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Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain celebrated its commencement ceremony on Monday, July 11 at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. This year, 119 students from 30 nations received their master’s degrees from Berklee in four programs of study: Music Production, Technology, and Innovation; Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration); Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games; and Global Entertainment and Music Business. The students came to Berklee from Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Korea, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the U.K., the U.S., and Venezuela, among others.
Guest commencement speaker Emilio Aragón, one of the most versatile and renowned artists in Spain’s film, television, and music industries, offered this piece of advice to the graduates: “Face every project with joy and eagerness. Don’t underestimate any opportunity. Don’t refuse to work in what could seem to be a small project whilst you wait for a big one to arrive. The fun part is learning, and to have the freedom to choose what you do.” At the end of his speech, Aragón noted, “In many fields, and in music especially, you can only connect with other people if you’re true with yourself.”
María Martínez Iturriaga, executive director for the Valencia campus, said the college is “delighted to graduate our fourth class of master’s degree students,” adding, “This cohort is formed by a very diverse and talented group of students and we feel very proud to have contributed to the nourishment and growth of their creative capacities. They represent the leaders of tomorrow and we are confident that they will go into the world and will generate positive change and contributions to their respective professional fields through their art.”
Watch a video salute to Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain, Class of 2016:
Addressing the graduates, Larry Simpson, Berklee’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs said, “You have said ‘yes’ to the art of music. You’ve chosen a path of art, whether a performer, a producer, a composer, a manager, or a combination of them, and it’s not an easy one, but you’re crafted with courage, discipline, and love, and you can make a difference. In these difficult times the world is experiencing, we need more music, not less. One song can make a difference to someone. Music has made a difference for thousands of years. Be true to it.”
The ceremony was preceded by an outdoor commencement concert the night of Saturday, July 9, at Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences complex. Twelve bands made up of graduating students performed on a floating stage in the middle of the complex’s water pool, which proved a magnificent culmination of the graduates’ work at Berklee.