Eight Jazz Studies students have been accepted as third-year transfers to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the premier institution for training students for careers in popular music.
This marks the largest class of students to be accepted in the 12 years that Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) has had an articulation agreement with Berklee. The students perform on drums, acoustic bass, trumpet, guitar and vocals. Some also have been accepted at other four-year schools, and are weighing their choices for the future.
“Berklee is the No. 1 contemporary music institution in the world,” said Steve Enos, director of Tri-C’s Jazz Studies program. “They have partnerships with more than 20 conservatories representing each continent in the world as part of the Berklee International Network. They’re the leader in contemporary music, and the first institution that thought it was even possible to teach jazz education.”
Enos is elated about the options now open to his students.
“It’s difficult in this day and age for students to follow through. Those (music) students were on average taking 18 to 20 credit hours,” he said.
For vocalist Rose Kanj, acceptance at Berklee marks the continuation of a plan for a music career that started when she was a high schooler dreaming about where she’d go to college.
She and her parents visited Boston to check out Berklee. “We were there on a tour, and I really loved it,” Kanj said. When she mentioned she didn’t know how she’d pay for it, her Berklee contact told her, “if you’re by Cleveland, check out Tri-C’s music program.”
Tri-C’s Jazz Studies program has worked closely with Berklee to set curriculum standards so that students who complete a prescribed course of study for the first two years can move seamlessly into Berklee’s four-year program.
“Berklee lets us use their books,” Enos said. “We’re teaching their core program.”
Kanj applied to Berklee after her tour and was accepted, but she also took her contact’s advice and called Tri-C. She toured the new Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, and met with Enos. He encouraged her to sign up for a summer class. After that, she followed the curriculum mapped out between Tri-C and Berklee.
This year, she applied again to Berklee and auditioned as well, believing that her Tri-C studies would help her win a scholarship. She was awarded $10,000 and will start at Berklee in the fall.
“My ultimate goal is to be in the industry as a vocalist,” she said. “I don’t have to be on the radio, I just want to be successful. Just as long as I know people are liking what I’m doing.”
For information about the Jazz Studies program or Summer with the Jazz Masters, Tri-C’s summer camp for ages 12 to 18, visit www.tri-c.edu or call Steve Enos at 216-987-4256.