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Faculty

Students Help Baseball Powerhouse David Ortiz Find His Inner Musician

Banner for Big Papi Needs a Job

Image source: fusion.tv/show/big-papi-needs-a-job/

For the first episode of the new Fusion television program Big Papi Needs a Job, the recently retired Boston Red Sox power hitter David Ortiz (Big Papi) visits Berklee to try his hand at percussion. In the episode, Ortiz gets lessons from percussion faculty member Eguie Castrillo and jams with students, all while reflecting on his deep connection to the music and rhythms of his home country, the Dominican Republic.

Below, a few of the students involved share their thoughts on the experience making tunes with the global legend.

Elaine Lizardo, Vocalist, Dominican Republic

“As a Dominican musician, having the opportunity to make music with Big Papi was incredible and unexpected. I would have never imagined that I would make music with the three times World Series winner. It was a reminder for me of how powerful music can be. Once we started singing ‘Compadre Pedro Juan,’ one of the most popular merengue songs in our country, he knew exactly how to play the güira without a rehearsal. Meeting him in person and learning his wonderful personality showed me that no matter how big you get, there’s always something new to learn.”

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Alison Plante Talks Scoring Documentary and Growing Berklee Talent

By Alison Plante

Alison Plante at the premier for the film Farmers for America

Alison Plante at the premier of documentary ‘Farmers for America.’

I have been to premieres of scores I’ve worked on at movie theaters, film festivals, and museums. Last semester was a first however, as I walked into the Indianapolis City Market surrounded by dozens of young farmers for the premiere of Farmers for America at the Future Farmers of America national conference. I scored this feature-length documentary along with some of my students from Film Scoring Practicum, and this is the second film that I scored with director Graham Meriweather (the first, American Meat, came out in 2013).

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In Memoriam: Lenny Stallworth

Dear members of the Berklee community,

Berklee lost one of its most venerable faculty members when David Linwood “Lenny” Stallworth passed away on December 20, 2017 at age 58. Lenny was an associate professor in the Ensemble Department who taught private bass lessons and a variety of ensembles during his fourteen-year career at Berklee.

Lenny StallworthLenny was a teacher’s teacher. He had a special ability to motivate and inspire students while guiding them through their learning process and musical journey. “We all have a destiny, and I try to make students realize that each of them is a unique individual and you don’t have to run anyone else’s race. I connect the fact that if we can find the one unique part, that’s what’s going to make you separate from the masses. The upside is that we all have something to contribute, no matter what. Each student has something that the world can only get from that particular student.”

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In Memoriam: Andy McGhee

Dear members of the Berklee community,

Teaching keeps me up to date and around good players. If you’re going to be a teacher and talk about something all day, you gotta be able to do it.

Andy McGheeThose are the words of former longtime Berklee faculty member Andy McGhee, who passed away on October 12 in Atlanta. With Andy’s passing, Berklee lost one of the seminal figures in its development. He would have been 90 years old on November 3.

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In Memoriam: Robert Honeysucker

Dear members of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music community,

We recently learned that longtime Conservatory faculty member Robert (Bob) Honeysucker unexpectedly passed away over the weekend at the age of 74. This news has left us with heavy hearts as we mourn the passing of a dear colleague, teacher, and friend.

Bob joined the Boston Conservatory voice faculty in 1981, and also served on the faculty of Longy School of Music. He was an active performer of opera, oratorio, and concert music, and gave recitals all over the world, including Japan, where he frequently performed with his wife, pianist Noriko Yasuda. He was a member of Videmus, as well as the cofounder of the Jubilee Trio, a group that presents rarely performed American art songs by African American composers.

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