Berklee Awards $50,000 In Grants To Alumni

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Berklee College of Music President Lee Eliot Berk announced that the college has awarded grants to alumni in support of their efforts to promote music education and community outreach initiatives in the community. The grants, which total $50,000, have been presented to Catherine Goldwyn, Kendrick Oliver, Hans Schuman, and Juri Shigeta.

With the awarding of these funds, the college has launched its new alumni grant program, which will provide seed money for initiatives that foster the creativity of the college's alumni, further Berklee's mission of contemporary music education, and help improve society through music. The grants were established by the college's Board of Trustees, with funding from endowment income. A review committee will award new grants annually; all Berklee alumni are eligible to apply.

I am pleased to recognize and support the good work of these four alumni, whose creativity and compassion make Berklee proud, President Berk said. So many of our graduates have undertaken work of significant social value. The alumni grant program is just one way the college hopes to reward those who have given so much to their alma mater and their community. All four of these inaugural grants will help support education projects spearheaded by Berklee alumni. Sound Art, led by Catherine Goldwyn, provides music education to students from the South Central district of Los Angeles. Kendrick Oliver leads his New Life Jazz Orchestra in conducting educational clinics in the New York City area. Hans Schuman helps direct JazzReach, a performance-based group educating public school youngsters about jazz. And, Juri Shigeta works with juvenile offenders in the Boston area and Washington state. Catherine Goldwyn, of Santa Monica, California, received a $25,000 grant. Goldwyn is the director of Sound Art, a nonprofit organization that offers musical training and exposure to inner-city youths in Los Angeles. The grant will help provide up to five portable recording studios, to be used by young people in public schools, after-school programs, and community centers in the L.A. area. Kendrick Oliver, of New York City, received a $5,000 grant. Oliver is a tubist, composer, and conductor of the New Life Jazz Orchestra, a 19-member big band that features 15 Berklee alumni. The orchestra presents an educational program called Sing, Swing, Stomp & Shout in New York-area public schools. The grant will help offset the expense of these presentations. Hans Schuman, of Brooklyn, N.Y., received a $15,000 grant. Schuman is the founder and artistic director of JazzReach, a nonprofit organization that promotes a greater awareness and appreciation of jazz through performance-based education programs. The grant will help increase the staff of JazzReach, enabling the program to reach a greater number of young people.

Juri Shigeta, of Boston, received a $5,000 grant. Shigeta recently founded Genuine Voices, a nonprofit organization that teaches music and sound sequencing to youths at juvenile detention centers. Through focused lessons and increased personal attention, the program aims to build musical skills and encourage young offenders to make positive decisions. The grant will help offset operational costs and provide a catalyst for others to contribute to the program.

The Berklee String Orchestra will presented a free concert of new and traditional music for strings, conducted by cellist Eugene Friesen and featured guest soloist Darol Anger, on Monday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St., Boston. The concert will featured a performance by Anger, in the East Coast premiere of his original concerto for fiddle and string orchestra, "Angles."

Anger has created a new and distinctly American style of violin playing, drawing on bluegrass, Celtic, blues, Appalachian, and jazz techniques.

The Berklee String Orchestra had the opportunity to perform with Charlie Haden on December 14 in the Berklee Performance Center. The orchestra backed Haden and his all-star quartet (featuring tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, drummer Brian Blade, and pianist Alan Broadbent, who doubled as conductor) as they performed tunes from Haden's latest album, "American Dreams."

In addition to Anger's performance, the concert will feature Berklee student harpist Marissa Knaub on Debussy's "Danses Sacrée et Profanes," as well as the premiere of "Last Days of Summer," an original composition by jazz pianist Armen Donelian, chairman of the Jazz Department at the New School in New York City.

The orchestra also will perform "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, "Steel City Strut" by Danny Seidenberg, "Skylife" by David Balakrishnan, and Darol Anger's arrangement of Bud Powell's "Tempus Fugit." Improvising soloists from within the membership of the orchestra will be featured, including concertmaster Will Street and cellist Alexander Iberer.

The Berklee String Orchestra is a unique student ensemble, committed to the development of repertoire featuring improvisation and the rhythmic capabilities of string players. The orchestra reflects the teaching philosophy of Berklee's String Department, which encourages students to draw from classical techniques.

Professor Charles Chapman will have his feature article in the Canadian magazine "Nuvo" in their February issue. The feature will be on Linda Manzer, the Canadian archtop guitar builder. Charles just received word that his new book from Mel Bay Publishing, "Rhythm Guitar Tutor" is scheduled to be released in their spring edition to their catalog.

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