Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Shelly Atwood (Page 1 of 5)

Why I Give to the Berklee Fund

Friends and fellow staffers,

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I recently signed up for the Berklee Fund payroll deduction, after the launch of the More Than a Job initiative, which I’m sure you’ve heard about.  I wanted to share why I feel giving to the Berklee Fund is very important, and why you should take a few seconds to fill out this form.

What does working at Berklee mean to you? To me, the growth of the college is vital to our prosperity, as individuals and a community. When I first started working at Berklee eight years ago, I didn’t really understand how or why giving might be so important. It is crucial for Berklee to show donors that we have widespread participation in the Berklee Fund on campus. It inspires them to write larger checks, because it shows in a measurable way that we believe in the mission of the college.

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“Where I need to be.”

Andrew Riezebeek, a guitarist from the Netherlands, attended the Five-Week Performance Program on-campus at Berklee this past summer. In this post, he describes his experience, and what he’s gained in his second year attending the program.

Five-Week Performance Program 2010

Andrew Riezebeek, Photo by Shelly Booth


I have just completed the Five-Week Performance Program for the second time, and let me tell you, It was another crazy experience! This Five-Week proved once more that Berklee is the place where I need to be. It is the place that will help me reach my ultimate goals as a musician, and help get me where I want to go within the music industry.  I have been part of great moments during this year’s Five-Week Program and those moments will never be forgotten.

I was a bit skeptical at first. I was actually more nervous than last year. I was scared that this year would not be able to top last year’s Five-Week. I asked myself, “Would I meet people as nice as the people I met last year? Will I learn as much? Will my teachers be as cool?”  I was worried with all these questions. Now, looking back on my experiences, all these questions came out with super positive answers and even more!

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Riezebeek & Five-Week: gearing up for a second year

Andrew Riezebeek will be attending Five-Week for the second time this summer.

Hey Berklee fans! Here is the last blog for you before the Five-Week finally starts. I am really stoked and cannot wait to be a part of this very unique experience once again. I have been doing a lot of things to get myself prepared and it has been a great time. Here is what I have been up to lately!

First of all, I started preparing my audition piece. I chose to play a sax solo on the guitar. I really like the way saxophone phrases and concepts translate to the guitar so I went ahead and challenged myself. The specific solo I am working on is an amazing sax solo in the tune “Run For It” by Charlie Hunter. This track has such a great feel and groove to it and the solo in the song really blew my mind.

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Victor Bailey shares the foundation of his success with aspiring bassists

The Chair of Berklee’s Bass Department, Rich Appleman, introduces Victor Bailey to an inquisitive crowd at the Bass Lines program.  Bailey comes on stage and jokes, “These cats are so young, they probably have no idea who I am, Rich.” Bailey introduces himself, “I have done pretty much everything you can imagine; from playing clubs, stadiums, I played  in front of 100,000 people with Madonna, I have recorded artists like LL Cool J or Mary J. Blige,  written music for movies, and T.V. shows,  I played bass as a studio musician on over 1,000 records.”

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Lincoln Center gets Pitch Slapped


Pitch Slapped made Berklee so proud this past weekend. The group placed 2nd at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Finals at Lincoln Center!  Christine Gallagher and Hannah Juliano also won best arrangement for “Got to Get You Into My Life”.  You can find the full results on the Varsity Vocals website .

I had the opportunity to shoot some video and pictures of the group preparing for the performance backstage.  Pitch Slapped has a vibe that is contagious and inspiring. Gracious, humble, they make friends everywhere they go; evident as I saw visitors come and go in their dressing room.  They’re all very grounded, talented performers; not to mention hilarious, with a name like Pitch Slapped, that’s a given. I have been recently introduced to the group, and now I’m hooked!  (and you can be too….http://www.pitchslappedacappella.com).

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