Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: auditions and interviews

auditions and interviews

Great Music Brewing in Dublin

Post by Jason Camelio, director of international programs.

Ronan Guilfoyle is a force in the world of music. In addition to being a world-class bassist, composer and educator, he is the founder and artistic director of the Newpark Music Centre just outside of Dublin.  His deep passion for music and music education, intense studiousness and brilliant wit have taken Newpark from its start in 1979 to its current status as a top institution for contemporary music education. 

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Following Our Alumni to Hong Kong and Singapore

Post by Jason Camelio, director of international programs.

In recent years, our eyes and ears have been turning to eastern Asia for new sounds, approaches to the business of music and especially to the wealth of young talent that is exploding there.  Berklee has strong partner institutions already located in Korea, Japan and Malaysia.  Building on this success, we are expanding our recruitment, outreach and branding into locations in China, India and Singapore.  One of the most successful ways we have been able to connect with new regions and communities is through our alumni.  In January, chair of contemporary writing and production Matthew Nicholl, assistant director of admissions Pearly Lee and I had the chance to return to Hong Kong and Singapore to meet with our alumni, present clinics and information sessions and conduct auditions and interviews. 

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New Soul in Seoul Jazz Academy

By: Jason Camelio, director of international programs

As we close in on the last leg of the 2012-2013 recruitment season, I see that it is a good idea to take a moment to share news from around the Berklee world.  Here is the first in a series of updates about some great happenings in Berklee’s expansive network.

In late October we made our annual visit to our Berklee International Network (BIN) partner the Seoul Jazz Academy (SJA).  Visiting Seoul and SJA is one of the major highlights of the year because of the rich community of excellent musicians in Korea, the success of our alumni and because Seoul Jazz Academy — already a very hip place — has just gotten hipper.  In 2012 SJA came under new management and has undergone a significant renovation.

Berklee team with the new leadership of Seoul Jazz Academy.

With the number of talented, young Korean musicians interested in Berklee on the rise, we needed to take a larger team to SJA to present clinics, perform a concert with faculty members and students and to conduct the auditions and interviews.  The team was comprised of assistant director of admissions Pearly Lee, associate professor of ensembles Skip Smith, professor of ear training Rick DiMuzio, assistant chair of guitar Rick Peckham, vice president of enrollment Mark Campbell and myself.  Sessions were presented on a range of topics including practice techniques, small group improvisation, ensemble playing, composition and arranging, preparing for an audition and more.  The events were closed out with a faculty showcase and students from SJA joining us on stage for a jam.

For 15-years SJA has been a partner with Berklee and a member of the BIN.  In that time, the institution has done excellent work in training young musicians for careers in music and preparing them for transferring to Berklee.  The results can be seen in the fine alumni, many of whom have returned to Korea to work in the vibrant music industry there.  With new blood flowing in the veins at SJA we are excited for the future.

For more details about the happenings in Korea, I encourage you to read Mark Small’s feature in the Berklee Today alumni magazine.

Ambassadors Scratch the Surface in China

By: Jason Camelio, director of international programs

One of the most exciting developments in recent years in live performance for me is the mash up between electronic and live musicians.  Being on stage with turntablists, electronic musicians, emcees and acoustic musicians playing arranged tunes or improvising opens up a range of possibilities and heightens the interactive dynamic of the moment.  We had this in mind when we asked Stephen Webber to pull together the Scratch Ambassadors for Berklee’s first official concert tour of Beijing and Shanghai.

Berklee Scratch Ambassadors perform a showcase at Alibiba outside of Shanghai.

The Ambassadors, comprised of instructor Brian “Raydar” Ellis, Yaxin “Aries” Deng, Nick “Iron Fist” Zeigler-Heil, saxophonist/vocalist Vanessa Collier and professor Stephen Webber, were supported by associate director of admissions Alexia Rosari and a host of institutions and individuals in Beijing and Shanghai.  In just under 10-days the group presented clinics, master classes and concerts at a number of venues, including; concerts and clinics at Dulwich College (Beijing and Shanghai) as part of the Diversity Project program and in honor of Daniel Pearl World Music Day for the U.S. Department of State, concerts and a video shoot for the Communications University of China, clinics and a jam with a Mongolian ensemble at the University of Culture, clinics at the Central Conservatory of Music and a concert at the campus of Alibaba outside of Shanghai.

Take a moment to check out the CTV YouKu video from Alibaba and photos from the Scratch Ambassadors Tour for more details.

As a follow up to the Berklee Scratch Ambassadors’ tour, dean of admissions Damien Bracken, professor of guitar Jim Kelly and I traveled to Beijing and Shanghai to conduct auditions and interviews and to support the Dulwich College Music Festival.  The Festival was held at the Dulwich College Shanghai Campus in Pudong where they hosted students from a number of their campuses in the region, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and others.  Students were combined into a concert choir, symphonic orchestra, big band and small rock bands.  They worked with instructors and the Berklee team for three days and then presented two nights of concerts.

Late fall on the Great Wall in mid-November.

In the fleeting moments between clinics, concerts, meetings, and auditions and interviews members of the Scratch Ambassadors and our team did manage to take in a bit of the culture.  Some of the locations included getting out to the Great Wall, visiting the Drum and Bells Towers in Beijing, taking a quick walk on the Bund and visiting Jinling Street (music street) in Shanghai. Jim even got the chance to sit in with an excellent pop cover band at the Nashville located on Lucky Street in Beijing.

The life and rich culture of China, which is moving ahead at light speed, would need a life time to truly experience.  To be honest, we barely scratched the surface.

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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