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First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Berklee Scholarships (Page 1 of 4)

Berklee Scholarships

Bolsas de estudo

Neste post irei falar sobre as oportunidades de bolsa de estudo e planos de pagamento que um aluno, seja nacional ou internacional, pode adquirir ao longo do curso. Isto é um assunto que pode interessar a muitos, já que o Summer Semester vai começar agora.

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Following Our Alumni to Hong Kong and Singapore

Post by Jason Camelio, director of international programs.

In recent years, our eyes and ears have been turning to eastern Asia for new sounds, approaches to the business of music and especially to the wealth of young talent that is exploding there.  Berklee has strong partner institutions already located in Korea, Japan and Malaysia.  Building on this success, we are expanding our recruitment, outreach and branding into locations in China, India and Singapore.  One of the most successful ways we have been able to connect with new regions and communities is through our alumni.  In January, chair of contemporary writing and production Matthew Nicholl, assistant director of admissions Pearly Lee and I had the chance to return to Hong Kong and Singapore to meet with our alumni, present clinics and information sessions and conduct auditions and interviews. 

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Generosity – Dominican-Style

By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

As the last finalist walked from the recital hall at the National Theater in Santo Domingo, we on the audition panel turned to one another and shared a few smiles. On one hand, the easy part was done. Over the past day and a half we had auditioned 30+ talented young musicians that had been selected as finalists for the 2012 Michel Camilo Scholarship. The hard part was about to begin. We now had to select the one candidate to receive the presidential scholarship generously donated by Michel.

We had heard fantastic auditions covering various styles. From exceptional performances of classical piano repertoire, to stellar Jazz and Blues to even transcriptions of Michel’s work — the overall quality showcased made it clear that these young musicians are not messing around. Much of what they have accomplished is due to their individual commitment to music study.  This is helped along my high level music education at places like the National Conservatory — where Michel studied.

The Conservatory now has a strong contemporary music program focusing on the Jazz tradition. One of the program directors and faculty is a Berklee alum Javier Vargas. Javier was extremely proud to have a number of his students selected as finalists for the competition.

2012 Michel Camilo Award Finalists

2012 Michel Camilo Award Finalists

Director of scholarships Tod Oliviere, assistant vice president for international program Greg Badolato, Michel and I began our deliberations. Going back through the detailed notes we had taken from the auditions and interviews, names began to emerge. As with many awarding situations, Tod knew that there were many potential recipients.

In the end, one performance stood out. A student from the Conservatory and an exceptional young guitarist, Roger De La Rosa. In this moment, his life changed thanks to Michel’s gift, dedication and support of young Dominican musicians.

It is important to note that Berklee also awarded a number of partial-tuition scholarships as well as a couple of 5 week Summer Performance Programs Scholarships to the other fine talents in the group of finalists.

Also, we owe a debt of thanks to the National Theater for allowing us use of the space for this event, to Orange (telecommunications provider) for sponsoring this event and providing us with top-notch support.  And extra special thanks goes to Herminio León who is not only an artist in the business world, but an award-winning photographer.  He and his team made this event truly special for all involved.

Here Is What $1 Million Looks Like in Puerto Rico

By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

We have closed out another year at Berklee in Puerto Rico. The final concert, held on Sunday, June 3rd showcased the fine talent and hard work of the students and the faculty members from the week-long program. In just over 4-hours, 16 bands performed dozens of pieces of music running the stylistic gamut. From small group jazz and rock to the hair-raising large jazz orchestra and choirs, the show was a fantastic success. Huge thanks goes out to Carolyn Wilkins, Darcel Wilson, Greg Badolato, Eguie Castrillo, Ken Cervenka, Rick Peckham, Bob, Pilkington and Casey Scheuerell.

As a result of the work of the Berklee faculty members in Puerto Rico for the past 17-years, we have seen a steady rise in the level of skill and musicianship in the young students here. This increase in talent has made it possible for more and more students to continue their studies at Berklee as full-time students. From Miguel Zenon and Ruben Amador to Nannette Velez and Carlos Ayala to Kalani Trinidad and Edmar Colon…the list will go on and on. Special thanks goes to trustee and Berklee alum Luis Alvarez for his support of this event, Larry Monroe and Greg Badolato for their dedication to the program over these years and to Joey Sala for all the work he does to help us pull off a successful program year after year.

And with the close of each Berklee in Puerto Rico program we have an awards ceremony. The awards include Berklee Online courses, awards from the Conservatorio de Artes del Caribe, 5 Week Summer Performance Program Scholarships and awards towards Full-Time Study. For the past few years, we been conducting auditions and interviews (A&I) at the program in order to assist students on their path to Berklee. The first year that we conducted A&I at the program, we were able to jump from awarding $70,000 in partial tuition scholarships based on only nominations from faculty members to approximately $300,000 based on the A&I — which allows for acceptance consideration to the college and higher scholarship award potential. Last year, we cleared the $700,000 mark. This year, we have hit a major watershed. With the level of talent at a steady rise, it was inevitable. This year the director of scholarships Tod Oliviere was excited to announce that the total amount of awards being made to Berklee’s programs in Boston exceed $1 million dollars.

2012 Berklee in Puerto Rico Scholarship Winners

So, here is what $1 million dollars looks like. Congratulations!

Following the Path Through Berklee in Puerto Rico

By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

Carlos plays cuatro. He’s 12-years old. He just got back from Cuba, where he was playing at a conference for cuatro players. Edgardo plays soprano. He’s been playing for a year. He is 15-years old.

It is not uncommon to see such young musicians in Puerto Rico. Music starts early here and runs deep. But, what is intriguing for me is how easily they wish to share their music – without hesitation. These young musicians stopped but to hang with assistant vice president for international programs Greg Badolato and I yesterday afternoon during lunch. They eagerly pulled out their instruments and wanted to play for us.

2012 Berklee in Puerto Rico Young Lions

Carlos and Edgardo play a duet at Berklee in Puerto Rico.

Programs like Berklee in Puerto Rico open the doors, sow the fields, pave the paths…you name it. Students have the opportunity to interact with their peers and also the wealth of knowledge and experience provided by the exceptional faculty members. They do this through a full week or lectures, master classes and ensembles. Carlos and Edgardo are new students to the program and we can already see the potential paths before them.

2012 CAC Concert Ruben Amador

Director of Conservatorio de Artes Del Caribe Ruben Amador kicks of the schools end of term concert.

There is a strong likelihood that they will develop into fine musicians and educators like Berklee alum and student in the first Berklee in Puerto Rico program in 1995 Ruben Amador (`04) . He is the founder, director and inspiration behind the Conservatorio de Artes Del Caribe (CAC). Ruben graciously invited Greg, Eguie Castrillo and I to attend the semester ending concert showing the excellent talent studying at the Conservatory. We were truly impressed by the range of experience and styles presented in the concert. His students rocked out on the tunes like the Chili Peppers “Scar Tissue”, interpreted beautiful jazz ballads like the Ella Fitzgerald version of “Black Coffee” and showcased their total musicianship chops with a short set of Police and Sting tunes to cap off the night.

CAC has a prime location in the heart of the music scene in old San Juan. The students’ commitment to their education and the development of the Conservatory is deep. As Ruben took us on a tour of the facilities he told us that, “the students tell me that if they could live here in the building, they would. They are so into the school that they are even helping with the renovation of the building.” A quick look around and you get the feeling of the old Berklee 1140 Boylston Street building — its character and sound and smell. The vibe is right for the work Ruben, his teacher and students are doing.

The Berklee in Puerto Rico program is also thankful for Ruben’s generosity. Based on the recommendations of Berklee faculty members teaching at the program, three students in our program will be selected to receive scholarships to attend CAC for one-semester starting this fall. Thus keeping them on the path.

Though Carlos and Edgardo are part of a whole new generation of young musicians.  There are many similarities that can be drawn between them and Ruben. Their basic instinct is to work on the music. They are not in it for the glory — just for the satisfaction of going a fine job. Only time will tell where it will lead them. If alums like Ruben are any indication, the music is in good hands.

2012 CAC Concert

Students at Conservatorio de Artes Del Caribe rock out on "Just Forget About It."

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