Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

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(Harvard) Student By Day, (Berklee) Pop Star By Night

By Avanti Nagral

Avanti Nagral sitting near a gardenI am practically married to the Number 1 Bus. Constantly back and forth, traversing between two cities, two worlds, two identities. But I’ve lived almost exactly half my life in two different countries, so duality is no stranger. Bombay/Boston. Artist/Advocate. Harvard/Berklee.

It’s a mouthful to explain to people.

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In Prague: Composing for the 21st Century the 10th International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition

The following post is an excerpted version of a longer essay about Stella’s experience as a contestant in the 2019 Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition.

Stella Gitelmann Willoughby composing at the pianoBy Stella G. Gitelman Willoughby

Imagine this. You’re alone in an attic. Holed up for eight hours a day, for the next five days. The hot sun bakes into your skin through a narrow window. English is not a familiar language. The only objects: a baby grand Steinway Piano and a large envelope with instructions. This was my reality this summer. This was my dream come true.

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Friday Night Classical ft. Berklee Indian Ensemble

September 27th. 8:00pm. Boston Conservatory at Berklee. You had to be there to experience the music in all its glory. The sold-out performance aptly titled “Which Classical Music?” was directed by Markus Placci and was a celebration of chamber music, performed by acclaimed Boston Conservatory at Berklee faculty members and renowned guest artists from around the world. 

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Gracenotes 2019 crew poses in the house frame they helped build

Raising the Roof: Reflections from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Continuing Berklee’s commitment to giving back to the community at large, the college’s Gracenotes Volunteer Committee sponsored its third annual trip to New Mexico. A group of eight staff and faculty members from the College and Conservatory traveled to Santa Fe to work on Habitat for Humanity projects promoting affordable home ownership for Santa Fe area residents. Read the volunteers’ reflection below.

Lauren Linsalata | Staff, Berklee College of Music

Lauren Linsalata headshot“Having concrete evidence of my progress at the end of the week is a big deal to me—not just because we’re building a home for someone who very much needs it. It’s a reminder of what I’m capable of, in a tangible context.”

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Why Missy Elliott’s Honorary Doctorate Means So Much

By Darcie Nicole B.M. ’01

Missy Elliott at Berklee's 2019 commencement ceremony

Image by Dave Green

“Let me just soak it in… I don’t even know how I’m standing here…” The opening of the incomparable Missy Elliott’s humble, encouraging commencement address was devoid of egotism. Those who have been at Berklee long enough also needed to soak it in. Missy tapped into the ether. How she came to be standing there was a path forged by her musical bravery, compelling creativity, and groundbreaking innovation paralleled by a foundation that was built—sometimes against the grain—at the college for nearly two decades prior.

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