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

Vocalist and radio WGBH host Ron Gill discusses his introduction to music growing up in New York City and his early experiences performing and writing music as a high school student in Boston. Gill shares his views on the music industry, particularly the power of record companies. He describes the importance of variety, exposure, mentorship, education, and experience; the skills he seeks to develop in young artists through his coaching and mentoring work; and how he defines success. Gill shares several anecdotes of memorable performances, recording projects, mentors, collaborators, and musical inspirations, including dance instructor Stanley Brown; singers Billy Eckstine, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald; songwriter Billy Strayhorn; and pianist Manny William. He also discusses his radio show on WBGH and his goals as newly-elected president of the New England Jazz Alliance.

Gill, Ron
July 28th, 2005
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