BOSTON, August 13, 2008 – Ten young musicians from urban Boston neighborhoods accepted full scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music starting this fall at an emotional presentation at the Berklee Performance Center on Tuesday, August 12.

Berklee president Roger Brown and associate vice president for education outreach/ executive director, Berklee City Music J. Curtis Warner, Jr., along with director of City Music Krystal Banfield and associate director of Berklee City Music programs Lynette Gittens, handed out Berklee City Music Continuing Scholarships to 10 students who have been participants in Berklee City Music – a scholarship, tutorial, and mentoring program that gives urban teens from Greater Boston and other urban areas access to music education at no cost to them or their families. If all 10 students complete four years of study at the college, the collective amount of the scholarships awarded will be more than one million dollars.

The scholarships were awarded during the annual Berklee City Music Blow-Out Concert where City Music students performed a showcase of gospel, R&B, jazz and rock music. The 10 recipients were among 62 young musicians between the ages of 15 – 20 who were enrolled in Berklee’s 5 Week Summer Performance Program on Summer Youth Scholarships for Talent and Excellence in Music (SYSTEM 5), another scholarship component of Berklee City Music.

Recipients of the 2008 Berklee City Music Continuing Scholarships:

Sean Alexander, 19, keyboardist, Dorchester

Gerami Groover, 17, pianist, Roxbury

Dewin Hernandez, 17, vocalist, Lawrence

Jessica Johnson, 18, vocalist, Dorchester

Nora Lutz, 17, bassist, Dorchester

Jennifer Manzanillo, 18, voice, Dorchester

Christina Rodriguez, 18, voice, W. Roxbury

Rocio Mejia, 18, voice, Lawrence,

Nehemiah Williams,18, bass, Culver City, CA

Brogan Woodburn, 18, guitar, West Linn, OR

Jesse Taitt,18, piano, Roslindale

Currently under the direction of Dr. Banfield, Berklee City Music has provided educational and mentoring opportunities to more than 2,000 underserved teens from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Lynn, and other urban areas since its inception in 1991.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 60 years, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing 70 plus countries, and a music industry «who’s who» of alumni, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today and tomorrow.


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