Only when we arrived at Boston, and unloaded the van did I realize that this trip was our last class for this semester. After being with Darren for 3 semesters now, one in harmonic considerations and 2 as part of his ensemble, I can literally say that he has changed the way I play and think about music. To me, this ensemble was “the real world” ensemble. A group of the best players around, with the best teacher, playing amazing music with the highest standard and the highest expectations. This ensemble was real. If things didn’t sound good, we stopped and made them work, no matter how uncomfortable or hard that may be. As Darren used to say, we are family, and in a family you speak and work even on the bad things, and as honest as you can. We were meeting on Mondays, 11 AM, which is considered an early Berklee time, and still every lesson was filled with people coming to listen and learn. There was a feeling this is something special. And so it was.There was no better way to conclude this part of my Berklee life than with this NYC trip. It was the most prestigious, the most honorable and the hardest trip I have done for the college, and probably my entire life. This was the real world. This was how I hope my life to look like, once I graduate and go out there. And there was no better way to experience it than with this ensemble, full with my best friends and my favorite musicians, my Berklee family.