Choral conductor Ken Greenhouse began teaching at Berklee in 1982, and went on to chair the Voice Department from 1984 to 1996 before moving to Atlanta in 1999. He passed away July 16. (Read the obituary.) Yumiko Matsuoka, now a Berklee professor, met Ken when she began studying at Berklee herself.
I came to Berklee wanting to learn how to write, especially in a cappella style. Because I was not a voice principal, one of the few options to sing was in Ken’s ensemble, the College Singers. Ken was a wonderful director and phenomenal accompanist. He was very demanding and always asked us to be our best. I also took his Vocal Group Arranging class (now Vocal Writing) where he taught all the basics that I now use in my own writing. I was fortunate to be asked to sing everyone’s projects in Ken’s class, and he also encouraged me to write for the ensemble. If it weren’t for Ken, my confidence as an a cappella arranger/composer may not have blossomed. It was also in the College Singers that I met some of those who became members of my a cappella quintet, Vox One.