways towards college and success for thousands youth throughout Boston and across the United States. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to music education, community music awareness, and accelerated learning models for urban youth.”

Banfield sets the academic standards for the college's celebrated Berklee City Music program, which serves thousands of youth across the U.S. and Canada, and has also developed curricula such as BandQuest (distributed by Hal Leonard) and the Composers Suitcase (supported by the California Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts). She has written for Cambridge Press and the Teaching Artist Journal; has recorded on INNOVA; has held posts at national CBOs VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum; and served as adjunct voice professor and music education lecturer at the University of St. Thomas and on school and community boards.

Banfield holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Howard University, Washington, D.C.; a master of music from Indiana University-Bloomington; and a doctorate in education from University of St. Thomas-Minneapolis.