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    The Ministry of Culture Announces the Second Berklee Course in Santo Domingo
    The Ministry of Culture Announces the Second Berklee Course in Santo Domingo

    The Ministry of Culture Announces the Second Berklee Course in Santo Domingo
    Santo Domingo, January 6, 2015

    T he Ministry of Culture (MINC) has announced the launching of the second edition of the musical training program, which is being coordinated by the Berklee Academy of the United States. Ten renowned professors and a scholarships admissions team will be participating, and they arrived in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

    Juan Tomás García, Deputy Minister of Creativity and Popular Participation, offered the details on behalf of the Minister of Culture, singer and songwriter José Antonio Rodríguez, at a ceremony that took place prior to the start of the event. On behalf of Minister Rodríguez, García thanked the leadership of Berklee Academy and its team of teachers and noted that we have not only learned music from Berklee, but also from its human kindness and spirit of social inclusion.

    The program, which has the support of singer and songwriter Juan Luis Guerra, will be held at the National Conservatory of Music. This second edition of the course is open only to those residing in the Dominican Republic.

    Professor María Irene Blanco, Director of the National Conservatory of Music, also spoke at the event. She urged young participants to devote their body and soul to the study process. In turn, Jason Cornelio, Director of the Berklee program, and Javier Vargas, Director of Popular Music, offered details on the program schedule.

    The first course opened in mid-2014, as part of the initiatives launched by the Minister of Culture, José Antonio Rodríguez. The schedule of classes is as follows: Tuesday, January 6th from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon; Thursday, January 8th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, January 11th, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; whereas Friday, January 9th, includes a discussion group at 6:00 pm. The course consists of six days of intensive training through various lectures and classes, which include: harmonic scales and chords for interpretation, improvisation, composition and lyrics for modern music and instrumental technique adapted to the specific characteristics of each musical instrument.

    Also, several master classes will be taught by Berklee faculty and by Dominican guest artists, including Pengbian Sang and Manuel Tejada. They will share their knowledge about musical composition, production and arrangements. Likewise, musical groups will be formed and evening sessions of improvisation will be held, as well as a concert during the closing ceremony.

    170 musical students and 25 professionals have been accepted to participate in the course. This group was selected from among the more than 400 applications for admission that were received. Larry Simpson, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Berklee University, said the following during the presentation of the first edition of the program: "For many years the Dominican Republic has had very rich musical roots. We hope to find young Dominican musicians that can help us continue the tradition and take it farther. Music is in good hands here."

    The program is free and open to music students and professionals residing in the Dominican Republic, aged 15 years or older, with more than six months experience in their musical instrument. For more information about the program please visit: http://www.berklee.edu/berkleeontheroad/berklee-santo-domingo and https://es-es.facebook.com/BerkleeSantoDomingo.

    This program is designed to share Berklee’s methodology with music students and professionals, which provides an opportunity to receive training from internationally renowned teachers.

    During the first edition of the course, piano student Pauly Germán received a full scholarship, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, to study at the University headquarters in Boston. He was selected as a fellow from among a group of over 50 students who auditioned before a specialized team from the University. Student Pauly Germán already completed his first college semester and will resume his studies in January.

    Over the past five years, more than 30 Dominican students have studied at Berklee and thanks to their talent they have managed to have the majority of their studies subsidized by the institution. Among the students from the Dominican Republic at Berklee is Juan Luis Guerra. Guerra has collaborated closely with the program since its inception, and did actively participate in its first edition, attending classes and providing a big morale boost for the other students with his presence.

    As with the first course, which concluded with resounding success, the second course is aimed at improving the quality of Dominican music in its various forms. The content of the program is designed for vocalists of classical, pop and rock music, and for instrumentalists interested in developing their skills in the world of contemporary music.

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