Learning 16 Nov 2015

Berklee Bound

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Grade 11 and 12 are academically rigorous years, and ones where students are actively shortlisting universities they are applying to. Depending on the country, it is also a time to prove you are scholarship worthy.

Two of our students have done just that. IB DP second year (Grade 12) students, Kyarah and Carles (who both have some amazing musical talents) have proven themselves to the music authorities at the reputable Berklee College of Music in the U.S.A. After a series of challenging auditions and interviews, Kyarah and Carles have each been awarded a four-year scholarship to further their undergraduate studies in music.

Kyarah and Carles’ musical dream of attending Berklee started with a 5-week summer programme at its Boston campus. This wasn’t an ordinary summer camp but a taste of college, where music was the core subject and activities ranged from theoretical classes to ensembles, from singing to performing, and from private lessons to solo performances. Kyarah and Carles felt privileged to be surrounded by a group of amazing musicians from all walks of life. Boston is such a musical city that playing music and jamming are not just limited to school hours. Music is ingrained in the soul of the city.

Summer at Berklee College of Music meant being musical 24/7. Summer classes were a bit like a dream... No math, no science, just music.. their favourite subject. They lived and breathed music during the entire 5-week experience. From 9am to 6pm, they were given many opportunities to perform among the best of the best. They were graded on their onstage performances, auditioned on the spot (multiple times), took exams and rose to the top. Out of 1,000 students who auditioned for scholarships in the last two weeks of the summer school, they were nominated as scholarship recipients! Kyarah will be studying songwriting and performance, while Carles will major in drumming and performance, and minor in recording and production.

Carles’ and Kyarah’s accomplishments don’t just reflect an amazing talent (as we have seen at numerous CIS events and festivals). They are a result of hard work, dedicated perseverance to achieve their goals, and a strong foundation from the CIS music programme (both are taking DP music). There were times they were not chosen as the top performers, but they never gave up, even in the face of stiff competition. They were determined to succeed and achieve their goals. They worked harder, they performed better, and really put themselves “out there” to get noticed. Although the competition for scholarships was fierce during the summer programme, there was always a positive vibe among participants.

Carles and Kyarah were well prepared; as IB DP music students, live solo performances are part of their course requirements, along with musical theory and composition. During their time at CIS, both students have also taken every opportunity to perform at events such as the CIS Carnival, UN week, school musical productions and concerts, BeatFreaked, and other international competitions and concerts.

When asked how they differed from others in an amazingly talented crowd, Kyarah said it was their diverse backgrounds that really made them stand out. Kyarah is Dutch, with what can be described as a velvet voice, and takes every opportunity to take the stage and sing. Carles is a champion drummer, whose love for the drums began at the age of 2. Originally from Spain, he has lived all over the world due to his father’s international posts.

Kyarah’s and Carles’ passion is now taking them to the other side of the world to pursue their dreams, and they are very excited at the prospect of being immersed in a world of musical study and performances. Join us in wishing Carles and Kyarah the best in their upcoming musical journey at Berklee College of Music in Boston. We know we will see them soon on the global music stage.