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Berklee College of Music and the Institut Valencià de Cultura—the Valencia government’s department of culture—awarded three local students a scholarship of 3,862 euros each to cover tuition for a Music and Entertainment Business module in the Summer Study Abroad program. To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must have either been born in Spain or currently live in Spain. The course, which took place between June 26 and July 14, was designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of different aspects of the music industry, such as marketing, management, and legal frameworks.
"The fact that the beneficiaries of the scholarships are local students shows Berklee's commitment to Valencia, a city that has been our home for the past five years. Hopefully, this joint effort between Berklee and the government of Valencia will translate into wonderful initiatives and will nurture local talent even further," said María Martínez Iturriaga, executive director of the Valencia campus.
Jerahy García, born in the city of Valencia, was one of the recipients. He is a professional violinist and a member of various youth philharmonic orchestras. He’s currently majoring in musicology at the Conservatory of Valencia and in law at the University of Valencia, and decided to apply to the Berklee program in order to broaden his horizons in music and performing arts management.
“As a classical musician, I acknowledge the importance of what happens behind the scenes, so I applied to this summer course to learn about these concepts and put them into practice,” he said. Of particular relevance to him, he said, was the class Legal Aspects of the Music Industry, taught by Martin F. Frascogna. Another perk of the program he enjoyed were the master classes taught by music industry professionals from all over the world. “I could highlight many things, but overall Berklee's campus in Valencia offers a unique international vision,” García said.
The second recipient was Bárbara Ribes, from Alcoy, Spain. She moved to Valencia in 2011, after living in Milan, Paris, Barcelona, and Boston. She is an industrial design engineer and a qualitative trend analyst who has a master's degree in business, product, and service management from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. As a designer, she has produced booklets and materials for several artists and bands. Additionally, she helps organize She’s the Fest, a female-only music festival that takes place in Valencia in September.
She heard about the scholarship through a friend and didn’t think twice before applying. She said she’s happy she did. In Frascogna’s class, she learned “how the music industry works.” And she found Alexandre Perrin’s class, Managing Technology-Driven Business, “brilliant” since it taught her many new concepts and gave her tools for managing bands and big data. “The fact that we were only six students meant the course was really intimate and allowed us to constantly participate and interact with the professors,” she said.
Berklee and Valencia: Five Years Together
Both García and Ribes knew of Berklee’s campus in Valencia both because of its academic program and because of all the performances the campus organizes across the city. “As time goes by, Berklee is gaining popularity among locals and is becoming an indispensable part of the music scene not only in Valencia but also throughout Spain and Europe,” García said.
For Marga Landete, the Institut Valencià de Cultura’s deputy director of music and popular culture, Berklee generates synergy among students, audiences, and local and visiting artists. “Our mission is to give more visibility to all the music activity that takes place in our territory, so we decided to create these scholarships to hopefully increase the number of Valencians who enroll Berklee’s academic programs,” she said.
García and Ribes both feel confident that the Music and Entertainment Business module will help them achieve their objective of pursuing a career in the industry. “The program has helped me understand better the current music scene and industry from very different points of view. I think it could represent a turning point in my professional career,” said García.