BCA-011: Berklee Oral History Project

Scope and Content Note

Established in 1998, the Berklee Oral History Project (BOHP) seeks to chronicle Berklee’s rich history from those who have lived, shaped, and defined it. In capturing the diverse experiences and perceptions of Berklee faculty, staff, and alumni, Berklee Archives seeks to document Berklee’s pedagogical contributions to music education, as well as the events and issues that have impacted the direction and identity of the institution. This collection comprises video interviews from over 100 individuals closely associated with Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, including faculty, staff, presidents, and alumni. Some early interviews also feature individuals unaffiliated with Berklee who were active in the Boston jazz community.

Linked Agent
Creator: Berklee
Producer (pro): Berklee Archives
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Phil Wilson, a trombonist, arranger, and long-time Berklee faculty member shares stories from his lengthy career at Berklee College of Music, where he had been working for forty years at the time of recording. He describes summer clinics run by Berklee staff out of schools across the United States, and how he and his colleagues’ teaching methods became an international standard for jazz. He shares his experiences with the founders of Berklee College of Music (originally Schillinger House), Lawrence and Alma Berk; recounts the Berklee ensembles he created, including the Dues Band, Rainbow Band, and Caribbean Ensemble; and describes his specific students he taught and played with in those groups. He also discusses his involvement with U.S. military bands, including the Army Blues’ Band and the NORAD band.

Wilson, Phil
June 16th, 2005
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