Berklee Popular Music Institute Launches 'Berklee at Home' Concert Series
Students in the Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) usually spend their spring semester gearing up for festival season: they find, develop, book, and promote artists who perform at major events such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and the Governors Ball. This spring, the BPMI experience looks a little different: students are still honing their A&R and promotion skills, but—due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—they’re doing it all remotely.
“The immersive experience with artists and performances is a major goal of BPMI,” says Morgan Milardo, media and operations manager for the institute. “We wanted to still provide that experience for students, but when you take away the festival element, lots of things have to change.”
Last week, BPMI kicked off its weekly Berklee at Home (promoted as #BerkleeAtHome) concert series, which features Berklee artists performing live on its Instagram page each Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The series began with singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine, and continues with other Berklee artists including Nolä, Lick Neon, and Cisco Swank.
"In a rapidly changing marketplace—which is currently changing more rapidly than ever—our students are adjusting and finding artists who are well suited for the current moment.”
—Morgan Milardo, BPMI media and operations manager
“Our students are still developing their skills through this experience,” explains Milardo. “They’re contacting artists, checking availability, then conducting virtual rehearsals and audiovisual tests ahead of time. They’re working on set lists with the artists, talking about how to engage and interact with fans over a digital platform.” Students are also responsible for promoting the series, designing flyers, and spreading the word via social media.
BPMI receives hundreds of submissions each year from artists in multiple genres who are interested in performing on the festival scene. With the new parameters of the #BerkleeAtHome series, Milardo and the team have contacted some artists whose music might be better suited for the intimacy of a living room than a 60-foot festival stage.
“We know it’s not the same as a major festival,” says Milardo. “But this is still a unique and exciting experience for these students. In a rapidly changing marketplace—which is currently changing more rapidly than ever—our students are adjusting and finding artists who are well suited for the current moment.”
Watch the first #BerkleeAtHome concert featuring Lizzy McAlpine: