Annie Grunwald, an 8th semester guitarist and music technology major and Jason Camelio, director of international programs, write about the BIN program in Malaysia.
Okay, it is a college, not a school. Regardless, our Berklee International Network (BIN) partner institutions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the International College of Music (ICOM) has very much ROCKED this week. And, the students and faculty along with a number of important sponsors demonstrated their prowess at the ICOM Celebration Series event held at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPAC) on Friday and Saturday evening.
As we sit here at the Narita International Airport in Japan awaiting our connecting flight home, Annie and I thought it would be cool to share some of her thoughts about her experience this week. Look for more updates Annie and I, along with Elena Bonomo, assistant director of admissions Pearly Lee and professor of professional performance Jim Odgren in the coming days. There is much to tell!
“On my trip to Malaysia: Meeting the students and faculty of ICOM (International College of Music) has in so many ways made me a better person. I cannot stress this enough, and how thankful I am to them for everything they did for me and Berklee for sponsoring this trip. I have never in my life met harder working musicians — seriously! These guys have intensive rehearsals, most from early morning until midnight. And, if it’s not right in the end, they keep pushing until it is. I personally have been pushed past a boundary of exertion that before my trip I don’t think I knew I was capable of.
Learning an entire set list in a few days, drilling the songs, hours of sound checks, technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, then followed by 2 performances…watching all the students of ICOM do this level of work (with no complaints whatsoever) was ridiculously inspiring to me. I also must mention that I have never met people that showed me such genuine kindness…especially having never met me before. They really went above and beyond to take me under their wing and make me feel at home. We began as strangers and I feel like we left each other as life long friends.
Everyone I met at ICOM, I love you guys and I hope we meet again someday, where I hope to repay you for all that you did for me while I was in Malaysia.”