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Applications open for ’23 edition of Berklee in Puerto Rico program

Berklee in Puerto Rico announced it is now accepting applications for this year’s program, to be held May 30 to June 4 at the Antonio Paoli Public School of Music (known by its Spanish acronym as ELMAP) in Caguas.

Since the inception of Berklee in Puerto Rico in 1995, more than 4,000 students have participated in the program, which provides access to the Berklee music education method of theory, ear training, improvisation, ensemble performance and instrumental instruction. Over the six days, master classes will be taught by Berklee faculty and special guest artists on composition, arranging and songwriting. Students will also have the opportunity to audition for admission and a scholarship to attend the college in Boston.

“We are pleased to present Berklee in Puerto Rico at the Antonio Paoli Public School of Music,” said Luis Álvarez, president of Make Music Happen and a former Berklee trustee.

“The school’s facilities are ideal for the program. Its auditorium, which can seat 500 people and has dressing rooms, excellent acoustics, and an ample stage, provides an ideal location for the master classes and the end-of-the-term recital,” he said.

“The support and commitment from the Autonomous Municipality of Caguas and the Department of Education, which runs the Antonio Paoli School, has made this important change possible, which provides easy access to the program to all participating students from any part of the island,” said Álvarez.

The program will take place daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will conclude with a showcase concert by the students on the final day.

Berklee in Puerto Rico is open to residents of the island only, and participants must be at least 15 years of age by the start of the program. Students are required to have at least six months of study in their main instrument or voice.

In addition, Berklee’s admissions team will hold auditions for selected students who are interested in being admitted to the college’s full-time undergraduate program, while other selected students may qualify for scholarships to attend the summer program Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive.

Berklee has awarded more than $12 million in total scholarships over the years to participants. In 2022, 145 students completed the program successfully, and a total of 20 students were admitted and received a total of $2.2 million in financial aid. Álvarez, who was instrumental in creating the program, has donated more than $350,000 in Berklee scholarship funds.

“This program has enormous importance for the young musicians of the island, as it is the first step in the road to Berklee. It has always been a stepping stone that enables students to experience a Berklee education, so they get motivated to pursue their dreams as musicians. And on top of that, the scholarships given make them possible,” said Rubén Amador, founder and director of Berklee Global Partner Conservatorio de Artes Del Caribe (CAC) and program manager for Berklee in Puerto Rico.

Amador was a student in the early years of the program and benefited from a scholarship.

Tuition is $75 for the program’s standard performance program and $250 for the college-credit performance program. Applications for the Berklee in Puerto Rico 2023 program are open until a April 13.

This year’s program sponsors include Make Music Happen PR, Fundación Banco Popular Puerto Rico, the Liberty Foundation and Conservatorio de Artes Del Caribe.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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