Loads of talent, humor, personality and charisma!

We have just hosted a special week-long exchange program with Berklee International Network (BIN) partner, Music Academy International (MAI) from Nancy – France. This is an annual exchange in which selected students from MAI visit Boston and experience a week of Berklee in the classroom and the unique chemistry of its historic campus in Boston. 

The students were led by their professor Marc Sublet, Berklee alumnus ’87 (MP&E) who is currently Stage Manager at Disneyland Paris (formerly Euro Disney) and has so much to share with us about ongoing professional development beyond your degree at Berklee, and how his/your degree at Berklee plays a critical role in understanding and harnessing new skills in the industry. In the words of one MAI student, guitarist, Julien Hert – “Spending a week at Berklee College of Music has been a tremendously exciting experience. It is without a doubt the best music school in the world, with fantastic teachers and facilities. We were given the opportunity to attend a couple of classes from various programs, and each of them has been a blast. The teachers are amazing – outstanding musicians, first-class teaching, and hands-on industry knowledge. I am utterly thankful to Berklee College of Music and Music Academy International for this opportunity.”

The students visited a variety of classes, individually or in twos, including drum labs, Contemporary Writing and Production, Ear Training, Harmony, and a few recitals and concerts around campus, and last, but not least, Boston historic Wally’s Café and Jazz Club. These students were also interested in visiting the city of Boston, not just Berklee. As they expressed it, the chemistry of Berklee is special and related in so many ways to the city, history, and culture of Boston. Many of us, around campus, seem to take our environment for granted and often fail to see some of the specialties that many musicians around the world only dream of. It is always interesting to see how quickly and easily our visitors, each year, assimilate and connect on a personal level, with the environment, the city, and with the students around campus.

Thomas Bonini, one of two drummers in this group says, “I was very impressed by the high level of the faculty, the facilities, and with the entire organization; also with the level of the general musicianship and the ambience of the campus. Boston is a very beautiful city (although I usually don’t like cities, I liked this one. . and the Donuts!).” The group was on campus during the week of June 10th. As Tom (Bonini) indicated in his comments, a regular feature of our visitors in this annual program, is a good dose of quality time around Faneuil hall, Harvard square, and Boston’s food and sights.

The reciprocating exchange designed for Berklee students is a specially designed performance tour for a selected ensemble from Berklee, as part of the annual jazz festival in Nancy France (the Nancy Jazz Pulsations) that typically takes place during mid October. This year, the student group from Berklee will be saxophonist Erena Terakubo with her quintet. Look for a post about this event in a few months.