Berklee College of Music’s 19th annual Encore Gala raised nearly $1.8 million on Oct. 19. The monies will benefit the Berklee City Music Network, a program that provides year-round music education and individualized mentoring to underserved middle and high school students.
Warner Bros. executive VP of talent development Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter/producer and former Berklee professor and “American Idol” judge, served as the soiree’s MC, hosting more than 800 guests at Boston’s Westin Copley Place. Supplying the entertainment were Kool & the Gang along with music by more than 150 faculty, alumni and student musicians. Bain Capital Children’s Charity served as presenting sponsor, and the lead sponsor was Abrams Capital.
Rounding out the evening’s events: a live and silent auction. Featured items included a VIP Eagles concert tour package, a trip to Los Angeles to watch 1996 alumnus Alf Clausen score an episode of “The Simpsons,” dinner with Gloria and Emilio Estefan in Boston and the opportunity to join Berklee president Roger H. Brown at the upcoming Grammy Awards and MusiCares Person of the Year gala in Los Angeles.
Brown says, “Rallying the community around Berklee City Music each year helps more middle and high school students from underserved communities get ready for success in college and life using contemporary music as the medium.”
Berklee City Music grants scholarships for summer and full-time study at Berklee’s Boston campus. In addition to sites in Boston, the program works with students in 43 locales across the country, including Stax Music Academy in Memphis, A Place Called Home in Los Angeles, the Renaissance Youth Center in New York’s Bronx borough, the Tipitina’s Foundation in New Orleans and the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver. Last year, Berklee opened a campus in Spain to begin hosting its first graduate programs.