Continuing Berklee’s commitment to giving back to the community at large, the college’s Gracenotes Volunteer Committee sponsored its second annual trip to New Mexico. A group of nine staff and faculty members from the College and Conservatory traveled to Santa Fe to work in the Oshara Village, an ongoing Habitat for Humanity project to promote affordable home ownership for Santa Fe area residents by constructing simple, adequate, and safe houses through the efforts of volunteers, partner families, donors, and staff.

Ellen Thompson | Trip Leader, Ellen ThompsonStaff, Berklee College of Music

By trusting each other, being vulnerable, and sharing from our strengths, each of our group allowed for all the others to learn, contribute, and be contributed to.

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Robin WooRobin Woo | Staff, Berklee College of Music

“The night before returning to Boston, I noticed we were discussing how to make Berklee better and how to help students better.

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Brittany CostaBrittany Costa | Staff, Berklee College of Music

Every day our work site was filled with laughter, carefully curated playlists, singing, interpretive dancing, posing for videos and photos (to prove to our loved ones back home that yes, we do know how to swing a hammer), and hard work.

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Rene PfsiterRene Pfister | Faculty, Berklee College of Music

Creating community is one of the values I hold most important in the theater work I do, so getting out of my comfort zone and actually building community from the ground up with tools felt like the right way to do that.

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Audrey KimballAudrey Kimball | Staff, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

I would say my largest take away from this trip is that Berklee and the Conservatory are truly stronger together. The more we can continue to connect the two parts of our school, the better we’ll be for it.

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Min LeeMin Lee | Staff, Berklee College of Music

So yes, I did travel, I did build, I did bond. I did all of the things that I had expected out of the trip. However, the bright energy of the Santa Fe sun and the personalities of my teammates helped light a spark in my spirit that I hadn’t realized I sorely needed.”

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Jeannie GagneJeannie Gagné | Faculty, Berklee College of Music

Our group all worked hard all week, and joyfully, and collaboratively. Our young Americorp teachers were patient and fun. They said we were among the most productive group of volunteers.”

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Leslie KovallLeslie Koval | Staff, Boston Conservatory at Berklee

The empowerment I feel as an agent of change in people’s lives and as an owner of practical skills I thought were beyond my abilities will resonate in all areas of my life.

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Rachel TaravellaRachel Taravella | Staff, Berklee College of Music

The fluidity of our team, the energy on-site, the vibe of the city — I was beyond lucky to have been a part of this. I felt present, focused, empowered, and achieved a new sense of clarity.”

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