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Posts Tagged ‘berklee college of music’

03russosinger2012

Photo: John Reynolds for the Boston Globe
Guilherme “Gilly” Assuncao reprised his impromptu concert of 2017 recently at Russo’s Market in Watertown.  

Talent will out. Don’t you love stories about talent being discovered in unlikely places? I like to think that it’s irrepressible and will be recognized one way or another. In this story, a sound check by a Brazilian baritone working as a dishwasher in a Massachusetts grocery store went viral and led to an unexpected opportunity.

Cristela Guerra writes at the Boston Globe, “In the produce aisle at Russo’s [in December], a group of customers waited eagerly to hear the golden voice of Guilherme ‘Gilly’ Assuncao.

“[At Christmas 2017], Assuncao was a dishwasher and deli worker at the Watertown market, when he broke into song while doing a soundcheck the night before a holiday concert there — and stopped shoppers in their tracks.

“Videos of him singing that evening at Russo’s went viral and propelled him into the limelight — and into Berklee College of Music.

“ ‘I never expected any of this to happen,’ said Assuncao [said]. ‘It’s emotional in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s just amazing and makes me really happy.’

“Raised in Brazil, Assuncao said he sang in the shower as a boy and loved belting out Whitney Houston songs. … The breakthrough performance at Russo’s [led] him to an invitation to audition and be interviewed at Berklee in the spring. Assuncao began classes at Berklee in August. …

“Assuncao has raised enough to pay for one year of schooling at Berklee so far with the support of fans locally and across the country, and through a GoFundMe page. ‘This place changed my life last year,’ Assuncao said. …

“ ‘Gilly is definitely an exceptional artist,’ said Olga Lisovskaya, a soprano, who sang with Assuncao. … ‘His voice comes straight from his soul and goes straight to your heart.’ …

“ ‘We knew his life was going to change,’ said Tony Russo, the market’s owner. ‘From that moment that he started to sing. It was just a beautiful moment. He’s a great talent and a great personality.’ ”

More at the Boston Globe, here.

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This story at WBUR radio was fun.

Reporter Andrea Shea says, “It starts off kind-of guerilla with its hand-held camera shots of people in the Museum of Fine Arts’ Shapiro Family Courtyard. But soon the now-trending video captures the swift bloom of a holiday-spirited ‘flash mob.’ At least that’s what the MFA is calling it. It’s actually more of a ‘pop-up’ performance by 50 or so students from Berklee College of Music.

“Music stands appear, followed by a posse of string players and a choir. Their rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ peaks with soloist Mark Joseph. This surprise concert came together on last Saturday. The video was posted Wednesday.”

As of this posting had nearly 182,550 views.

Shea continues, “What’s being dubbed the ‘XMAS flash mob’ was 25-year-old Berklee grad Evan Chapman’s idea. He’s in charge of an organization called the Loft Sessions that showcases up-and-coming artists. …

” ‘It’s a little surreal to be honest,’ he said, ‘I mean, in the back of my head I think I was hoping it would do this well — but I never thought that it would.’ ” More.

A commenter on YouTube says of the video, “OK, so maybe this is a sort of poser version of a flash mob in that it was so incredibly well organized with microphones and folks bringing their instruments and music and such…but it ROCKS nonetheless! Why didn’t I go to Berklee when I had the chance?!?!”

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I saw these fiddlers a couple times while waiting for the evening train to Porter Square. For weeks there were tweets: “Who are those guys?”

Steve Annear at Boston magazine got the scoop. “Two former Berklee College of Music students have made a full-time job out of playing contemporary music on their violins for the swarms of passengers that crowd the platforms of the MBTA each day.

“After meeting in 2009 outside of the school, violinists Rhett Price and Josh Knowles got together and decided to form a two-piece ensemble and perform songs while standing on the Boston Common. But when winter got too cold and their fingers ‘started to get stiff,’ Price says the pair turned to the T for a busker’s permit so they could share their songs with riders traveling on the underground transit system.

“ ‘It’s been amazing. I was really nervous at first—we were nervous about playing on the T in general, and we didn’t think any one would give us any money. But there are people who come up and [request songs],’ says Price. ‘This is what we do right now to pay bills.’ …

“Price says he and Knowles play at three stops throughout the week, including North and South Stations, and at the Harvard Square stop. In a few weeks, they’re kicking the public transportation appearance up a notch, and will travel to New York City to play for riders there.”

Um. Forget about New York. Spend more time at South Station, please.

More.

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