Earlier this year, during the week of February 28 – March 4, the Berklee City Music All stars had the privilege of being the TED Conference house band. The band members were all high school students and led by, Berklee professor, Winston Maccow, and under the musical direction of Grammy award winner, Thomas Dolby. This was an unforgettable experience for all involved. The students were able to share their talents with some of the greatest thinkers and innovators alive today. Here is what Langston Maxwell, Drummer, said of his time playing at TED:
“My experience with the Berklee College of Music City Music Allstars and the TED Conference has been one of the best times of my life.
I couldn’t ask for anything more than to spend a week with 5 other amazing musicians playing great music and meeting hundreds of new people. I am more than thankful to the people of City Music and the TED Conference for this time and it is my pleasure to be apart of this great program.”
Finally, here are a few words from J. Curtis Warner, Jr., Associate Vice President of Education Outreach, and Executive Director of Berklee City Music, about his on the ground experience at TED:
“The TED conference was an incredible experience for all of the six students and three adults who accompanied them. David Mash VP of Technology Resources and Education Outreach along with Dave Kusek of Berklee Media, regular TEDsters, were there to support us as well. It was almost as incredible as the feat of getting students from 5 different cities together for 3 weeks of rehearsals which included buy-in from parents, school principals and teachers.
The students opened up each of three to four sessions each day under the musical direction of Grammy award wining recording artist, Thomas Dolby, having been well prepared by City Music Artistic Director, Winston Maccow . They performed outstandingly and were the talk of the conference.
If you wanted to be invisible, all you had to do was walk around the floor with them in between sessions. When Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz walked up to some of the kids to tell them how “awesome” their performance was, I was invisible… When Ashton Kutcher stuck his hand out of a closing elevator door to shake one of the kids hands, I was invisible. When Andy Berdnt, VP of Google spoke with the kids about maybe doing something with Google at the New York office… I was invisible.
After a while I got the message and just decided to be… well… “Invisible.”
We all heard talks by inventors, poets, artists, scientists, doctors. We saw life size puppets that fooled you into living reality. There was a 3D printer that printed human organs from cells. There was multimedia beyond expectation.
There was a party at the Westin Hotel, where the kids got to play a short jazz set… and there was the next morning session where the entire audience came to their feet to dance to the music of the All Stars. Oh yeah… it was 8:30 in the morning…”