The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra is no ordinary college orchestra. The orchestra is composed of students from Spain, South Africa, England, Nicaragua, the Philippines, just to name a few. Some students are straight out of high school, some have already completed a degree in music and are coming to Berklee to study in a unique major such as film scoring, and some have transferred here from all over the world from other colleges. Not only are we diverse in our cultural backgrounds but in our musical backgrounds as well. Many students are accomplished classical musicians but are equally as talented in Jazz, Latin, Celtic and many other genres. Along with the performance majors, many students in the orchestra are pursuing degrees such as Music Business, Music Production and Engineering, Music Therapy and Composition. We come together to create a diverse group of musicians who just love to make music together!
The orchestra environment is filled with passion, excitement and fun. The orchestra is simply full of people who love to make music together, completely devoid of braggarts. We have an incredible conductor, Franscico Noya, who is a world-renowned conductor and is also the current conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. His congenial and hilarious personality combined with his incredible expertise in music helps to make the orchestra produce incredible music.
Our spring 2012 concert is right around the corner. It will be held on Tuesday April 3rd at 8pm at Jordan Hall. We have an exciting and diverse program. First, we will be performing the world premier of “Fantasy on a River Theme” which was composed by the great bass player John Patitucci. It will also feature John Patitucci himself as the bass soloist on his piece. We are very excited that he is coming to play with us and that he will premiere this piece with Berklee! We will also be celebrating John Williams’s 80th birthday by playing movements from two of his most famous film scores; Star Wars and Schindlers List. Another exciting piece of repertoire that we will be playing, is the original piece written by the very talented Berklee faculty member Jonathan Holland entitled “Halcyon Sun”. We will also be premiering the piece “8 de Febrero”. This piece is composed by the winner of Berklee’s Composition Contest, Vicente Ortiz Gimeno, an extremely talented clarinet player and composer. Here at Berklee we do play some of the standard classical repertoire, believe it or not! We are playing Schubert’s beautiful Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”. Last but not least, we are playing the first ever live performance of Aubrey Hodges’ Madden NFL theme from the video game!
We have a diverse and wonderful program for next Tuesday! Please try to come out to see my amazing peers play their hearts out at Jordan Hall on April 3rd at 8pm!
The sold-out performance also included appearances by other accomplished film and television composers, many of whom are from the Berklee fold, including Gold Knight winner and almnus, Lucas Vidal, and Emmy-winner, and Chair of Berklee’s Film Scoring department, Daniel Carlin.
Berklee alumnus and Golden Knight winner Lucas Vidal rehearsing with the Video Game Orchestra
Film Scoring Chair Daniel Carlin conducting the Video Game Orchestra
Founded by Berklee alumnus Shota Nakama in 2008, the Video Game Orchestra is the first and only New England based orchestra that focuses on showcasing interactive media compositions and is comprised of graduates from Boston-area conservatories, including Berklee College of Music. The breadth of music represented at the concert was not simply confined to artists with Berklee ties, however, as the second half of the concert highlighted the best in video game music, including Wataru Hokoyama’s suite from Afrika (who flew into Boston to conduct his suite live at the concert), Yasunori Mitsuda’s suite from Chrono Cross, and Nobuo Uematsu’s infamous suite for Final Fantasy VII. Given the huge turn-out and incredibly enthusiastic response from the audience, I sincerely hope producing a concert that celebrates the work of film and video game composers becomes an annual event [to see more photographs from the rehearsal, scroll to the bottom of this post].
The Video Game Orchestra's musical director, Yohei Sato, rehearsing with the orchestra in anticipation of their Symphony Hall debut.
Stella Lee describes how her previous internship at Echo Nest prepared her for her current work at the BSO
As a Music Business major at Berklee, I had participated in my first internship at Echo Nest. This company is a music intelligence company that powers smarter music applications for a wide range of customers including MTV, The BBC, MOG, Warner music Group and a community of about 7000 independent app developers. It was my first experience in a real working environment. Before I started my internship, I researched everything about Echo Nest and prepared to join as an intern. The reason I chose Echonest was because it was a growing company that I could learn a variety of tasks in. While interning at Echo Nest I had to search and rate social media and gather information from databases on the application and it was fascinating to see developers coming up with new ideas everyday.
Stella Lee describes how working with the BSO’s many sponsors has given her insight into music sponsorship management
I have always dreamed about working at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. On the first day of my internship, I arrived at the office 30 minutes earlier than my scheduled time. When I arrived, my supervisor Allegra introduced me to more than 300 people that help organize and run the company. I was very impressed with the working environment of the BSO. It is a very friendly environment in which I enjoyed talking to people and hearing about their job roles.