On Saturday, January 18, Berklee City Music Boston hosted the 11th Annual Berklee City Music Unsung Heroes Breakfast at the David Friend Recital Hall. The morning was filled music and inspiration. 2013 City Music College Scholarship recipient, Corinne Savage, played two Sarah Bareilles songs that spoke to her first experiences playing live and a call for students to be “Brave.”
City Music founder, J. Curtis Warner, Jr. introduced our keynote speaker, Sarah-Ann Shaw. Shaw is a Roxbury native who became the first African-American female reporter in Boston on WBZ-TV. High School Academy senior, Denyse Hairston, and City Music Dean, Krystal Banfield, led an interview style conversation with Shaw.
Throughout the Keynote Forum, Shaw emphasized the need for young people to keep going, not give up, and to be brave by standing up to prejudice. She talked about Boston during bussing and the fear that sometimes came with telling a story, but the need to tell the story anyway.
Mentoring Program junior, Moses Abraham, and Berklee undergraduate student, Elizabeth Sullivan, led the question and answer session between Shaw and the audience. When asked where she got her strength, Shaw said that you could find your strength from your family and your community. She reminded students that everyone has power, and they should use it.
“If you don’t like the stories the news is reporting, call them. Tell them you want to see something else,” she commanded; “Have you called your news station?”
The lessons she kept coming back to dealt with creating change. Shaw stressed that each individual has the responsibility to become a change-agent in the world.
Mr. Warner and Dean Banfield awarded Sarah-Ann Shaw the Berklee City Music Unsung Heroes Award for her lifelong service and activist work in Boston. The morning closed with a stunning vocal performance by City Music College Scholarship recipient Tangela Mathis, with Terrell Richmond on piano and Michael Clayton on drums.