A Note from Cathy Young: Embodying the Conservatory’s Spirit of Community and Innovation in Challenging Times

March 11, 2020 Cathy Young


Dear Boston Conservatory at Berklee community members,

Today, Berklee announced that it would transition to online learning beginning Monday, March 23 to help minimize the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). I realize that this is a difficult and unexpected turn of events, and I want you to know that we are here to support you during this challenging time. Our priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, and this is the best precaution we can take to ensure this. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any Berklee campuses or centers.

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges worldwide. Please know that we have resources and personnel in place to respond to this effectively, and I am confident that this decision is the right one for our community. In considering how to best manage this developing situation, we have consulted with state and national advisories, neighboring institutions, Berklee leadership teams, the faculty union, deans, and chairs, and will continue to do so as we monitor developments. Please expect to receive further communications with important information related to this transition and online learning; we are sharing details out as they become available. And please continue to visit berklee.edu/covid19 for the latest information.

I know that this is new territory for us as a performing arts conservatory. So much of what we do here every day revolves around in-person interaction—rehearsing, choreographing, creating, performing, and giving feedback. I am disappointed that our on-campus plans for this semester have to be put on hold, but I know this is the right decision for our community. As artists, we are creative, we are resilient, and—above all—we are adaptable.

As artists, we are creative, we are resilient, and—above all—we are adaptable.

I am asking all community members—students, faculty, staff, parents—to practice calm, patience, empathy, and flexibility during this unusual time, and to know that you will be supported. We will face this challenge together, and we will emerge stronger and more nimble than ever before. We will use this as an opportunity to truly embody what innovation in performing arts education can be.

Our brilliant and supportive community is what makes Boston Conservatory at Berklee so special—and is what will get us through difficult moments like these. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your cooperation and patience as we navigate this process together.