Ryan Tharayil

Class of

Pronouns Used: He/Him/His

Hometown: Evanston, Illinois 

Principal Instrument: Alto Sax

Majors: Contemporary Writing and Production and Music Production and Engineering



Describe your favorite Berklee experience so far.

Although it's hard to choose, my favorite experience at Berklee was probably playing and arranging for the Berklee Legacy Award Concert: Celebrating Ellington, Vaughan, Douglass, and de Lavallade. I was lucky enough to have Professor Tia Fuller, who I got to know by playing in her ensembles. She asked me to be her assistant musical director for this show. This meant I had the opportunity to write and arrange big band music that would be performed in the show, help with the logistics of making the concert happen, as well as play in the band. It was so much fun to play with such a great group of musicians, and it was amazing to hear my arrangement featuring the guest artist, Jazzmeia Horn (one of my favorite jazz vocalists).

When you think about your favorite class so far, what is one example of why you enjoyed it?

One of my favorite classes was Mix I with Ted Paduck. I especially enjoyed this class because of how well and thoroughly things were explained. Additionally, because I took this class over the summer, I was able to have an individual two hours of practice mix time each week. I loved learning about how to use all of the analogue gear, and having the opportunity to experiment and try out what I had learned each week.

What is your favorite part about studying and living in Boston? 

I really love the sense of community that Boston has. In particular, it's always fun to see the whole city come together for the Boston Marathon each year. There is also such a multitude of students here, so you will inevitably meet all kinds of people from all walks of life.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone applying to Berklee College of Music or Boston Conservatory at Berklee?

Don't hesitate to reach out to current students (like ambassadors!) or professors! More often than not, people are happy to respond and can give you a lot of clarity about what is offered here.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is a small desk where I work next to room B41. Over the years I have been at school, this desk job has been a constant. So many of my friends have spent time with me here, and so it holds a special place in my heart.

Why did you choose Berklee?

It was a hard decision for me, but ultimately Berklee's welcoming environment was the deciding factor. Most schools I auditioned for had programs that I was interested in, but my audition experiences were something that set the schools apart. I really grew to appreciate how welcoming and encouraging the process was at Berklee, compared to other schools where it felt much more competitive.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am still in the process of figuring out an answer to this question, but I hope to work as a producer, or an engineer in a studio. I would also be happy doing more work with arranging and working as a music director.

What have you enjoyed most about the live shows you’ve been involved in at Berklee?

I love all the different kinds of people you get to meet. There is often lots of downtime, so you end up getting to know people who have interests in a multitude of areas of music and music production.

Where do you hope to perform this coming year?

I don't have any specific goals, but it would be a lot of fun to perform or write music for the BPC this year!

Your social media channel/web URL?

Instagram: @ryan.tt7