The warmth and friendliness of the Brazilian people surrounds us as we visit our partner school in São Paulo (Souza Lima College of Music) and conduct auditions and interviews for admission. While the occasional nuance may be lost in translation (our collective Portuguese ability approximates zero!) we are welcomed with open arms and a shared respect and love for music and education.

Berklee staff and faculty meet Souza Lima faculty

Left to right: Jim Odgren (assistant, Professional Performance), Matt Glaser (artistic director, American Roots Music Program), Sam Skau (International Programs), and Mark Campbell (VP for enrollment), of Berklee; Antonio Mário Cunha, director of Souza Lima; Bruno Raberg, Berklee faculty bassist; Gilberto de Syllos, Souza Lima faculty; and Doug Bennett, Berklee admissions

The hospitality of our hosts at Souza Lima, Antonio Mário Cunha and Lupa Santiago (’00) is incredible as we learn more about their extraordinary school, one that is central to music education in Brazil.  We also encounter the incredible talents of those who study here.  Faculty members Jim Odgren, Bruno Raberg and Matt Glaser conduct clinics that are well received by our audience of students, faculty and staff.

Lastly, as we check in a dynamic and fully engaged group of students for auditions and interviews, one young man stands out just slightly from the others. He’s traveled 24 hours by bus from Paraguay for his opportunity to meet with us.  In discussions later, we all agree that we have an extraordinary privilege to meet and connect with young people who are so fully committed and passionate for music.