One of the few marimba programs in the U.S., Boston Conservatory at Berklee's marimba performance master's program prepares students for vibrant careers in music through specialized performance and audition training, a broad range of opportunities to perform publicly and refine musicianship, and focused studies in career building and entrepreneurship.
Performance opportunities are plentiful at the Conservatory. In addition to solo and studio recitals, marimba graduate students participate and act as leaders in a number of Boston Conservatory ensemble groups, such as Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble. The variety of ensembles at the Conservatory and Berklee provide a unique opportunity for students to become familiar with numerous musical styles. In order to replicate the pacing and structure of a professional music company, students rehearse and perform with various ensembles each semester, including chamber ensembles, contemporary ensembles, and more.
Throughout the program, students work closely with esteemed faculty members in private lessons to hone their artistic voice and build their technical skills. In order to achieve professional readiness by the end of the program, students will expand their audition and performance repertoire, compile professional materials, and begin to articulate their career goals.
What It Takes to Succeed
Individuals who thrive in the marimba performance graduate program are driven by their desire to uncover the various career paths available to them. They are fearless creators committed to becoming masters of their instruments and experienced players in a vast range of styles, from standard repertoire, to early music, to classical contemporary. They are collaborative by nature and are open to learning new musical techniques and ideas from their teachers and peers.
In their first year, students expand upon their artistic skills and solo and ensemble performance techniques, while continuing to build their their knowledge of marimba repertoire and music history. They participate in a variety of performance events, collaborate with Conservatory instrumental and vocal students, attend Percussion Performance Seminars, and receive weekly private lessons, in which they refine their technique and plan for their degree recital. Students may elect to study privately with one teacher, or divide time between multiple teachers to take advantage of the wide ranging talents and specialties of the Conservatory's marimba and percussion faculty. Meanwhile, students are encouraged to take advantage of on- and off-campus performance and collaborative opportunities to build their artistic and professional network.
In the second year of the program, students continue to perform with ensembles and prepare a degree recital with their private studio teacher(s), adding on elective courses to enhance their musical studies, such as Complexity in Rhythm, Pedagogy, Alexander Technique, Career Skills for Musicians, and Improvisation, to name a few. For their degree recital, students are responsible for coordinating with their fellow student instrumentalists and vocalists to produce a program of music that showcases their unique skills and abilities.
Alumni of the Conservatory's percussion and marimba performance programs have won prestigious competitions and are creating fulfilling and dynamic careers in solo, ensemble, and orchestral performance, as well as in arts administration and teaching positions around the country.
- Boston Modern Orchestra Project
- Boston Pops Orchestra
- Kansai Philharmonic
- Malaysian Philharmonic
- New World Symphony
- Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
- Belgium International Marimba Competition
- Concert Artists Guild Competition
- Houston Symphony Ima Hogg National Young Artist Competition
- International Marimba Competition
- Libertango International Music Competition
- Montreal Symphony Standard Life Competition
- Percussive Arts Society Marimba Competition
- Prix d'Europe
- Southern California Marimba Competition
- Tromp International Percussion Competition
- World Marimba Competition
- Young Concert Artists Competition
- Berklee College of Music
- Hochshule fuer Musik–Detmold (Germany)
- James Madison University
- University of Evansville
- University of Oregon
- Winchester Community Music School