Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Check from Larry Berk to Joseph Schillinger

Active History: Experiencing the Past and Future through Music

By Andrew Schroeder

Andrew Schroeder giving a presentation in the Berklee Archives

Andrew Schroeder gives a presentation in the Berklee Archives.

One afternoon in the Berklee Archives, as I combed through innumerable folders containing records of Berklee’s younger days, I happened upon an old check. It was a stub for music lessons. The check was written to Joseph Schillinger and signed by none other than Berklee College of Music’s founder, Lawrence Berk. In 1945, Berk would open Schillinger House, a new school dedicated to teaching the Schillinger System of Musical Composition. In 1954, Berk renamed Schillinger House to Berklee School of Music, after his son, Lee Berk. Here was a transactional snapshot of a relationship that would be integral to the formation of a world-class institution, and I was holding it.

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In Memoriam: Bill Gitt

Dear members of the Berklee community,

On June 8, William “Bill” Gitt, former faculty member and chief engineer at Berklee, passed away at age 86.

Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Bill got his start at Dartmouth College in the early 1950s, as a student building electronics for the college’s radio station. He joined the U.S. Army after college, where he expanded his knowledge of electronics. Bill contracted at RCA for the army on the first silicone-based computer in Camden, New Jersey.

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In Memoriam: John Marasco

Dear members of the Berklee community,

This week Berklee lost a longtime colleague, mentor, collaborator, and educator, John Marasco, who passed away after a long illness on September 11, 2018, at the age of 65. John was a faculty member in the Guitar Department for more than 30 years, and his loss is felt deeply by all who knew him throughout his long career as a musician and a teacher.

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Ritardando and Glitter: Playing Violin at Newport Folk Festival 2018

Louisa Byron gets ready for the Lucius performance

Louisa Byron (right) and Lucius vocalists Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe

By Louisa Byron

“One day, tell our story of how we made something; we made something of ourselves.”

This Lucius lyric from “Two of Us on the Run” beautifully sums up my experience at Newport Folk Festival. It had its challenging moments and it had stunning performance moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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A Week of Songwriting in Beijing with Sony/ATV

By Salem Davern

Songwriting Panel in BeijingThere are many things I was able to check off of my life bucket list this summer: traveling out of the country for the first time, working with Grammy-nominated producers, and writing for a big-name label. This was all thanks to Berklee and Sony/ATV Beijing. The day I moved out of my humble 270 dorm room after finishing my first year of college, I remember taking a break from packing to check my email. Much to my surprise, an email from Bonnie Hayes with the subject “IMPORTANT” was waiting for me. I remember thinking, “This is either really good, or reeeeally bad.” I quickly skimmed the lines, and learned that Sony/ATV had selected me to be a part of their international songwriting camp in Beijing, China. Having never been out of the country before, or been involved in such a professional experience, I had no idea what to expect, but quickly accepted.

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