Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: jcamelio (Page 3 of 7)

Schooled in Groove

To many musicians, the groove is the basis of all that we do. It’s the feel; the groove moves us. As we wrapped up the last day of the Berklee Groove School program at the new campus in Valencia, the groove was in full effect.

2012 groove school dance

George Russell, Jr. wants you to feel the groove. So, get up and dance!

I do not think the students had any idea what pianist, composer and professor of harmony at Berklee George Russell, Jr. had in mind when he asked the group to get up out of their chairs and start to get their bodies in motion. The result put the icing on the cake of this 4-day program by making the students do what they had been studying over the long weekend. Shake it, baby! 

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Matt Halpin Update from Dublin Tour

By: Matthew Halpin, Presidential Scholar, Tenor Saxophonist, Composer and Bandleader. See Ireland Gets the Presidential Treatment for more on the Matt Halpin Group Tour of Ireland.

The past two weeks have been extremely busy for all of us, and hugely successful too. The four Dublin performances were all packed and very well received. The workshop and the two performances in Sligo also had really good numbers, especially for a Sunday and Monday night. The Headford workshop was tied in with a summer school that’s was going on at the time so there were about 30 students between the ages of 8 and 18, many of which came to the performance that night with parents and siblings.  So, again the room was filled to capacity!  The workshop at the Berklee International Network partner Newpark Music Centre in Dublin was attended by several of the degree students and a number of younger students who had heard about it either on the internet or from their teachers.

Matt Halpin Group

Pianist Christian Li, drummer Roberto Giaquinto, saxophonist/leader Matt Halpin, bassist Jared Henderson and guitarist Mike Bono on tour in Ireland.

Also, we made it up to Belfast to record in the BBC radio studios live and to do some interviews. These recordings have been broadcast several times on BBC Northern Ireland as well as on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3.  These stations are available throughout England and Ireland. 

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A View from the Summit

By Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

There are many sites to see in Valencia. Depending on where you stand your perspective can be dramatically altered. From the bridges spanning the Palau de les Arts, you see the expanse of truly vivid imaginations. It is compositional in nature. Fluid. Impressive and yet subtle with a filigree of detail juxtaposed with complex imagery. This imagery can also describe the incredible group of creative and inspired minds holding court at the 2012 Berklee International Network Summit.

2012 Summit Guests

2012 Berklee International Summit Guests - 60 Attendees from, 24 institutions and organizations in 20 countries.

As I looked across Sala A, I saw individuals with a deep passion for the craft and art of music and music education. They are an inspirational organization that is reflective of what my teachers and mentors at Berklee have shared with me of Lawrence Berk and those keeping to his ideals.

At the Summit, we set out to meet three goals.  Our partners had the opportunity to be introduced to the new vice president of global initiatives Guillermo Cisneros. This is the first Summit Guillermo has presided over. Equally important, we introduced our partners to the new campus at the Palau. Finally, by incorporating a number of new institutions and organizations with whom Berklee has been working over the past few years at the Summit, we worked to expand the potential of this truly dynamic global organization.

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And Mozart Went to…11!

By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

Mozart would have been impressed by the rendition of Eine kleine Nachtmusik blazing through the row of Fender amplifiers lined across the stage at the Lawrence and Alma Berk Recital Hall this afternoon. Eight exceptional Brazilian guitarist picking, hammering-on, pulling-off, swelling with their volume knobs whilst the conductor who could have passed for a rhythm guitarist for Crimson Glory waived in arms to keep time and cue the various passages screaming forth.

SL Gtr Orchestra

Ciro Visconti leads the Conservatorio Souza LIma Guitar Orchestra at Berklee.

The eight musicians are students from our Berklee International Network (BIN) partner Conservatorio Souza Lima in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The gentlemen getting the workout at the podium is Berklee alum and Souza Lima faculty member Ciro Visconti. The group is the Souza Lima Guitar Orchestra and they have been visiting Berklee this week as part of a student exchange program managed by the Office of International Programs. The Orchestra joins a group from Music Academy International (MAI), another BIN partner from Nancy, France. Six students from MAI are also visiting the colleague as part of an exchange.  They are led by Berklee alum and head sound engineer at Euro Disney Marc Sublet.

As part of the visit this year, we worked with Tim-Paul Weiner in the Concert Office to set up a performance opportunity for the Guitar Orchestra. The Orchestra uses the string orchestra model as a basis for rendering orchestral repertoire with electric guitars…through stomp boxes, through tube amplifiers. Loudly, but with finesse. This afternoon, we were treated to a concert dedicated to a reigning champ in the world of the string orchestra — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The orchestra presented the Divertimento’s in D Major, Bb Major and F Major and closed out the set with Serenade No. 13 in G Major — A Little Night Music. The crush-endos of eight guitars through amps is definitely something you should and will feel if you have the opportunity to hear a group like this perform. The exceptionally challenging music was performed mostly from memory by excellent guitarist that have had to adapt their technique and even their instruments they use to perform the pieces.

Huge thanks to Ciro and the students for their fine performance and to Mario and Cris Cunha at Souza Lima for sponsoring their groups trip to Boston for a memorable event.

Ireland Gets the Presidential Treatment from Berklee

By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs

An exceptionally talented group of young musicians is en route to Ireland to present a series of master classes and concerts in Sligo, Cork and Dublin. The quintet, led by Berklee presidential scholar and native of Ireland Matthew Halpin, will also feature drummer Roberto Gianquinto, bassist Jared Henderson, pianist Christian Li (not in photo) and guitarist Mike Bono (also a Berklee Presidential Scholar).

Tenor saxophonist and composer Halpin has just completed his sixth semester at Berklee. His most recent project is one which includes four musicians who he has been working with and studying with in various scenarios since he began at Berklee in fall of 2009. Matthew states, “In that time this group has grown to be some of my best friends and musical connections. What we’ve been able to develop is something which I have not experienced before.”

MIke Bono Matt Halpin Ireland

Matt Halpin and Mike Bono lead their quintet on clinic and concert tour of Ireland in June.

Halpin describes this quintet as, “a group of musicians (that) are stand out players in their own right, most of them studying on full scholarships at Berklee College of Music. I’m currently composing a set of music specific to this group that I think will show off the highly interactive capabilities and the incredible soloing skills each musician has. What I am trying to make most prominent in the music is the enjoyment and humor that we find in playing together and which has always come naturally to us, while being true to the intensity and emotional depth of the music which we all love.

Halpin’s quintet will be performing at the Hawkswell Theatre and Sligo Jazz Project in Sligo, the International Bar in Dublin, at Berklee International Network partner institution Newpark Music Centre in Dublin and other locales. For mote details about their Ireland tour, please go to Matt and Mike’s web sites.

This is the first time that Berklee has sent a group co-led by Presidential Scholars on an international tour. The quintet will also be on tour in France in October as part of a student exchange program with Berklee International Network partner Music Academy International in Nancy, where they will be feature at the 2012 Nancy Jazz Pulsation.

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