2014 BCMN Conference Highlights

City Music Network Students performing at Youth Power-Up Day
City Music Network Students performing at Youth Power-Up Day in Los Angeles, California. Photo credit: Amy Bojanowski

Over 200 Network members, music educators, and arts advocates came together in Los Angeles to discuss “Innovations in Youth Development,” the theme of this year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference.

The conference kicked off on November 2 with “Youth Power-Up Day,” a free outdoor festival at Grand Performances, that featured performances by youth ensembles from around the country, a community drum circle hosted by Remo, and a jam session led by Kevin Eubanks.

Attendees moved indoors to the nearby Omni Hotel for the next three days full of inspiring presentations, panel discussions, and interactive activities. BCMN Conference veteran Libby Chiu started each day with a networking workshop that featured special guests such as Jonathan Zeichner (APCH), Andy Davis, and youth ambassadors from A Place Called Home.

Two of the more popular sessions were a panel discussion led by Berklee faculty member Terri Lyne Carrington with Sheila E, Patrice Rushen, Lalah Hathaway, and Donald Harrison about working with young musicians
; and Ron Weisner’s all-star panel discussion about the music industry featuring Bill Withers, Gladys Knight, Bobby Colomby, Tommy LiPuma, Ray Chew, and Ricky Minor.

The conference also featured a master class at the Grammy Museum; presentation by Network members such as Mike Anderson, Joey Arreguin, Gordon Cobb, Kevan Ellis, Greg Holt, Thomas Howard, Mark Kohler, Bethany Paulsen, Milton Ruffin, Ed Sublett, Frank Van Bree, and Cliff Weeks; plus a visit by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

With so many thought-provoking sessions, attendees left Los Angeles feeling inspired to further their work with young musicians.


2013 Conference Master Class Performances

The 2103 Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class Finale Band with clinicians Shoshana Bean and Kirk Whalum, and music director Rob Lewis.

At last year’s Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class five bands performed and were critiqued by guest clinicians Kirk Whalum and Shoshana Bean.  Check out these videos of students from the Tipitina’s Foundation Intern Program, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Berklee City Music Boston, The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts, and Stax Music Academy.

Tipitina’s Foundation

Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center

Berklee City Music Boston

Philadelphia Clef Club

Stax Music Academy

At the end of the master class students from each band were selected to be in the finale band, led by musical director and Berklee alumni Rob Lewis, where they performed Rufus Thomas’ “Walking the Dog.”  Watch this video to see highlights from the master class and the finale band.

If you are interested in performing at this year’s Conference Master Class in Los Angeles please click here for more information and to apply.  Make sure you apply by July 1 to not miss the deadline!

Berklee City Music Network Conference Master Class – City Music Boston

Berklee City Music Boston was the third band to perform at last year’s Conference Master Class. The band was led by Berklee City Music Boston faculty member Greg Holt and consisted of Grace Mann on vocals, Ngomane Bolden-Dendy on trumpet, Gustav Hossin-Endl on tenor sax, Antonio Shiell-Loomis on guitar, Joshua Sutherland on piano, Christoff Glaude on bass and James Doran on drums.

Check out Tipitina’s Foundation’s Master Class Performance

and Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s Master Class Performance.

Stay tuned next week for the release of a new video from the Conference Master Class, and if your ensemble is interested in performing at this year’s Conference Master Class in Los Angeles please click here to apply.

Save the Date! BCMN Returns to Memphis


American Popular Music

The Untold Story II: Excellence and Access

October 28-30, 2013
Memphis, TN

Presented by Berklee City Music Network and Stax Music Academy

Hosted again in Soulsville, this year’s conference features Keynote Speeches from J. Curtis Warner, Executive Director of Berklee City Music, and Roger Brown, President of Berklee College of Music. Moderating the three-day conference is Libby Chiu, Chair of the Illinois Arts Council. With a new line-up of panelists and opening reception accompanied by another phenomenal Master Class, the conference is sure to be a one-of-a kind experience for music educators passionate about engaging in critical dialogue about current issues related to the Berklee City Music Network with an eye toward impacting policy and practice, connecting with fellow passionate, experienced professionals who share your artistic and educational mission, and learning how to harness the energy of contemporary music to reach students from underserved communities.

Early Registration Opens in May

Here’s footage of last year’s conference with several of our distinguished guests: George Clinton, Kirk Whalum, Al Bell, Alexs Pate, Michele Rosewoman, and Deanie Parker:

Contact us for more information:
617 747-2143

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