Berklee today

OCT 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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4 Berklee today berkleebeat Berklee and The Boston Conservatory Discuss a Merger Master's Degrees for 143 at Valencia Graduation In July the third class of graduates collected their master's degrees at commencement exercises at the Berklee Valencia campus in Spain and set out to enter the worldwide music industry. Festivities began on July 11 with a spectacular com- mencement concert produced outdoors on a foating stage on the artifcial lake in front of the hemi- spheric building on the Palau des Artes. Sixteen acts composed of graduates performed before a crowd of approximately 2,000. The program included original songs and covers and was streamed live via the Internet. A few days later, on July 13, an en- thusiastic crowd of 143 students clad in academic robes flled the audito- rium of the Palau de les Artes Reine Sofa to receive their sheepskins. The group represented 31 countries and earned their degrees in four felds of study. Breaking it down, there were 33 students who received master of music degrees in scoring for flm, television and video games; 34 in music technology and innovation; 37 in contemporary performance; and 39 who received master of arts de- grees in global entertainment and music business. Among those addressing the crowd of students and families on July 13 were Larry Simpson, Berklee's senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, who noted, "The students graduating this year are in the vanguard of the music in- dustry and have developed an indi- vidual music skill set." María Iturriaga, the dean of ad- missions and associate executive director for the Valencia campus, added, "This year's graduating class has raised the bar on many different levels. They have learned from us as much as we have learned from them. I am confdent that their con- tributions to the music industry will have a tremendous impact on their respective felds." The commencement's guest speaker, Damian Draghici '98, a pan- pipe virtuoso, recording artist, and current member of the European Parliament, urged the graduates to challenge themselves. "If you stay in your comfort zone you're lost," Draghici said. "So every time you feel you're too comfortable, run away and get out of there." At the end of his address, he took a 10- euro note from his pocket and said, "Let's see who gets this!" After a student jumped onto the stage to take the note from Draghici's hand, the parliamentarian stated, "And this is life. When there's an oppor- tunity, don't think about it twice, go for it." Members of the class of 2015, Berklee Valencia Guest speaker Damian Draghici '98 Photos by Histeria Producciones In June, President Roger H. Brown announced that he and The Boston Conservatory (TBC) President Richard Ortner had signed a mem- orandum of understanding (MOU) paving the way for an eventual merger. The presidents and trustees of both institutions are exploring the benefts of an affliation that would create a dynamic and compre- hensive program for music, dance, and theater education. The govern- ing boards of each institution voted unanimously to approve the MOU, which calls for a broad-based pro- cess of discussion and planning with important stakeholders. In the MOU, it was agreed that the name of the combined institution would be "Berklee," with the conser- vatory being named, "The Boston Conservatory at Berklee." A merger could take effect in 2016. The leadership of both schools pursued the MOU after realizing that together, they could create a visionary response to the rapidly evolving needs of 21st century artists. The combined institutions could offer students a unique environment in which to build the foundation of their life's work. Within a new Berklee organiza- tion, TBC's highly regarded programs in music, dance, and musical the- ater would retain autonomy, while giving Berklee students access to a uniquely-designed curriculum— especially in dance and theater. Similarly, TBC students would have access to Berklee's curriculum in jazz and contemporary music, technology, music business, music therapy, sound design, production, flm scoring, and online education. TBC faculty mem- bers will also have the opportunity to develop courses for Berklee Online. Both schools are committed to ex- panding online education as a means of addressing college affordability. "Our conservatory students want access to the rich performance tra- ditions of other cultures and other genres, as well as access to industry- standard digital infrastructure," said TBC President Richard Ortner. "Berklee offers exactly that global outlook and that range of opportunity." Both schools have undergone sig- nifcant growth in the past decade, building new facilities and perfor- mance spaces, strengthening com- munity partnerships, and enriching academic programming. Berklee has expanded its curricular offerings with online courses and degrees, multidisci- plinary institutes, graduate programs, an increased focus on technology and entrepreneurship, and a campus in Valencia, Spain. TBC's contemporary dance program was just named "best in the country" by OnStageblog.com. The TBC musical theater program has long been considered one of the best in the nation and TBC's music pro- grams are renowned across the globe. The combined campus would also provide new opportunities for aca- demic collaboration: a frst-ever pro- gram in jazz dance, allowing TBC dancers to work directly with the stu- dents of Berklee's Global Jazz Institute; songwriting and new theater-works programs that take advantage both of Berklee's expertise in contemporary song and the TBC's depth in theater and stagecraft studies. As well, collab- oration between ensembles from each school would facilitate combinations that would blur style and genre lines. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Berklee to lead in the creation of a new model for the education of con- temporary musicians and performing artists," Brown stated. "I am ener- gized to do the hard work to envision and realize this for our current and fu- ture students."

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