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berklee in new orleans

I left my heart in New Orleans…

Hello from hot and humid New Orleans! We just completed our last day on the work site with Habitat for Humanity. Time flies when you’re hammering nails!


Andrew Crawford secures a door frame.


Ashley Macchia builds a “sandwich.”

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Return to NOLA

I’ve been riding this marvelous de ja vu since arriving here in New Orleans two days ago with our 2015 sponsorship group. Five years ago I stepped off a plane with six Berklee colleagues and strangers as a participant in the 2010 group. This year I feel fortunate to come back with seven new colleagues to lead the group and share all the wonders of this beautiful city.

Sue Buzzard Serenades Us & the Mighty Mississippi

Ain’t Misbehavin on the Mississippi banks performed by Sue Buzzard

Ashley Macchia (faculty development), Jessica Halton (Institutional Advancement), Andrew Crawford (IT), Sue Buzzard (Berklee Online), Ruthie Ristich (Ear Training, faculty), Jordan Lockaby (Admissions),  Julia Polanco (IT) and I landed in NOLA on Monday afternoon, and settled into the Best Western French Quarter hotel. First few items on our agenda? Immerse and explore! I’m happy to say we have accomplished both with incredible Nawlins’ style dinners at Oceana in the French Quarter (Monday) and Jacques-Imo’s (Tuesday). We strolled through beautiful Jackson Square, gorged ourselves on coffee and beignet’s at Cafe du Monde and strolled along the Mississippi. Sue took out her violin and entertained us with her rendition “Ain’t Misbehavin’ while we tried to catch a breeze from the water. The humidity in NOLA is no joke and we found ourselves taking a quick “shower” in the fountains outside the Aquarium of the Americas.

Cafe du Monde heaven

Jordan, Ashly, Julia, Andrew, Sue and Laurie

Cooling off in the Fountains

Laurie, Andrew, Jordan fresh from the fountains            Today will be our first day on the construction site with Habitat for Humanity. I’m looking forward to reporting back!






A Taste of NOLA-Day One (5.12.14)

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Gracenotes/Habitat for Humanity New Orleans Trip 2013

Garden District Home

Earlier this spring, I applied to be one of the volunteers in this year’s Gracenotes Rebuilding the Birthplace of Jazz trip to New Orleans to assist through Habitat for Humanity in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  I was delighted and honoured to join this year’s team.  I imagined that the week would consist of hard work building on the Habitat site followed by evenings exploring the city and listening to music in a city that was pretty much back on its feet after the devastating storm of August, 2005.  The city is exciting and vibrant; it is lauded as one of the most unique cities in the United States and I agree wholeheartedly.  Live music pulsed out of every restaurant, bar and café and on every street corner of the French Quarter, Bywater, Marigny, and Treme that I passed. 

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Building Homes to Build Communities

I came on the Gracenotes Rebuilding the Birthplace of Jazz trip with the unique point of view of a former resident of pre-Katrina New Orleans.  From the first night, my Berklee teammates asked me what had changed since I had last lived there in the year 2000.

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