Making miracles from Fascinating Rhythms

Saxophonist Bill Pierce of the Berklee College of Music will headline The Music Settlement's gala on May 2.

For more than a century, The Music Settlement has continued to grow its programs to anticipate and meet the needs of the Heights and Greater Cleveland communities.

You can help support The Music Settlement by attending its Fascinating Rhythms gala on May 2. Proceeds from the gala also will send promising student musicians to Boston, for five weeks over the summer.

Most of the students participating in the summer program are musicians in J@MS (Jazz @ The Music Settlement), a unique jazz program for young adults ages 12–18. Students in the J@MS program study in a half-day immersion program to achieve their musical goals.

The Music Settlement’s partner in this jazz program is Berklee City Music Network, which has given more than $110,000 in scholarships to students at The Music Settlement to enable them to attend the five-week, Boston-based summer program.

Curtis Warner, executive director of Berklee City Music, explained that this partnership is a natural one, built on mutual admiration: “The Music Settlement mirrors City Music core values: respect, excellence, access, diversity and innovation.”

In fact, 27 Greater Cleveland J@MS students, from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, have received full $5,000 scholarships to attend Berklee City Music Network's summer program. The Music Settlement also awards scholarships to help cover the cost of room and board. Many J@MS students apply for this prestigious program each year. Most of them cannot afford it without financial assistance. 

Two Heights High students who recently attended the summer program are Simon Mastri and Kymeron Carter. Carter is now a sophomore attending Berklee on a full scholarship, and said, "I never would have had this opportunity to attend Berklee College of Music if it wasn’t for Mr. Leegrand [J@MS program director] telling me to fill out the Berklee City Music Summer Scholarship form."

Warner said, “The scholarships that Berklee and The Music Settlement can provide, especially to those who are possibly from an underserved community or from a challenging lifestyle, introduce these high schoolers not only to an early campus experience but also to another student that they may not have been able to meet. It can change their perspective about the world.”

The Music Settlement’s gala, Fascinating Rhythms, will be an eclectic musical evening. Attendees will feast on three sumptuous courses by Bruce Sternberg of Around Downtown Catering, and listen to headliner Bill Pierce, saxophonist and woodwind department chair at Berklee College of Music. A deejay will continue the music at the gala after-party, and guests will have the opportunity to dig deep and participate in the silent auction.

Above all, the gala is an opportunity to give, so that increasing numbers of student musicians will have a chance to reach and surpass their music goals, go to college, succeed in music, and live meaningful lives suffused with creative expression. Tickets are available online at

Jennifer Abelson

Jennifer Abelson is a writer for The Music Settlement

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.31.2015