Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center And Berklee College Of Music Partner For Fourth Year
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SOURCE Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
Center and Berklee provide local students opportunities for music education and college scholarships
MIDLAND, Pa., Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center's connection with Berklee College of Music is flourishing, as the institutions work together to increase the accessibility of quality music instruction. The Center, as one of only 47 partner sites with the Berklee City Music program, provides direct access to unrivaled higher education and collaboration in music. Two local students, guitarist Elijah Davis of Harmony and vocalist Kierstin Kelly of Aliquippa, recently earned four-year Berklee scholarships through the 2014 Berklee City Music College Scholarship program. The two were among 18 recipients chosen from 117 attendees enrolled in Berklee's Five-Week Summer Performance Program. Center Managing Director Sal Aloe said, "Elijah and Kierstin were both great students at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Each of them has performed in many ensembles, and they have really grown musically."
The Center-Berklee partnership formed four years ago through a mutual connection with Dr. Barry Bittman, the CEO and President of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute. The link with Berklee has grown stronger each year, and Center students have embraced the chance to audition for the five-week summer program. This program, driven by Berklee's PULSE education method, encourages students to learn popular music through interactive technology. Auditions, which took place in early 2014, were video-only and allowed students to showcase their individual talents. Six local students were selected to enroll in the five-week program, and their participation was sponsored by the Center, with additional support from the National Network of Digital Schools. Berklee selected the scholarship recipients from the students attending the five-week program, and presented the full-tuition awards at a culminating concert at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston on August 12, 2014. Aloe said, "Five ensembles participated in the concert, and I was very pleased to see that three of them were fronted by students sponsored by the Center."
Aloe also said that Boston and its music community provide invaluable networking opportunities and grounds for career growth to Center students who participate in the Berklee City Music programs. He recalled a networking opportunity that involved Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School alumnus Levi Keller, who was the first Berklee City Music College Scholarship recipient through the Center, and he graduated with two bachelor's degrees this spring. "For example, while visiting Berklee, I was speaking to an executive from Yamaha. I was able to bring Levi into the conversation, and we discussed Levi's plan to move to Nashville for a career in recording. The executive was able to put Levi in contact with a professional there; now he has a connection," Aloe said.
The philosophies of Berklee and the Center intersect at many points, including a common interest in expanding opportunities in the arts through community outreach. Aloe said, "At the Center, we try to share opportunities with those in the tri-state area and even across the country. Berklee's City Music Network reaches so many students that may not otherwise have the opportunity to study music. The Center and Berklee have so many things in common, and we truly value the ability to share resources."