Retiring Berklee Educator Honored for Decades of Opening Doors for College and High School Musicians

Rob Rose, whose influence was felt by students aspiring to be performers, retires after 50 years at Berklee.

February 9, 2018

Berklee City Music honored Rob Rose '72, vice president for special programs, at its 18th annual Unsung Heroes Breakfast, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions as educators, artists, and mentors. Rose has been a tireless supporter of City Music, an educational initiative that uses contemporary music to reach underserved middle and high school students. He will retire this spring after more than 50 years at Berklee.

Misael Martinez, director for operations and creative youth development for City Music Boston, conferred the Unsung Heroes Award upon Rose at the event. “Rob gives his time to students. He’s always available for answering their questions, and has opened many doors for them with his vast amount of industry contacts as they go out to start their careers.”

“My life at Berklee has been amazing,” Rose said. “I’ve tried to make it about the students and create a level playing field where everyone could shine. Some of them now work and teach here, giving back the experience that I had the honor of giving them.”

Rose enrolled as a student at Berklee in 1967. Upon graduating, he taught for nine years before becoming the chair of the Performance Studies Department in 1983 for 10 years. He served as the director of the Five-Week Summer Performance Program and Stage Performance Workshop, and has created and directed numerous courses, concerts, and events. He produced both the Beantown and Berklee High School Jazz festivals. Rose continues as vice president for Special Programs, the role he’s held since 1993, until his retirement in March.

Berklee City Music is the college's strategic educational initiative that uses contemporary music to reach underserved fourth- to 12th-graders. Programming includes instruction by expert faculty, individualized mentoring, after-school classes, Saturday schooling, summer study, and full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee at no cost to the students or their families. City Music has provided educational and mentoring opportunities to more than 1,000 local teens from urban areas since 1991. Berklee's City Music Network launched in 2001, expanding its partnerships with community organizations nationwide that actively share the goal of changing teenage lives with contemporary music education.