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Tag: Berklee International Programs (Page 1 of 2)

Berklee International Programs

Study Abroad: The Barcelona Experience

HollisHollis Mugford is a sixth semester Professional Music major at Berklee. She is a pop, R&B, and country singer from Virginia. Her passion for writing and travel have inspired her to share her experiences and thoughts with the Berklee community and beyond as she embarks on her first semester abroad in Valencia, Spain. 


Well simply put I think Barcelona is perhaps my favorite city I have ever been to. We left on Friday morning from Valencia and took the 8am train along the coast to Barcelona. Just the train ride itself was so beautiful, passing by all of these small private beaches lined with palm trees, just early enough still that the sun was still coming up over the water and the surface looked like it was dusted with diamonds.

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I am Not a Jazz Musician, You are Not a Jazz Audience

John Egizi is a Berklee alum who will be touring Europe this summer. He is being sponsored by the International Programs department, you can read other blogs related to the international initiatives at Berklee here.

 John Egitzi PosterI’m about to hop on a plane to Spain for my band’s first tour, and the adrenaline is kicking in. First and foremost, none of this would be possible without the support of Berklee College of Music. Having recently graduated from Berklee with a dual degree in Performance / Electronic Production & Design, I find it tremendously exciting to be representing my school abroad. Now I have a very serious message to share.

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The Business of Music in Cape Town

The applause roared from the closed doors of The Fugard Theater on Friday morning as Mike Stern and Dave Weckl wrapped up their clinic as part of the Training and Development program at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.  Participants streamed out in the theater lobby for a brief recess, but just as quickly returned when the announcement for the music business lecture was announced.

Throughout the week, we have spoken with everyone from music promoters, ministry of arts and culture and education officials to interns assisting with the festival to musicians traveling from as far away as Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria.  There is a general recognition of the high level of musical talent in Cape Town, South Africa and Africa as a whole.  There is also a desire for careers in music to be seen a viable pathways for these musicians.  It is with this understanding that director of training and development Craig Parks choose to have a focus on the business of music.  And this is why we asked founder and chair of music business and management Don Gorder to make the trip to Cape Town with us this year.

Business Clinic 2012 CTIJF

Don Gorder sets the historical stage during his music business lecture in Cape Town.

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Music Where It Counts: Update from Cape Town

Guguletu Clinics 2012 CTIJF

Jim Odgren works with talented young musicians from Guguletu as part of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

When the 6-year old trumpeter walked up on stage with this fellow band mates, we thought is was pretty cool.  When he played the melody along with the band, we smiled with surprise.  When he took chorus after chorus on a traditional South African tune our minds reeled at the potential.

How was it possible that this young boy, growing up in a place that affords so little in opportunity has been able to accomplish all that he has in so short a time?

This was the scene we encountered as we began our clinics for the Training and Development Program component of the 2012 Cape Town International Jazz Festival in the township of Guguletu.  In a packed-to-capacity community center hall, Jim led a two-hour session that feature a number of groups from the township.  We jammed with the students.  They taught us a few of their tunes, and we shared some of what we know.  Walking out of the building, we were left speechless.  My guess is that he was thinking what I was thinking.  You cannot stop the music.  It will always find a way.

Through my work in the Office of International Programs, I am given many opportunities to be out on the road for the college.  We take the very best of the college with us to share what Berklee does and we seek to learn from our experiences — bringing that experience back to Boston.  We visit colleges, universities, technical institutes and festivals.  We hold a variety of events covering a range of musical topics.  We do this to make the personal and musical connection.  At the end of the day, an experience like the one we had in Guguletu is where it is at.  It is where the music counts.

Global Outreach Through Music: Update from Cape Town

Soon after the team arrived in Cape Town, we were brought to the 2012 Cape Town International Jazz Festival’s (CTIJF) opening event at The Fugard Theater.  Festival founder Rashid Lombard, producer Billy Domingo and director of training and develop Craig Parks kicked the week off with an excellent showcase of student bands from Cape Town and Cape Flats.

Being that this is my first time to Cape Town, I did not know what to expect.  We were truly surprised by the quality of musicianship and talent showcased by the 10 student bands that performed.  Chair of music business/management Don Gorder, professor of woodwinds Jim Odgren, assistant director of admissions Gojko Damjanic and I made page upon page of notes identifying a number of exceptional students we heard.

The tough part was next.  With all of this talent, we needed to select two students to received full-tuition awards to the 5 Week Summer Performance Program and two students to receive Berklee Online Awards for an online class of their choice.  With the help of Craig Parks, we were able to select the following winners;

5 Week Full-Tuition Scholarships
• Drum Set – Megan Hilda Saayman
• Guitarist – Gavin David John Kemp

In Megan’s case, we noted her musical taste, groove and the fact that the beat never moved.  She was locked in.  For a young musician that has only been playing for three years, we were truly impressed by her musicianship.

We thought Gavin was the band leader.  He has a presence both personally and musically.  He demonstrated a fine level of skill as a lead player, accompanists and soloist.

Both of these fine, young musician were presented with their awards at the free concert held at Green Market Square on Wednesday evening.  They were greeted with gracious applause.  Megan was even asked to demonstrate her prowess as a drummer (see photo).

The winners of the Berklee Online awards are trumpeter Robin Kock and trombonist Steven Campbell.  These young talented were part of the horn section for a fantastic band from Alexander Sinton High School.

We could have easily selected a number of other musicians for award from this student band festival.  For now, we look forward to seeing Megan and Gavin in Boston this summer, and helping Robin and Steven expand their musical knowledge through their online courses.

Stay tuned for my next post about our clinics in Guguletu.

Award Receipient Megan Saayman at 2012 CTIJF

5 Week award winner Megan Saayman plays for a capcity audience at Green Market Square in Cape Town.

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