Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

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Introducing 2011 Gracenotes Sponsorship Recipients

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Berklee’s Gracenotes Sponsorship to New Orleans.   Thanks to the generous support of the college, the Gracenotes Volunteer Committee is able to send a group of staff and faculty members to New Orleans to contribute to the rebuilding efforts, which continue even today–six years after floods resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the city.

I am delighted to join my colleague, Leigh McLaren, in leading this year’s team. We leave Boston on Monday, May 9 and will be on-site with  New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity from Tuesday, May 10 through Saturday, May 14.  Over the course of next week, members of the team will post photos and more about our experience.

Recipients of the 2011 Berklee Gracenotes Sponsorship
Gilly Cantor
Corinto Cevallos
Joe Chinni
Michael Heyman
Magen Tracy
Marian Wilson

Marketing Internships – South Africa, Mia Verdoorn (Part 2)

Summer 2010, student Mia Verdoorn interned in her native country, South Africa. She spent June at Sony Music and July with Warner Music Gallo Africa.

You can read Part 1 here.


Throughout my time at both major companies, heavy emphasis was placed on the promotional side of the industry, which was very interesting to me as I had yet to take some of the marketing classes required for the business major at Berklee.

During my time at Warner Music Gallo Africa, I was busy with a lot of work for the Digital Promotions Department, which included press releases for the Warner Music Gallo Africa web-site. Some of these releases included:

•            Avenged Sevenfold

•            Disturbed

•            Billy Talent

•            The Baseballs

•            Tony Allen

•            Step Up 3D Soundtrack

I also had to compile an 80-word CD review for the new B.o.B Presents: The Adverntures of Bobby Ray album, which is now used in the in-flight magazine of one of our local airlines, 1Time.  I was privileged enough to meet the legendary trumpet player, Hugh Masekela, at one of his last recording sessions for his new album. The head A&R representative at Gallo invited me to go with him to sit in and listen to mastery at work. It was amazing! I tried my best  to be invisible in order to not get in the way. “Bra Hugh” as they call him here in South Africa, took an immediate interest when he heard that I was a student at Berklee and told me that he was going to Berklee to do a show in October 2010.

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TransAtlantic Seaway in Glasgow: Day 5

Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from musician Hamish Napier.

TransAtlantic Seaway

DAY 5—SAT 29 JAN “Standing room only”

Hamish N.:

The BIG DAY has come, and Larry has everyone assembled in the Green Room for 11am for one final run-through of the show. Sound checks and lighting are all OK and there’s a little nervous tingle going around. 12:45 comes and the audience flocks in. We hadn’t really known what to expect as Celtic Connections is a very large festival with about 12 different locations. Besides it’s Saturday afternoon in a city that is ‘Football Daft’.

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TransAtlantic Seaway in Glasgow: Days 3+4

Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from Scottish culture promoter David Christie… and actually for this spell Larry delegates his blogging responsibilities to musician Hamish Napier.

TransAtlantic Seaway

DAYS 3+4—THU 27–FRI 28 JAN “Jamming for their supper”

Hamish Napier:

Following the Berklee guys’ rehearsals in the piping centre at the beginning of the week, they joined the Hamish Napier Quintet for rehearsals at the Glasgow Berkeley rehearsal studios (a coincidence with the name there, but the largest rehearsal studio complex in the UK nonetheless!). The band, featuring me on vocals and vintage Wurlitzer piano, and a mean rhythm section of bass, guitar and drums, would also include fiddle, concertina and sax for their imminent performance at Glasgow City Hall’s for their Celtic Connections debut. The Berklee gang added oodles of awesome string madness to the already giant sound of the group, with banjo, mandolin, guitar and 3 fiddles. After only a very short while the guys had the tunes down and had already begun improvising!

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TransAtlantic Seaway in Glasgow: Day 2

Berklee VP for student affairs/Scotland fan Larry Bethune covers the TransAtlantic Seaway Music Collaboration’s first trip to Glasgow, with help from Scottish culture promoter David Christie.

TransAtlantic Seaway

DAY 2—WED 26 JAN “We had planned a summit but only had time to grab an ale”

Larry B.:

The day starts off with another buffet breakfast at the hotel (how musicians love all-you-care-to-eat buffets). Back to the Piping Centre for more rehearsals. Maureen McMullan and I give interviews to be mixed into the footage of the BBC show we will tape tonight. The show will be aired throughout the UK; they are exploring a deal with PBS in America. Finlay MacDonald, head of piping at both the Piping Center and the RSAMD (he’s played for royalty and with P-Diddy) will also do an interview.

At 2:00 p.m. we start our sound check at the BBC rehearsal at the Glasgow Art Club. I think the crew is having a collective heart attack as I insist that we CAN get 17 musicians on a stage designed for 6… we do it all the time. And we succeed; the tight formation yields tight music.

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Page 259 of 405

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