Category Archives: Alumni

Where are they now. . . find out how Berklee grads make their way in the music world.

Study Abroad in Valencia – In the Studio, Out on the Mountains

Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major. 
Finally I get to use the amazing studios at Valencia. For my Music Technology Innovation (MTI)  Recording/Mixing classes we have to recording a singer songwriter project. As I am the songwriter in this case, I recorded a song with a brilliant vocalist I met on the campus. It took me a while to write the song, but I wanted to write something specific in Valencia.  Continue reading

Study Abroad in Valencia – Donde estoy?/Where Am I?

Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major. 

Where am I?/ Donde estoy?

As we are walking the small cobblestone streets of the El Carmen neighborhood, it is already nighttime in Valencia. We are on our way to see our friends in the Master’s program, who are going to play some music at one of the best local jazz venues in town. We are speaking English and kind of being “loud tourists” around the relatively quite neighborhood. As we walk in to the venue, we hear a familiar tune, Summertime, with the groove mixed with Indian melodies. The next song is a flamenco song, with more microtonal and Indian melodies over and around it. We hear a jazz song with Mediterranean grooves on the rhythm section.  Continue reading

Study Abroad in Valencia – Yes, it is actually 75 degrees here right now.

Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major. 

Life in Valencia is quite different from Boston in many different ways. For me, the biggest difference is transportation around the town. At Valencia, majority of people bike around the town everyday. The student residence is a little far from the campus, but you can get to the school in almost 20 minutes by biking. There are a lot of cars, but there are specific bike lanes almost everywhere and in our experience the lanes were respected at all times. I Continue reading

A Dream Trip to the Grammys

Rick Aggeler is a Berklee alumnus (graduating as a professional music major in 2007) and the senior music director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

As a professional music ’07 alum, going to last week’s Grammy Awards show was a dream come true.  I’ve worked for Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (specifically the Blue Hill Club in Dorchester) for almost eight years, where we built from the ground up, a full-time 1,000 square foot music clubhouse (called Studio Heat), and teach guitar, bass, drum, piano, voice, and studio lessons to kids ages 10-18.  I began my journey there as a volunteer, which turned into an assignment as an off-site Berklee work study student (through Berklee’s Office of Community Affairs and Campus Engagement). Immediately after graduating (and using the business proposal I wrote as my final project for my professional music degree), I became a full-time staff member at the club.  Continue reading

Life After Berklee: Tales of a Business Manager

I must admit that the original title of this blog post was “Exciting Tales of a Business Manager”, but honestly, if a Business Manager is doing his or her job well, there should be few tales about their work that are very exciting.  Be cautious of any Business Manager proudly telling a story involving unusually large reptiles, the mysterious disappearance of a client, and an industrial-scale popcorn popper.

I’ve had the pleasure of operating and investing in some wonderful creative businesses, over the years.  For the most part, my clients and business partners have been a joy to work with, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done.  Creative businesses, however, are rife with examples of poor decisions.

One of my favorite examples of a poor decision involves a well-known musician that found himself in a bit of a financial crush.  Attorneys working towards selling some of this musician’s assets came across a piece of property upon which the musician had had a warehouse constructed to store the toys he had acquired during the heyday of his career.  As many of the toys had since been sold off, the attorneys felt that selling this warehouse would be wise, but when they looked further, it turned out that the warehouse had been built on land that the musician rented, not land that he owned.  As is commonly the case, the rental agreement provided that any improvements to the rented land became property of the landlord.  In other words, this musician spent a great deal of money to construct a warehouse that ended up being given to someone else.

Of course, creative businesses are not the only enterprises with examples of poor decisions.  In my opinion, though, creative businesses are more likely than others to have poor decisions made as a result of one particular common denominator – ego.  As musicians, it’s likely that we’ve all felt the rush during and following a great performance, the satisfaction of a wonderful recording session, or pride in a terrific composition.  Those are all feelings that keep musicians practicing their craft, but beware of that rush, satisfaction, and pride expanding to a sense of invulnerability.  This often leads poor decision-making, be it with business, or life in general (insert your favorite “trashed hotel room” story, here).

My advice to aspiring musicians is to be as good as possible at what you do, seek assistance and support where necessary, and be wise enough to know when seeking assistance and support is, in fact, in your best interest.

Craig Chamberlain is an experienced business professional and entrepreneur, having founded and operated many successful companies related to the arts and entertainment technology.  Craig is a Berklee College of Music alumnus (class of ’91), graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Music Production & Engineering.  Craig can be reached at or