Nearly $2 Million Raised at Berklee Encore Gala

By 
Office of Media Relations
October 27, 2014
Press release
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Pictured from left: executive director Berklee City Music Curtis Warner, George Clinton, master of ceremonies Jaime Lee Curtis, dean of City Music Krystal Banfield, Berklee president Roger Brown.
George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic performed a funk-filled set that kept people on their feet.
Student Alissia Benveniste and her group the Funketeers were among the student groups to appear at the gala.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

More than 900 guests joined master of ceremonies Jamie Lee Curtis and headlining performer George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic at Berklee’s 20th Annual Encore Gala to benefit Berklee City Music. Nearly $2 million was raised at the event at Boston Marriott Copley Place. Berklee City Music is a music education initiative serving more than 28,000 4th–12th graders with after-school programs in Boston and across North America, and scholarships for summer and full-time study at Berklee.

Acclaimed actor and best-selling children’s author Jamie Lee Curtis engaged the crowd as master of ceremonies while Grammy Award–winning artist, composer, and producer George Clinton H ’12 and Parliament-Funkadelic performed hits like "Flashlight" and "We Want the Funk." Legendary bandleader and trombonist Fred Wesley, a member of James Brown’s band in the 1960s and 1970s and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, performed hits from his career as well. Partygoers dined and danced to the sounds of over 150 faculty, alumni, and student musicians performing salsa, a cappella, big band, jazz, pop, and blues. Ray Greene '96, vocalist with Tower of Power, performed with Berklee's Tower of Power ensemble. Berklee alumni group Los Rumberos de Boston got the crowd dancing with its Afro-Cuban rhythms, and bluegrass artist Sierra Hull '11 performed selections from her albums.

The live and silent auction featured exotic getaways: a VIP 30th Anniversary Umbria Jazz Festival experience, a getaway to the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, a VIP Emmy Awards experience, private concert with Livingston Taylor, a recording session with a Berklee engineer in a state-of-the-art studio, exotic vacations, audio equipment, and more.

Bain Capital Community Partnership served as the presenting sponsor of the event. The lead sponsor was Abrams Capital, and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Aramark Education were co-lead sponsors. Paul Ciriello and Wendy DelMul, Dean Goodermote and Diane Arnold, and Megan and Robert O’Block served as event co-chairs. For more information on donating to Berklee City Music, visit berklee.edu/giving.