Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Going to Monterey, coming to Berklee

A Berklee admissions counselor gives her take from behind the info table. Watch for further posts from Lauren throughout the school year.

Welcome to my blogosphere! This is my blogging debut, so let me formally introduce myself and hope you don’t sense a tinge of my blog(stage)fright! My name is Lauren Westendorf, Assistant Director of Admission and I blog to you live from the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Berklee at Monterey! From left: Michael Sachs, Roy Guzman, Greg Chaplin, and Mark Whitfield, Jr.

Berklee at Monterey! From left: Michael Sachs, Roy Guzman, Greg Chaplin, and Mark Whitfield Jr.

Berklee has a history with the Monterey Jazz Festival, so it is only fitting that I travel there once again to recruit Berklee’s next and best. My team consisted of myself and two alumni volunteers: Wesley Switzer ’06, a freelance engineer and bassist and Charlotte Moore ’05, vibes principal during her time at Berklee, currently working at George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound. What a team if I do say so myself! Much to our liking we were a hot spot of activity for parents, prospective students and alums. The Berklee word was buzzing through the festival as it featured alums Esperanza Spalding and Joe Lovano, to name a few, and Dr. Magpie the student Berklee band featured throughout the festival. Our very own president, Roger Brown, even stopped by with longtime Monterey Jazz Festival Trustee Clint Eastwood to award piano legend Dave Brubeck with an Honorary Doctorate.

The highlight for me was listening to the top High School bands and combos that were selected to perform here at Monterey this past April at the Next Generation Festival, which features the industries future. These kids lit the stage on fire and I made sure to tell them too! They were shocked when they walked up to the Berklee booth and I would quickly identify them, telling them the instrument they played and often complimenting the solo they had in the 3rd piece that their group performed. And YES, compliments were shared often, because there was so much talent that I was able to enjoy! The most popular questions at the booth that we got were…

How do I apply?

Visit and click on the admissions tab APPLY! Yes, it’s that easy. Fill out an application and a week later you will receive an invite to Audition and Interview. RSVP for that Audition and Interview date, time and location and send in all appropriate transcripts. We will need High School transcripts, plus College transcripts if you have earned any college credit. International students, please use our credential evaluating agency to submit your transcript information.

How do I get a scholarship?

Your audition for admission also serves as your audition for scholarship. You could even earn one of the coveted Presidential Scholarships. It’s the whole kit and kaboodle! Even the Berklee Laptop is paid for. For all of you composers out there you may also submit material for the Writing and Composition Scholarship for an additional chance to earn up to $8000. Show me the money folks!

So, now it’s back to Boston in preparation for my next adventure in finding Berklee’s next and best. I could be coming to your city next and Berklee could be discovering YOU! Stay tuned…


From the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival


Not your average band camp: An introduction to Berklee Summer Programs

1 Comment

  1. Will Moritz

    Dear Lauren,

    I am a sophomore currently attending Yale University, and I am eager to participate in the 12 week special summer program at Berklee. I am told I should speak to people in the office of admissions about my questions and interests; are you the right person I should be contacting? If not, can you refer me to the right people?


    Will Moritz

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