Julia Ross

Class of
2022
Position
Berklee College of Music
Biography

Pronouns Used: She/Her/Hers

Hometown: Wilmington, North Carolina

Principal Instrument: Piano

Major: Professional Music (with Concentrations in Contemporary Writing and Production, Music Business, and Musical Theater Writing) 

Minor: Theater Music Conducting


Describe your favorite Berklee experience so far.

My favorite Berklee experience so far was the sitzprobe for the 2020 Curtain Up: Original Musical Theater Songwriting Contest and Concert. I served as one of three music directors, which meant I was a conductor for one-third of the pieces as well as the vocal director. The sitzprobe is the first time the band is rehearsing with the cast of actors, and we had a long day but it was the best. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the show was canceled. But I still hold fond memories of the rehearsal process, and I was so proud of everything the team had done thus far.

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

I loved my Musical Theater Orchestration class with Jeri Sykes. Although it was remote, we were still able to learn and listen and share our works together. Constructive criticism and compliments over Zoom are not the same, but it was one of the best courses I took during the pandemic and I’m proud of the work we achieved.

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

Being completely and utterly surrounded by 30-plus other colleges and universities. Every store or shop is going to be staffed with college students. The people on the bus or the train are also college students. There is a feeling of safety when we are all in this together. We are such a young city; especially with the pandemic moving many of the financial office jobs to remote, we get to dominate this city and that’s what makes it feel so safe.

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

Give it your all in the audition, even if you aren’t a performer. I went in as an arranger and conductor and knew that, and I ended up completely missing some of my jazz/contemporary parts of my instrumental audition. But I’m not a jazz pianist. I don’t improv or solo when I play. I’m classically trained! At the college, we strive to celebrate all genres and backgrounds, and even if the audition doesn’t suit your specific style, you’ll be able to find a place here.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

The 7 Haviland Street patio.

Why did you choose Berklee?

Berklee has the professional music major, which allows me to pick and choose my classes and concentrations. I am going for something that is not one defined program, and I needed the flexibility to be able to study what I want.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I want to work in musical theater production or development in New York City.

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

We are a community of hyper-talented artists. I served as vocal director for the 2019 Orientation Mainstage show, and it is amazing the power that a group of 20 or so young people can put out. Each and every one of us come from an amazing background with a unique personality, which creates an unbelievable talent that is specific to us. We have a much more collaborative mindset here; we are a community rather than a group of competitors.

Where do you hope to perform this coming year?

I will not be performing this year, but I do hope the Berklee Ultimate Frisbee Team (BUFT) is able to “perform” at the Lobster Pot tournament in Maine this fall!

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