Amplify Berklee Gala Raises Over $1.2 Million for Berklee City Music

This year’s event featured a DJ set by MC Lyte and performances from the Berklee City Music Ensemble, Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road, and more.

October 25, 2023

Berklee raised more than $1.2 million for the Berklee City Music program at its 29th annual gala, Amplify Berklee, which took place on Saturday, October 21, at the Westin Copley Place, Boston.

Legendary rap artist, actress, and gala DJ MC Lyte, and actor, poet, musician, producer, director, and gala emcee Malcolm Jamal-Warner were special guests at this year’s event. The gala also featured music from trumpeter, vocalist, composer, and City Music ambassador Keyon Harrold, who performed with the Berklee City Music Ensemble; the Berklee Hip-Hop Ensemble, under the direction of DJ and MC Brian “Raydar” Ellis B.M. ’06; student and multi-instrumentalist Liam Purcell and his award-winning bluegrass and roots music ensemble, Cane Mill Road; the Berklee Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble, led by Christiane Karam B.M. ’03; Eguie Castrillo and his acclaimed Salsa Orchestra, featuring Boston Conservatory at Berklee dance students; and Upper Structure, an award-winning co-ed a cappella group.

Proceeds from Amplify Berklee support scholarships for Berklee City Music, a global network that enables youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially, and emotionally, primarily through the study of contemporary music and the performing arts. This year, the program celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Since 1993, Berklee City Music has awarded 275 full-tuition college scholarships, totaling over $33 million. More than 2,000 students from the Berklee City Music Network have attended Berklee's Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive on City Music Summer Scholarships. The Berklee City Music Network is currently made up of 46 sites across the United States, Latin America, and Canada, serving 54,000 students in the past year alone. Berklee City Music has served over 500,000 students across the network through preparatory and high school academies, and through summer and full-tuition scholarships, since the program’s inception.

The gala was sponsored by Abrams Capital, Aramark, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Bill and Kelly Kaiser, and Berklee Board of Trustees Chair Martin J. and Tristin Mannion, with cochairs Sandhya S. and Craig S. Douglas.