Berklee College of Music and Spanish collecting society SGAE are strengthening relations with a February 23-26 selection of SGAE scholarship winners. The successful Spanish candidates will study for three years at the world's leading modern music and music business school, based in Boston, Massachusetts.

BCM and SGAE are boosting the number of scholarships prior to the 2011 inauguration of the Europe-based Berklee Valencia college being built in Valencia, eastern Spain. The €100 million ($127 million) 27-storey building caused controversy when work began last October, after some senior SGAE members questioned whether the society's commitment to promotion and development of culture covered construction projects.

A total of 229 SGAE members or children of members who originally applied for the scholarships was whittled down to 120 hopefuls. Between February 23 and 24, each one will undergo a 45-minute examination before a professional jury at a SGAE center in Madrid.

Each exam consists of a 15-minute rehearsal, a 15-minute music audition, and an interview in English on the applicant's aims at Berklee.

The jury is chaired by Spanish musician, producer, SGAE member and former BCM student Javier Limón. The rest of the jury is made up of composer Tomás San Miguel, also a SGAE member and ex-BCM student, and three members of Berklee's academic team - Matt Marvuglio (performance division), Greg Badolato (international programs) and Damien Bracken (scholarships and student employment).

The scholarships are offered by SGAE and its promotion division, Fundación Autor. Successful candidates can choose from various disciplines, including production and contemporary composition, management/music business, music production and engineering, and music therapy.

Successful candidates will be notified in March, and their courses begin in September.