I am further saddened this week to announce the death of another faculty member, Mirek Kocandrle. Known for his passion for rock and roll, he specialized in the literature and history of the genre. He not only wrote and taught about it, but also developed ensemble curriculum focusing on the music of artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He will be greatly missed by his peers and students.
Mirek was an old soul. He’d been around and seen a lot in his decades at Berklee. He demanded as much from his students as he demanded of himself, and he always had time for students. There are several students whose success at Berklee was due in large part their work with Mirek. His work on the annual Pop/Rock live show was often a transforming experience for both the writers and the performers. Mirek was a valued colleague and an integral member of the CWP department and Berklee community, but he was more than just a great bass player, writer, and teacher. He was also a good friend to many of us here. His absence will be felt profoundly throughout the college.
- Matthew Nicholl, Chair, Contemporary Writing and Production Department
“As a bass player for many years,” Community Advocate reported, “he performed with the Phil Wilson Big Band, Wayne Naus Big Band, Boston Jazz Conspiracy Big Band, George Smith Big Band, Roy Orbison, Drifters, Coasters, Platters, Bee Gees, Marvelettes, Mary Wells, the Seekers, and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. As music was his passion, he left Australia to attend Berklee College of Music, Boston. Upon graduation, he spent more than 30 years teaching at Berklee.” The full obituary is here.
I’m sure many of you have your own recollections and stories about Mirek. If you want to share them, please post them here.