Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Gracenotes 2019 crew poses in the house frame they helped build

Raising the Roof: Reflections from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Continuing Berklee’s commitment to giving back to the community at large, the college’s Gracenotes Volunteer Committee sponsored its third annual trip to New Mexico. A group of eight staff and faculty members from the College and Conservatory traveled to Santa Fe to work on Habitat for Humanity projects promoting affordable home ownership for Santa Fe area residents. Read the volunteers’ reflection below.

Lauren Linsalata | Staff, Berklee College of Music

Lauren Linsalata headshot“Having concrete evidence of my progress at the end of the week is a big deal to me—not just because we’re building a home for someone who very much needs it. It’s a reminder of what I’m capable of, in a tangible context.”

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Why Missy Elliott’s Honorary Doctorate Means So Much

By Darcie Nicole B.M. ’01

Missy Elliott at Berklee's 2019 commencement ceremony

Image by Dave Green

“Let me just soak it in… I don’t even know how I’m standing here…” The opening of the incomparable Missy Elliott’s humble, encouraging commencement address was devoid of egotism. Those who have been at Berklee long enough also needed to soak it in. Missy tapped into the ether. How she came to be standing there was a path forged by her musical bravery, compelling creativity, and groundbreaking innovation paralleled by a foundation that was built—sometimes against the grain—at the college for nearly two decades prior.

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In Memoriam: Dave Samuels

Dear members of the Berklee community,

As you heard recently, Dave Samuels, a former longtime faculty member in Berklee’s Ensemble Department, passed away on April 22 at age 70 after a long illness.

Dave was a renowned vibraphonist and percussionist who was best known for his work over several decades with the band Spyro Gyra. He was also a member of Gerry Mulligan’s sextet, and had played with musicians such as Carla Bley, Frank Zappa, David Friedman, and Paul McCandless. He cofounded the groups Double Image, Gallery, and the Skylight Trio, and released several solo albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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Career Jam 2019: The Rundown

Students perform during the Career Jam concertBy Alma Blum

Wow! I am really crossing my fingers that everyone was able to come through to Career Jam this past Friday…

Because Career Jam was poppin’ this year! Why, do you ask? Lemme give you the rundown:

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Flowers in My Lungs: Remembering Carla Whitney Nelson

Carla Nelson performing in Berlin, October 2018.

Carla performing in Berlin, October 2018. Image by Lukas Kuth

By John Mirisola

Many in the Berklee community, together with countless friends and family members from across the globe, are celebrating the life of Carla Whitney Nelson ’18, who passed away on February 11 following a long battle with cancer. Throughout her illness, the 24-year-old producer, singer-songwriter, and visual artist continued to make music and art, and to document her story. Carla’s irrepressible creativity, her passion and strength, and her abundance of love and compassion for those around her will be remembered by all whose lives she touched.

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