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Students from Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, have joined forces with Les Veus de la Memòria (Voices of Memory), a choir whose members are living with Alzheimer’s disease, to create a new anthem for the Association of Relatives of People with Alzheimer’s in Valencia (AFAV).
Recorded at Berklee Valencia in April, the song, “Unforgettable,” will be performed at a concert at Teatro Olympia on May 27.
“Berklee Valencia and its students are proud of being part of this project and supporting the community through music,” said Clara Barberá, director of Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at Berklee Valencia. “We admire AFAV’s work, and becoming their partners in this adventure is a privilege for us.”
“Sharing this positive experience with Berklee students and the members of the choir has been gratifying,” added Soledad Corachán, the choir’s codirector and a music therapist for AFAV. “Seeing them smiling and enjoying themselves is a good reason to keep growing.”
Students visited AFAV’s day center every week for 10 weeks, writing lyrics based choir members’ feedback and personal experiences, and then would rehearse with them. “Working with AFAV’s choir has been delightful,” said Berklee Study Abroad student Elizabeth Zinn. “I have learned a lot about the healing power of music. Being part of this project has been a wonderful experience.”
Kayla Blackburn, a student in Berklee’s First Year Abroad program, agrees: “[working with AFAV] allows me to see music in its purest form and breaks with the competition inside the industry, reminding me why I started studying music in the first place: because it is real happiness.”
The project is part of Berklee’s Global Citizenship Seminar, which helps students develop their identity as artists and global citizens by teaching them about the importance of diversity and cultural awareness.
The one-credit course also involved Jorge Sánchez, the choir’s co-conductor; Laura Blasco, a student in the Master of Music in Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games program, who composed the music; and Catalina Millan, an assistant professor in the Liberal Arts Department at Berklee Valencia.
The project is sponsored by Universitat Politècnica de València’s American Space Valencia, as part of its initiative Music Diplomacy. Berklee’s Global Citizenship Seminar includes three other social and cultural inclusion projects: LAMBDA, Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, and ASPAS associations.
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