Berklee scouts for Kenyan music talent

June 29, 2010 – The esteemed Berklee College of Music starts holding auditions in Nairobi for three days starting today, for talented musicians eager to get a scholarship to the college.


The college’s events will be hosted by Brookhouse School, and will include auditions and interviews for scholarships to attend the college through its Africa Scholars Program.

The auditions end on July 1st.

Audition days have been increased from the previous two days to three, to accommodate the large number of contestants for a scholarship. This time they are hoping to hear at least 90 aspiring musicians.

According to a statement from the institution, Berklee’s Africa Scholars Program is designed to create opportunities for gifted African musicians who lack the financial means to study at the college, which is situated in Massachusetts, USA.

“The program is also intended to increase the number of African students, fostering a significant cultural exchange; and increase awareness of the college among African musicians.”

Berklee says that since instituting the program in 2008, they have awarded $2.3 million in scholarships across Africa, including countries like Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and others.

Though the auditions conclude on Thursday, Berklee will be conducting music education outreach, workshops, and clinics for area musicians and educators on Friday.

The programs will be conducted by a team composed of faculty members Dan Moretti and Ron Reid of the Contemporary Writing and Production Department, Michael Shaver from Admissions, Sam Skau from International Programs, and student ambassador Joey Guglielmo.

Says Moretti: “I expect to see a mix of talent, but it’s the potential that we will be looking at. I am looking for adaptability and natural ability in addition to formal training.”

The Brookhouse Schools’ Academy of Performing Arts – whose artistic director Eric Wainaina is a Berklee alumnus – hosts Berklee and plans several music education events to foster interaction between Brookhouse students, faculty, area educators, and Berklee’s faculty.

Talented local musician Kevin Mbugua is also a Berklee Alumni.

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