Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Danielle Dreilinger (Page 2 of 15)

Ken Greenhouse

Former Voice Department chair Ken Greenhouse

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.

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Remembering Charlie Chapman

Charles Chapman

Retired faculty member Charles Chapman

Charles Chapman, jazz guitarist and retired member of Berklee’s Guitar Department, passed away in Maine on July 18. We asked some of his former colleagues and students to share their remembrances. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Update: obituary in the Herald Gazette; family guestbook for condolences.

Mark Small ’73, editor of Berklee Today
I have many memories of Charlie. As fellow guitarists, we had a lot in common and had each studied with Bill Leavitt back in the day. He never tired of talking guitar stuff with his colleagues.

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Video games at Berklee this week

From the 2010 Video Game Sound and Music Workshop (photo by Phil Farnsworth)

Recording session from the 2010 Video Game Sound and Music Workshop at Berklee (photo by Phil Farnsworth)

Why spend your summer playing video games when you can learn to write music for them? Video game music has really taken off around here in the last few years—you can even minor in the subject now. This week, for the first time, Berklee is offering not one but two summer programs for aspiring video game composers. We caught up with faculty member Michael Sweet before students arrived.

– What video game summer programs is Berklee offering?

MS: This year we have two different programs for video games. The Video Game Sound and Music Workshop is a three-day program for beginning to intermediate level, and the Video Game Composer Institute is an intensive five-day program for experienced writers.

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Fiddle competitions 101—no, 102

Dan Carwile teaches at the Mark O'Connor/Berklee Summer String Program

Dan Carwile knows fiddle contests

Coming to you Wednesday afternoon from the Mark O’Connor/Berklee Summer String Program… fiddle cases are everywhere!

Fiddler Dan Carwile is so detail-oriented he has a spreadsheet ranking brands of rosin. He told a dozen students he wanted them to learn past masters’ fiddle tunes so well that they could name every lick they stole. “I’m a fossil,” he said. But not a fogey: “I like to go for something different every time… it’s controlled improvisation.”

The program’s “contest-style” or “Texas-style” teacher, Dan ran the class through a classic fiddle breakdown and shared tips from his experiences judging (among other competitions) the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest and Festival in Weiser, Idaho. That’s “Weiser,” pronounced “weezer,” to insiders.

Please imagine this all in a soft Alabama drawl.

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TransAtlantic Seaway in Glasgow: Day 5

Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from musician Hamish Napier.

TransAtlantic Seaway

DAY 5—SAT 29 JAN “Standing room only”

Hamish N.:

The BIG DAY has come, and Larry has everyone assembled in the Green Room for 11am for one final run-through of the show. Sound checks and lighting are all OK and there’s a little nervous tingle going around. 12:45 comes and the audience flocks in. We hadn’t really known what to expect as Celtic Connections is a very large festival with about 12 different locations. Besides it’s Saturday afternoon in a city that is ‘Football Daft’.

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