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A CRLS Musician Reflects on Her Summer at Berklee

Six+members+of+the+CRLS+World+Jazz+Ensemble+took+classes+at+Berklee+over+the+summer.
Six members of the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble took classes at Berklee over the summer.

Six members of the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble took classes at Berklee over the summer.

Photo Courtesy of: Debi Milligan

Photo Courtesy of: Debi Milligan

Six members of the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble took classes at Berklee over the summer.

Hanna Carney, Contributing Writer

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Six members of the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble, directed by Guillermo Nojechowicz, took the respected Berklee College of Music Five-Week Summer Program by storm this summer—auditioning for and being accepted into an array of special ensembles, making the most of weekly jam sessions and performance opportunities, and networking with hundreds of musicians from around the world.

Itamar Baz ‘20, Tal Ben-Anat ‘18, Chris Dee ‘17, Max Kaufman ‘18, Lila Lifton ‘18, and I weren’t the first CRLS WJE students to attend the program—and I doubt we’ll be the last. Izaak Biewald ‘16, Andrew Borron ‘16, and Arlo Sims ‘17 (now undergraduates at Berklee College along with Dee) also attended in years past. Maria Penrice ‘17 took part in Berklee’s Global String Intensive in June, and Douglas Appleman ‘17, too, participated in a handful of special week-long programs for piano during his time at Rindge. CRLS definitely was, and has been, well-represented at Berklee’s various programs; our music department should be proud of the talent and motivation it has nurtured in so many students.

Berklee’s Five-Week Summer program is strongly performance-oriented. Students attend theory, musicianship, and elective classes (which vary from “Song Demo Production” to “Open Drum Circle” classes), and are placed in ensembles of their chosen genre which perform during the final week of the program.

Photo Courtesy of: CRLS World Jazz Ensemble
Pictured: WJE at graduation.

Ben-Anat praised his experience, saying, “Five-Week taught me a lot of great things, particularly great practice exercises and how to implement and maintain them for noticeable improvement in my playing.”

My personal highlights from this summer included taking “Songwriter Workshop” and “Jazz Arranging and Composition” as my elective classes and auditioning for the Balkan/Middle Eastern ensemble.

I know, without hesitation, that the CRLS World Jazz Ensemble is what led me to spend my summer at Berklee this year. Not only that, but WJE has redefined my whole trajectory in music. Through it, I discovered a new passion and began to take music more seriously…seriously enough to spend my summer at Berklee. This past year has been a wonderful, intense musical journey, and on behalf of my peers who also attended Berklee this summer, I want to thank the CRLS community and all of our teachers for leading us to this opportunity.

We are so lucky to have so many visual and performing arts opportunities right at our fingertips, and there are so many ways to get involved. Looking for music specifically? Find Mr. Powers, Mr. Nojechowicz, Ms. Umbro, Dr. S—or simply loiter in the Arts Basement for an hour.

This piece also appears in our September print edition.

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The Student Newspaper of Cambridge Rindge and Latin
A CRLS Musician Reflects on Her Summer at Berklee