Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: The Voice

The Voice

Nate Morton ’94: A Week in the Life on The Voice

Drummer Nate Morton ’94 has been performing and touring with The Voice since its inception in April 2011. Morton also performs with Cher, and in the house band for the NBA talk show The Bonnie Hunt Show.  He’s performed with such artists as Gavin DeGraw, Carrie Underwood, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Mandy Moore, Michael Bolton, and Richard Marx. He is currently a Pearl-, Remo-, and Zildjian-sponsored drum clinician and holds many awards in the field of drumming. Morton penned this post about his weekly schedule for The Voice.

Nate Morton '94, center, with a group of aspiring Berklee students, who were invited to go backstage on The Voice

Hi friends. Thank you to everyone who drops me a line from time to time and says hello, or comments on The Voice. Occasionally someone asks, “So, besides The Voice, what else are you up to?” That’s when it dawns on me that the show is on TV two nights each week, but not everyone knows what happens each week to bring those shows to air. I thought I’d share a little “behind the scenes” insight.

This is a typical work week on the show:

Wednesday– The band comes in and spends a couple of hours learning the songs for the next show. That’s followed by a full day of shooting reality/rehearsals of those songs with the coaches and contestants. This is usually a 10-12 hour day.

Thursday – The band and contestants have their second rehearsal of their song for that week. . . this is also a day when the band might need to learn additional songs such as coach songs, or group numbers. Sometimes a contestant will change [his/her] song… in which case we have additional music to learn and have to reshoot rehearsal with [his/her] coach. This day should be short, but always manages to stretch into a 10-hour day.

Friday – Band goes to Ocean Studios and arranges and records full length versions of all that week’s songs for release on iTunes. This week, that meant 12 songs, complete with all instrumental overdubs and background vocals. This is almost always at least a 10-hour day… and longer for guys who have to do overdubs.

Saturday – On stage at Universal Studios sound stage, we rehearse all the songs for Monday’s show with the contestants for camera blocking and lighting. This is usually a 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. day.

Sunday – On stage at Universal Studios sound stage, we rehearsal all the songs for Tuesday’s show. That’s usually group numbers, or a coach’s song(s). This is usually a reasonable day… sometimes only eight hours

Monday – Full “performance show” dress rehearsal… then load the audience and go live at 5:00 p.m. … show taping ends at 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday – Full “results show” dress rehearsal… then load the audience and go live at 5:00 p.m…. show taping ends at 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday – Start the entire cycle all over again. . . This is our weekly schedule if everything goes absolutely perfectly, and we all know how often that happens. Inevitably, songs change, coaches have other time commitments that have to be worked around… and when that happens, everything can go upside down… It’s not uncommon that we might have a full show day on Monday, then after the show, learn and camera block two new songs. We’ve even had days where we’ve had a full show day, then had to go into the studio that night to record three songs. . . The band includes: musical director Paul Mirkovich, Sasha Krivtsov on bass, Eric Daniels on keys, Dave Barry on guitar, Rafael Moriera on guitar and BGVs, Kara Britz, Stevie Mackey, and Denise Janae (Berklee alumna).

The gig is a bit of a whirlwind leaving just enough time to sleep & eat. Having said that, I am so stoked to be busy and fortunate to have the opportunity.

Check out how Nate Morton gave back to the Berklee community.

Nate Morton ’94 Gives Back to Students!

Nate Morton ’94 is living the dream. He currently performs with Cher at The Coliseum at Ceasar’s Palace and is also in the house band for daytime talk show, The Bonnie Hunt Show. Morton has been touring and teaching since the early 90’s and continues to build his career as a professional musician. He is currently a Pearl, Remo and Zildian sponsored drum clinician.

Morton was touring with The Voice this summer and took time out of his busy schedule to sit down and have dinner with some students. The students had a great time and had amazing things to say about this awesome Berklee experience.

“The trip was awesome.  It was a great opportunity to talk to a working professional and get their take on the industry.  It was also a lot of fun to see the show and even to just hang out with Nate.  He was a real awesome person.  Thanks again for the opportunity Berklee!”

-Dennis Suozzi (current 5th semester student)

“Nate was insightful and humorous all together! Seeing Nate perform live on stage was like “Wow”. I didn’t want him to stop playing! I really held on to what Nate said, that he has not “arrived” yet. It was an honest statement that I will never forget. We are always evolving in our gifts and successes in life. This experience is just the beginning in helping me shape my own career path. Thanks Nate!”

– Alumna, Matt Williams ’11

“Meeting Nate Morton was refreshing because he was so humble, and he was excited to talk to the students and give his insights on how to have a successful career as a drummer. I think it meant a lot to the students that he is an accomplished, well-seasoned professional, and yet he gave he replied to them as if they were on his level already. His playing was powerful and steady, and he’s really great at accompanying the singers, and at the same time shining his bright spirited playing on stage.”

-Alumna, Evan Baughman ’07

Copyright © 2024 Berklee College of Music