This year’s Scholarship Concert was the official kick-off that ushered City Music into its 20th year. Numerous City Music alumni returned to the fold, to honor and perform with our summer scholars from 19 City Music Network sites across the country, all of whom attended the Five-Week Summer Performance Program on full scholarship. Among our illustrious alums were Los Angeles’ Deanna Dellacioppa, winner of Fox Network’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” Ashley Rodriguez, who is currently on tour with Melanie Fiona, and Tuffus Zimbabwe, keyboardist for Saturday Night Live. Many other alumni performed and lent their spirit as part of our audience, such as Amanda Cannata (PhD candidate, Stanford University), Nichelle Mungo (Berklee Faculty), Bryan Abreu (New York-based producer), Abria Smith (actress, author, singer/songwriter) and Danny McClain (vocalist, songwriter, Earth Wind & Fire, Philip Bailey).
The concert featured seven bands ranging from rock to pop, jazz and hip hop. All of the students gave outstanding performances. An additional highlight was a performance by Kris Allen, American Idol Season 8 winner and Berklee City Music ambassador. Last year, a City Music Boston ensemble accompanied Kris on the road for a three City/State tour under the direction of Berklee professor Marty Walsh. At the Scholarship Concert, Kris performed once again under Walsh’s direction, along with the Five-Week Pop/Rock Ensemble. Other performances by City Music Five-Week ensembles included the R&B Ensemble directed by Winston Maccow, Jazz Ensemble directed by Mike Tucker, Hip Hop/R&B Ensemble directed by Alonzo Harris, Big Band Ensemble directed by Bobby Gallegos, City Music Choir directed by Nichelle Mungo and Bandilicious Ensemble directed by George Russell, Jr.
The true stars, of course, were the Five-Week students themselves. In fact a few students stirred up quite a bit of post-concert inquiries as to where they are from, how old they are and how long they have been at their craft. Among those were vocalists Robert Gould from Little Five Points in Atlanta and Quinton A. Monteiro from Lincoln Park in Midland, PA, pianist Ayinde Williams and trumpeter Drew Anderson from Richmond Youth Jazz Guild in Richmond, Virginia, and bassist Christoff Glaude and vocalist Rebecca Demmellash from Berklee City Music in Boston.
Midway through the concert, what some have referred to as “City Music’s version of the Grammys” took place, with the awarding of 16 full four-year City Music College Scholarships. I’d like to congratulate all of our scholarship earners and the Network member sites who aided them on the road to achieving this great feat. “And the winners are” (appearing in alphabetical order):
- Khari Alamin, Stax Music Academy, Memphis, TN
- Jabril Barnes, The Music Settlement, Cleveland, OH
- Brian Benton, The Music Settlement, Cleveland, OH
- Wendy Chung, Berklee City Music Boston
- John Dandan, East Bay Center For the Performing Arts, Richmond, CA
- Eli Dawson, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh, PA
- Robert Gould, Little 5 Points Music Center, Atlanta, GA
- Danielle John, Berklee City Music Boston
- Tamina Johnson-Lawson, A Place Called Home, Los Angeles, CA
- Charina Kimes, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh, PA
- Langston Maxwell, The Music Settlement, Cleveland, OH
- Rachel McLean, Berklee City Music Boston
- Matthew Pitts, Berklee City Music Boston
- Emily Ronna, Berklee City Music Boston
- Langston Theard, Tipitina’s Foundation, New Orleans, LA
- VanDarrel Woods, The Music Settlement, Cleveland, OH
If you didn’t have a chance to join us at this year’s concert, either in person or via video stream, click here and enjoy.
This is the piece that Chronicle put together all about Berklee City Music:
This summer has been going by quickly as I’m sure many of you would agree. While I was able to see some of you at this year’s PULSE Training Institute and at our Scholarship Concert, I look forward to seeing many more of you at our upcoming Berklee City Music Network Conference, October 29-31, hosted by our partner Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Until then, I remain: