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Tag: Berklee City Music Boston (Page 1 of 2)

Berklee City Music Boston

Berklee Indian Ensemble: Have you met Ava?

12628586_919155108167709_2231900511043166992_oI’ve known, loved and worked with Ava Dudani since my first semester at Berklee in 2014. If you’ve lived in Boston, chances are, you do too! An active performer and songwriter, Ava is an 8th semester Professional Music major focusing on Music Education and Songwriting sits down with me to share her story.

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Celtics Star Brandon Bass Visits Berklee City Music

I’m Justin Poon, a guitarist and hip-hop/electronica producer from Toronto, Canada. I’m currently on my third semester here at Berklee, studying performance and electronic production and design. Last week, I had the chance to see Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass as he sat in with Berklee City Music ensembles.

Bass’s visit to Berklee was in conjunction with the annual Celtics Partner night at last Friday night’s Celtics game, where J. Curtis Warner, associate vice president of education outreach/executive director of Berklee City Music accepted a donation from the Shamrock Foundation towards scholarships, and City Music students sang the national anthem. Bass is into music, singing, and rapping, and is also interested in piano lessons. The City Music students, being Boston natives, were delighted to have the ball player visit, and have someone they look up to be involved in their music. I only wish that Bass had tried his hand in performing, as I was slightly more interested in how his skills were on the bandstand rather than the court.

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Berklee City Music Night at the TD Garden with the Boston Celtics

This blog post was authored by Staff blogger Justin Johnson, Interim Systems Coordinator from Berklee City Music Boston.

As the 2013 NBA season comes to a close, the Boston Celtics hosted the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, April 10.  The game had many playoff implications, which created a very enthusiastic crowd at the TD Garden. The game was also a marquee night for Berklee City Music.  Minutes before tip-off, three City Music High School Academy students––Adeline Um, Melissa Israel, and Grace Mann––stepped on to the court to sing the national anthem. Their beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was met with boisterous applause from the 19,000 fans in attendance.

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Before and during the game City Music work-study students could be seen walking around the arena selling 50/50 raffle tickets.  The 50/50 raffle is conducted each game by the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. The purpose of the raffle is to provide extra support for the Foundation so that they are able to provide resources to impact youth-based organizations in the community. Berklee City Music will be the beneficiary of a portion of the jackpot.

The highlight of the evening was the awarding of the “Heroes Among Us” award to Dr. Krystal Banfield, Dean of Berklee City Music.  Dr. Banfield was the honoree for her continued commitment to furthering the mission of Berklee City Music through low or no cost, after-school music education and mentorship.

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Dr. Krystal Banfield Accepts the Heros Among Us Award

To cap off the evening a check for $50,000 was presented to Berklee City Music, a contribution from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. Celtics Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca presented the check to J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Associate Vice President for Education Outreach and Executive Director of Berklee City Music, and Dr. Krystal Banfield.  Berklee City Music sincerely thanks the Boston Celtics for their continued support.

From left to right: J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Associate Vice President for Education Outreach and Executive Director of Berklee City Music; Dr. Krystal Banfield, Dean of Berklee City Music; Stephen Pagliuca, Celtics Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation

From left to right: J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Associate Vice President for Education Outreach and Executive Director of Berklee City Music; Dr. Krystal Banfield, Dean of Berklee City Music; Stephen Pagliuca, Celtics Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation

Who do you think you are? Musicians make their next career moves in PULSE’s Practical Skills Level 2

Live from New York … It’s Saturday night! Well, okay, we’re actually coming at you from Boston, and at the time of this posting, it’s Friday morning. But we’re feeling a big connection to Saturday Night Live as of late. Just recently, the show featured Karmin, some of our favorite alums featured in PULSE’s Practical Skills Level 1. And now … drum roll please … we bring you our newest addition to the Study Room – Practical Skills Level 2! And, as part of it, we feature another SNL star — the house band’s keyboardist, Tuffus Zimbabwe, who shares his path to success in the Career Opportunities section of the unit.

Practical Skills Level 2 helps students continue working on the real life skills that will take their music to the next level. It focuses on helping students hone their writing and communication skills, explore the different careers available to musicians, and understand the importance of defining what you and your music are all about. With plenty of videos and downloadable worksheets, the unit helps aspiring musicians to develop the tools needed to get noticed in the music industry, and to investigate potential careers in music.

Now, without further ado, meet Tuffus Zimbabwe. He is a Pianist, Composer, and Arranger and a City Music and Berklee alum. He might look familiar from his great gig as the keyboardist in the Saturday Night Live band. In this video, he shares his educational journey and how he got to where he is today.

Do you think that music has the power to heal? Then meet Sarah Blacker, a Music Therapist and Singer/Songwriter (and Berklee alumna!) who uses music in her work with people with disabilities. Learn more about what it takes to be a music therapist, and start thinking about the different ways that music can be developed into a career.

Log-in to to check out the rest of our career videos featuring Music Educator Darcel Wilson, Guitarist/Performer Jeff Gitelman, who’s played with the likes of David Bowie and Alicia Keys, and Chris Rival, a Producer/Engineer who owns his own recording studio in Greater Boston.

One of the great things that we take away from these career video profiles is the strong sense of identity that each of these musicians possess. Don’t you feel like you understand them or have a grasp on the direction in which they want to take their musical careers? That’s because they’ve all had to look introspectively to realize what they want to project as part of their musical identities. In the “Defining You” section in Practical Skills Level 2, you’ll learn about Marketing and Branding basics with Mike King, Director of Marketing for Berklee Media.

In the “Working With Words” section, we tackle a topic that many musicians don’t like to address: writing. Learning how to communicate your ideas and your mission effectively could get you just as far as a hit song. But we won’t have you writing novels or sappy love poems. The subject matter of this work is way more interesting, because it’s all about you.

An artist statement, biography, resume, or a blog all have some do’s and don’ts that are good to have under your belt. In this next video, Katie Barnes, City Music Boston‘s Recruitment and Enrollment Coordinator, explains the basics of a bio and how you can make it your best!

Now check out the Bio in action with these City Music students who share excerpts from their bios and tell you why it’s an important tool to have in your arsenal.


There are worksheets that go with each segment. Here’s a quick preview of what you would use when developing your bio.




Want to learn more about Berklee PULSE? Take the tour on youtube, like us on facebook, or follow us on twitter. You can find more about the Berklee City Music Program here.

Berklee City Music College Scholarship Winners in the News

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Berklee City Music Students who received full continuing college scholarships are generating press from Sommerville to JP to Richmond, Virginia! Congratulations!

Somerville Patch – Josue Raymond – Local Students Win Scholarships with two photos
Jamaica Plain Gazette – Max Ridley

Richmond Voice – Myrish Spell story (see below)

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