College Marks 20th Year of Nashville Spring Break Seminars
Boston and Nashville, February 14, 2007 — Loretta Lynn, the Coal Miner’s Daughter, one of country music’s greatest vocalists and songwriters, will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Berklee President Roger H. Brown will make the presentation during Miss Lynn’s performance on “Grand Ole Opry Live” on GAC: Great American Country, Saturday, March 17.
Each of the recipients of the Berklee Honorary Doctorate has made an enduring contribution to the world of contemporary music and, through his or her own talent and energies, helped to make the world a better place. Miss Lynn will join a select group that includes Duke Ellington — who received the first Berklee Honorary Doctorate in 1971 — Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Marian McPartland, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Sting, and Sarah Vaughan, among others.
“Loretta Lynn’s songs have squarely addressed real-life situations faced by many women, and she’s used her artistry to deal openly with themes like loyalty, divorce, desire, and women’s role in society before others in the country music industry,” said Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown. “It’s a privilege for us to bestow this honorary degree on Miss Lynn. Her honesty and willingness to stand her ground have helped to enlighten a society, and brought her millions of devoted fans in the bargain.”
In a groundbreaking career that began in earnest in 1960, Miss Lynn has written more than 160 songs, and released 70 albums, 17 of which have gone to #1. In 1972, she was the first woman ever named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association. She has won three Grammy Awards, was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, to name just a few of her many honors. Her most recent record, 2004’s Van Lear Rose -- a hit collaboration with The Whites Stripes’ Jack White -- has helped her reach an entirely new generation of fans.
Berklee in Nashville: For the 20th consecutive year, more than 150 Berklee students — including some from Malaysia, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the U.K. - will be in Nashville for Spring Break and will join local alumni, and members of Berklee’s Boston community at the Opry for Miss Lynn’s performance and presentation. For two decades, Berklee students have come to Nashville to gain an insider’s knowledge of the music industry by meeting and learning from top performers, songwriters, publishers, producers, and engineers. Several hundred have subsequently moved to the city to make their own contributions to the recording industry.
Berklee professors Pat Pattison and Stephen Webber have organized a stellar lineup of artists again this year to meet with students, including Grammy-winning performers and songwriters Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Kathy Mattea, Janis Ian, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and many more. The students will tour Nashville’s top studios, and participate in a recording session at the Tracking Room, with A-list players including Brent Mason and Eddie Bayers. Platinum-selling producer Kyle Lehning and Grammy-winning songwriter Mike Reid will also talk shop with the students. Berklee’s Spring Break in Nashville is from March 16 — 21.
Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over half a century, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry “who’s who” of alumni, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today -- and tomorrow.