Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Author: Reynolds Graves (Page 1 of 3)

BCM Network Partner Chicago West Community Music Center Exchanges Music, Art and Culture with Brazilian Youth

Chicago West Community Music Center (CWCMC) participated in the launching of cultural exchange trips between Chicago’s West Side and the city of Santo Andrè, Brazil. Several CWCMC staff, youth, musicians and a local artist traveled to Brazil from March 24th through April 3rd to take part in an exchange of cultural ideas, creating music performances and producing several large scale, community-based public murals. This summer, the program will send several youth artists from Brazil to work with young people in the East Garfield Park community, participating in a music program at Chicago West Community Music Center.

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance received a MacArthur Foundation grant allowing the music teachers with Chicago Community West Music Center, Charles Li, Darlene and Howard Sandifer and two students, David Houston and Jamaal Crowder, to travel to Brazil.

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Berklee City Music Night at the Garden

Tuesday, April 3rd was an exciting night for Berklee City Music as six City Music High School Academy students sang our nations anthem to fans at the TD Garden in downtown Boston. While the Celtics geared up to take on the San Antonio Spurs,  Wendy Chung, Ava Dudani, Rachel McLean, Elideusa Gomes-Almeida, Rebecca Demmellash and Grace Mann brought 19,000 spectators to a rousing cheer with their rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. 

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A Place Called Home Teenagers “Scare” Macy Gray in L.A.

Teenagers from A Place Called Home (APCH), a Berklee City Music Network partner in South Central Los Angeles, recently joined Grammy Award-winning artist Macy Gray on stage at the Conan O’Brian show. They joined Gray to perform the song “Teenagers” off of her new album Covered.

APCH Music Director and Berklee alumna Charyn Harris worked with her colleague and APCH instructor Jeffrey Connor to make it all happen. Harris explained that, “A Place Called Home works with professional working musicians who are also instructors. We were fortunate to have Jeffrey Connor facilitate this great and inspiring opportunity for the kids to work with such an amazing artist”.

Also involved in the once in a lifetime opportunity was another Berklee alumnus, Zoux who is the musical director for the R&B soul singer-songwriter.

Check out images and video from Tuesday’s show:


Elan Trotman and Lin Rountree Conduct Masterclass at Phoenix Conservatory

While in town for the Desert Ridge Jazz Festival, Lin Rountree and Berklee Alum Elan Trotman took some time  to host a master class at the Phoenix Conservatory of Music in Arizona. The Conservatory is a member of the Berklee City Music Network.Their primary  goal is to fill the gap of music education where it would otherwise not be available, enriching the lives and minds of children and adults with music in the greater Phoenix area. Elan is a native of Barbados and has performed with Roberta Flack, Peter White, and numerous others. His music has been featured in the top 20 for smooth jazz songs, radio airtime, and jazz albums. Lin is a Michigan native who has performed with George Benson, Tim Bowman, Kem, and many others. His first single “For your love” was on national charts for 15 weeks and has been compared to Chris Botti’s work.

Photos courtesy of the Phoenix Conservatory of Music


The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Stax Music Academy in Memphis, TN, one of the Berklee City Music Network’s affiliate sites. Stax has a rich tradition and history that they use to tell the stories behind that great ‘Soulsville’ sound.

Check out the article here

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