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James the Intern

Songs for Songs Concert: Putting Guitars in the Hands of Ugandan Youth

March 27, 2010 7pm, Entry by Donation ($10 suggested) Lily Pad 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA Natalie Sara, Robert Gillies, Hannah Christianson, Allison Preisinger *Collecting Guitar Donations Before and After Event!

Allison Preisinger, a work study for the last year and a half here at PULSE, is putting together a benefit performance of Berklee songwriters to raise money for guitars and music equipment to send to Pader, Uganda.

Natalie Weaver a Songwriting Major at Berklee recently visited Pader to work with youth effected by the ongoing war, but was limited by the lack of sufficient equipment. With only a single guitar, Natalie focused on teaching a group of students lyric and melody writing. The hope is that they can continue expanding their music education with the help of donated music gear.

An entertaining, fun and thought provoking mix of singer-songwriter, pop and folk styles will make the night a special one. Hannah Christianson, Robert Gillies, Natalie Sara , and Allison Preisinger, all Berklee singer-songwriters, will be performing their original music.

Allison is organizing and performing at this benefit in order to do her part to spread music and expression to those where it may not come as easily. You can show your support in coming out and enjoying a wonderful evening of music provided by four Berklee students!

Entry is by donation ($10 suggested) and there will be a raffle with great items to win! It is sure to be a great way to spend your Saturday evening!

From The Intern’s Desk: Sound Tracking for PULSE Video


Here in week 7 of my internship at Berklee PULSE, I’ve spent most of the last few days placing music examples in our upcoming History of Strings video. The breadth of examples mentioned in the video makes the job of syncing sound clips pretty interesting, and often times kind of funny.

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It is pretty rare in my (short) career producing and arranging music that I sample Shostakovitch, Charles Mingus and Dr. Dre within a minute or two of each other.

The video does a great job of integrating relevant, yet cross-cultural examples of the use of string instruments, and I get to choose and arrange how they fit into the sound track.

I even got to make a sweet remix of Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp. Once the groundwork is laid I hand it off to Elizabeth who is in charge of audio for the video team for final mixing and sound design.

From the Intern’s Desk: Audition and Interview

Berklee PULSE
During my second week as an intern at Berklee PULSE, I tagged along with the video team on a shoot for one of the supplemental videos to the Take 5 documentary series. Jamilah Allwood, the Associate Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Special Events, walked a group of students from the City Music program through the process of auditioning and interviewing by performing a mock interview with a Berklee senior, and discussing strategies to make their best impressions.

Having experienced the nerve-wracking, and often intimidating process of college interviews and auditions myself, I was a bit jealous to hear the kind of insight and advice the City Music members were getting from this session. Being told to “stay calm” or “just be yourself” is all well and good, but only goes so far when coming from your parents 10 minutes before you walk in. Jamilah described the expectations of the judges and interviewers, and put the idea of a big scary interview into a more relatable context.

Check out how the video turned out:

PULSE’s Take 5 documentary series follows students of Berklee’s 5-week Summer Performance Program, tracking their experiences from auditions to the final concert. You can see episodes 1 and 2 in the PULSE Study Room and on the President’s Office of Education Outreach page, and new episodes will be posted once a month, leading up to the next 5-week program this summer.

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