Student Spotlight: Stephanie Coraci

The vocalist and dancer talks about balancing her interest in music business with her own artistry, going to major festivals through BPMI, and how you don't get Beyoncé without Tina Turner.

February 6, 2023

What’s it like to study at Berklee? Our Student Spotlight series asks current students all about their Berklee experience—what they’re learning in class, what kinds of projects they’re involved in onstage or behind the scenes, how they recharge, and of course, what they’re listening to. This week, get to know Stephanie Coraci, an eighth-semester student from Ridgefield, Connecticut, who's double majoring in music business/management and voice performance, with a minor in dance.

Stephanie Coraci seated on the floor against a blank background

Image courtesy of Stephanie Coraci

Tell us about your path to Berklee. What made you decide to come here?

After completing a contemporary vocal summer program in Manhattan, I knew I wanted to attend a school where I could combine my passion for music business, performance, and dance. Berklee’s merger with the Boston Conservatory offers a unique opportunity where students can gain expertise across multiple disciplines. With its incredible faculty and glowing reviews from past alums, I knew Berklee would be the perfect fit.

What's been your favorite class so far, and what has it taught you?

The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI), founded by Jeff Dorenfeld, professor emeritus, now run by Morgan Milardo, director, has been a pivotal program in my career journey. As a BPMI student, I interfaced with all facets of the music industry and assisted with live performance staging and choreography for artists Aiida (Lollapalooza), Charley Tiernan (Faster Horses/Sound on Sound), and Matilda Marigolds (Bourbon & Beyond).

What's a project you've worked on since coming to Berklee that you've been especially excited about?

Currently (in my last few semesters) I’m putting more of an emphasis on pursuing my own artistry. It’s exciting figuring out who I am as an artist and how that translates into my brand.

How do you typically recharge or find new ideas outside of class?

I love to work out. I’m a supervisor at Rev’d Cycling and enjoy starting my day with an early morning spin class. To vary it up, I also train at Barry’s and try incorporating Pilates and yoga into my routine. It’s a great way to destress and refocus.

What careers are you interested in pursuing in the future?

My dream is to be involved in live entertainment in some capacity, whether that be on the stage or behind the scenes, as a tour manager, booking agent, or talent buyer.

When you think towards your own future, who inspires you most?

I think Matthew McConaughey’s [2014] Oscar acceptance speech best answers this question. He says he needs three things each day: something to look up to, something to look forward to, and someone to chase. Similarly, my hero is who I chase. It’s me 10 years from now. My hero will always be 10 years away. It’s unattainable, but it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing. My inspirations are those who will help me become my hero. It’s my parents, brother, close friends, mentors, and colleagues. Those that push me every day to wake up and chase the best version of myself.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to your high school self?

Rob Jaczko, chair of the Music Production and Engineering Department, once told me, “There are 365 days; each day, all you have to do is take a step.”

Stephanie Shares Five Tracks from Her Favorite Artists

1. "Ooo Baby Baby," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Smokey was instrumental in the cultivation of Motown. Not only is he an incredible songwriter, penning hits for the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, the Supremes, and the Marvelettes, but his voice is effortless and stands the test of time.

2. "Jet Black," Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak is a multifaceted musician. I find it interesting how being a drummer informs his perspective on songwriting; everything just sits in the pocket.

3. "Nessun Dorma," Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck was a virtuoso guitarist who pushed boundaries with his unique sound and musical fusion. His interpretation of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” showcases Beck’s technique and musicality as his guitar assumes the role of a vocalist.

4. "Hard Place," H.E.R.

H.E.R., famously known for her anonymity, ironically stands for "Having Everything Revealed." I admire her drive, dedication to her craft, and how she seeks to make it more about the music than her personal life.

5. "Proud Mary," Tina Turner

Tina Turner was not only a powerhouse vocalist, but a dancer. When she first broke into the music industry she choreographed all her own routines for the Ikettes. Her performance style and stage presence influenced and inspired divas yet to come like Beyoncé.