Over 250 Students and Alumni Perform Justin Timberlake's 'Say Something'
The #BerkleeTogether Concert Series returns on January 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET with 265 students and alumni from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee performing a special rendition of “Say Something” by Justin Timberlake ’19H. Watch the full performance on Berklee’s YouTube, IGTV, and Facebook pages.
Inspired by thinking about new ways to perform together, a group of students and alumni chose the song and arrangement, then recruited others from across the globe for the monumental recording. The main organizers behind the project include Victoria Verba B.M. ’20, Yuka Chen B.M. ’20, Tristan Simone B.M. ’20, Marcus Andrew Prince B.M. ’20, Da'Dreion Murrell B.M. ’20, Emanuel Keller B.M. ’20, and Pamela Santa B.M. ’20, and students Ricardo Belletti, Ella Jane Frances Sharpe, Jimena Caballero Gout, Josef Kiefer.
I just hope this video will be able to bring back a sense of togetherness and joy to all my friends back at Berklee and everyone else who gets to see it.
Ricardo Belletti, student arranger
“Shortly after the pandemic began, I think it really started to sink in for all of us that we wouldn't be playing together, at least in the same room, for a long time,” said Sharpe, a British-Australian jazz vocalist and pianist who served as vocal arranger for the performance. “Whilst this was a scary and very unfamiliar experience, we all began to think outside the box of what performing together meant."
Featuring an original verse by Tristan Simone, this special performance of “Say Something” includes students from across the Berklee community. The 265 performers come from 38 countries, 25 U.S. states, all of College's and Conservatory's undergraduate majors, and the Contemporary Performance (Global Jazz Concentration) master's program. Instruments showcased in the video include everything from guitar, bass, and drums to steelpan, morsing, cuatro, and mandolin.
“The most challenging thing about this arrangement was ensuring it had a very clear structure, so that even with hundreds of musicians working remotely the whole thing would come together seamlessly,” said Belletti, one of the arrangers. “At the same time, we really wanted to leave enough room for the students to bring their own individual musicality into the project in order to highlight the beautiful diversity of cultures we have at Berklee."
"As musicians, we all miss very much being together in a room sharing our love and passion for music with each other," he added. "I just hope this video will be able to bring back a sense of togetherness and joy to all my friends back at Berklee and everyone else who gets to see it.”