BerkleeNYC Hosts Its First Educational Program, Studios to Remain Open through Summer

By 
Margot Edwards
March 5, 2018
Press release
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Students from Boys and Girls Harbor recording at Power Station at BerkleeNYC
Power Station at BerkleeNYC Studio A
Image by Ryan Nava
Image by Michael Flanagan/NCP

Berklee hosts the first in a series of educational programs to be offered at BerkleeNYC, Berklee's new New York home located in the famed Power Station studios. The program, a daylong intensive songwriting and production master class conducted by Stephen Webber, executive director of BerkleeNYC, and Pat Pattison, Berklee professor of songwriting and poetry, will take place on Saturday, March 10.

Berklee initiated upgrades to the studio’s gear soon after acquiring the building last fall and establishing BerkleeNYC. The studio, now known as Power Station at BerkleeNYC, has reopened and is hosting a variety of recording sessions, from solo artists and small groups to large Broadway cast album recordings. A recent session featured 40 members of Boys and Girls Harbor in Harlem, an education-focused organization and member of the Berklee City Music Network. The students—from 15 New York City high schools—recorded an update of jazz standard “A Night in Tunisia” that features rapping.

We’re setting out to reinvent what it means to capture live music in a studio environment.

—Stephen Webber, BerkleeNYC executive director

Watch a video of the recording of "A Night in Tunisia" at Power Station at BerkleeNYC.

“We’re setting out to reinvent what it means to capture live music in a studio environment,” said Webber. “We’re excited to be a catalyst for redefining and modulating the business model with HD and 360 video capture, professional lighting, and a video control room to support documenting, broadcasting, and live streaming of recording sessions. The facility will be focused on serving the New York recording industry as well as having a robust educational mission.”

View a 360º Image of Power Station at BerkleeNYC Studio A.

The facility will remain open through the summer, hosting recording sessions and educational programs that BerkleeNYC envisions as a continuing and expanding series of forward-thinking experiences to collaborate with, inspire, and engage the community. Upcoming events include a music video production workshop conducted by Nick Clark Productions; a modern songwriting camp led by Bonnie Hayes, Berklee songwriting chair, and Kara DioGuardi, hit songwriter and former American Idol judge; a jazz workshop and recording session led by Joe Lovano, Gary Burton Jazz Chair in Performance; and Music of the African Diaspora, led by Nedelka Prescod, associate professor of ensembles. The programs will be open to the public. 

BerkleeNYC Renovations to Begin in August

BerkleeNYC will close in August to undergo major renovations that are currently planned to take one year. In addition to the gear upgrades, renovations include building infrastructure such as adding an elevator and a street-level entrance. A black box theater, video control room, and virtual reality laboratory are planned for the lower level. The second floor will see ensemble rehearsal classrooms added, and the common areas throughout the building will be revamped to feature museum-quality exhibits celebrating the history of New York’s recorded music scene. BerkleeNYC plans to reopen permanently in the fall of 2019.

Educational programs at BerkleeNYC present a variety of inspiring and informative sessions for everyone—from students to working professionals—across the spectrum of art, creativity, and expression. With the support of New York’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and the vision of Berklee Trustee Pete Muller, Berklee is dedicated to preserving and building on the legacy of the Power Station by reinvigorating the studios and transforming it into the world’s premier large-format recording and forward-thinking arts-educational destination. BerkleeNYC will launch an artist development grant program, and host free and tuition-based educational programs, performances, and resources for New York area musicians.