Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: New Orleans (Page 1 of 12)

New Orleans


Building America Street

It wasn’t until the four young boys from the Habitat house next door came sprinting on to the lawn like a makeshift football team that I realized the magnitude of what my colleagues and I were doing in New Orleans as part of Berklee’s trip with Habitat for Humanity.

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Reflections on New Orleans

The devastation New Orleans went through during the hurricane in itself is hard to wrap your mind around, but going there and see with your own eyes the work that is still needed is truly heartbreaking.

Often when disasters happen around the world you have a deep sense of not being able to help out more. So to be able to volunteer and together with my awesome colleagues – people I am happy to be able to now call my friends, was such a rewarding experience.

It was very apparent that the 8 of us are very different personalities, but just as apparent that it didn’t matter, but only made it even more inspiring and interesting to work with one another. No matter the task and whom you were working with it was all about teamwork and how to best get the job done.

As I’m writing this blog I was reading through the blogs written by my new friends, and can only nod in agreement. Agreeing that you might leave a small mark of accomplishments with the work we did on the houses while there, but you carry with you a huge bag of memories and impressions that forever will be with you. Friendships that forever has being formed. Enjoyed the vibrant culture of New Orleans with all the music that thankfully still happening there.

The heat exhaustion and stomach bug I caught while there are minor issues that will quickly fade away. But the memories, the friendships, the sense of accomplishments will forever stay with me, and I’m very thankful to have been chosen to be part of this project.

It’s been a week since we had our last day at the site, working on the two houses in New Orleans, and it has been 10 years Berklee’s Gracenote program has been going to New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity helping in the aftermath of Katrina. However our work is not done there, they still need our help and I truly hope that Berklee will continue to send faculty and staff to work with and help the people of 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!







“Bourbon Street Blue”: My experience in NOLA with Berklee Gracenotes Team

May 18, 2014:  As I sit on the plane back to Boston, my skin a little burned, my body a tad beat up, bruised and sore; my heart is filled with incredible memories and a deep love for NOLA, Habitat for Humanity and the many new friends I had the honor of working side by side with this week.

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