Voice professor Armsted Christian ’78 died of sarcoidosis on Monday, January 4. He was 64. Christian joined the Berklee faculty in 1999, teaching private vocal instruction and voice classes including Flo’ology: Spoken Word and Improvisation. Christian worked with Herbie Hancock, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Freddie Jackson, Regina Carter, and others. He led the group Peaceful Flight and was a member of Will Downing and Gerald Albright’s groups. A SESAC winner, his awards include the Grammy-nominated “All the Man You Need” with Downing. Christian released one solo album, The Wave Is Coming. He founded the Armsted R. Christian Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. Christian leaves his wife Marcelina, two sons, and three daughters.
Joey Cardello ’66 of Medford, MA, passed away on September 17, 2015. He was 70. In addition to Berklee, Cardello attended the Boston Conservatory of Music. He played piano for his own quartet for 54 years, and was the former director of music at Watertown High School. He leaves his wife Bobbi and two children.
William Brooks ’75 of Cummington, MA, died on October 29, 2015. He was 68. Brooks was an accomplished guitarist, performer, and instructor. He also worked in environmental science and was a licensed pilot. Brooks leaves his wife Carol and daughter Ashleigh.
Composition professor Rick Applin ’76 died on September 17, 2015 after a battle with cancer. Applin taught at Berklee for 37 years and was the author of Tonal Counterpoint (Berklee Press). A Dean of Curriculum award recipient, Applin was an active composer with works performed by national and regional ensembles. He leaves his wife Rosey Lee, an Ear Training Department professor.
Nancy Ackrill ’84 of Fort Lauderdale, FL, died on October 8, 2015. She was 64. Ackrill was a Brazilian jazz vocalist and guitarist who performed throughout the United States and Europe. She leaves her mother and three brothers.
In the fall of 2015, Michael Bierylo, chair of Electronic Production and Design, together with professor Richard Boulanger, and dean Kari Juusela performed and lectured in Krakow, Poland; Shanghai, China; St. Petersburg, Russia.
Assistant professor Alonzo Harris worked on a holiday album featuring Alicia Keys, Tyrese, Brandy, and others. He was musical director for the Apple Music Festival in London, JayZ’s Tidal music show, Tommy Hilfiger’s 30th anniversary VIP party, and an American Music Awards red-carpet event.