Being a professional musician in 2020 is not the easiest path to take. And for those who want to master their craft in a university setting, the training they seek can be quite cost prohibitive for musicians that come from lower income backgrounds. Often times musicians with incredible talent leave institutions, saddled with massive debts that they are unable to pay with a working musician’s wage. That’s why I’m happy to share this press release about the Dream Theater Scholarship Fund. Dream Theater is a band with intimate ties to Berklee (2 current members and 2 previous members were graduates, and one member was a professor). It’s great to see a band that benefited greatly from the networking and training they received find a way to give back. Press release below:
Berklee College of Music and Dream Theater announce the creation of the Dream Theater Scholarship Fund. In celebration of the band’s 35th anniversary, Dream Theater and Berklee are creating a fund that will provide scholarship money to student musicians in need on an ongoing basis through the future. Recently, alumni John Petrucci ’86 (guitarist) and wife Rena (who recently completed her Berklee online Advanced Guitar Certificate) visited Berklee to tour the production and music studios of the college. This trip was the couple’s first time back to the campus since their son Reny graduated in 2018. While there, they met with Berklee President Roger Brown and discussed the founding of the Dream Theater Scholarship.
“Dream Theater has been a tremendous influence on the progressive metal scene, achieving worldwide success for their dedication to excellence in music,” said Brown. “The Dream Theater t-shirt has been the most popular item of apparel on our campus for years, and many students have chosen to come to Berklee as a result of the band’s legacy. We are so appreciative of Dream Theater’s support.”
Dream Theater was formed while John Petrucci, bassist John Myung and former drummer Mike Portnoy were students at Berklee 35 years ago. Throughout their successful career, Berklee continues to hold a special place in their lives. Current drummer Mike Mangini was a drum professor at Berklee for 11 years before leaving to join the band in 2010.
In 2013, Berklee student Eren Basbug created orchestral arrangements for the band’s 2013 self-tiled release after Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess found the student’s arrangement of the group’s album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence on YouTube. In 2014, the band contacted Basbug again to conduct the Berklee Student Orchestra and Berklee Concert Choir at the historic Boston Opera House that would later become the live CD/DVD Breaking The Fourth Wall.
Dream Theater hopes to continue their previous success with the Dream Theater Scholarship Fund. The fund will be headed by Berklee’s Mirek Vana, Global Development Officer / Executive Producer, and Frank Solomon, Dream Theater Manager, who together have worked over the past six years behind the scenes on the foundation of the Dream Theater Scholarship Fund. Berklee and Dream Theater are excited for the creation of the Scholarship and moving forward will be asking all members of both the Berklee and Dream Theater community to take part in the creation of this endowment to make the Scholarship a success. For all inquiries and information, please contact Mirek Vana at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding Dream Theater, please contact Kevin Chiaramonte of PFA Media at email@example.com.
About Dream Theater: Progressive metal pioneers Dream Theater— James LaBrie (Vocals), John Petrucci (Guitars), Jordan Rudess (Keyboards), John Myung (Bass), and Mike Mangini (Drums) — share a unique bond with one of the most passionate fan bases around the globe as evidenced by their two GRAMMY® Award nominations and 15 million records sold worldwide.
The 1992 opus Images & Words received a gold certification and landed on Rolling Stone’s coveted “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All-Time.” Guitar World placed the follow-up Awake at #1 on “Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994.” 1996’s A Change of Seasons notably soundtracked NBC’s coverage of Downhill Skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Fans voted the 1999 Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory the “Number One All-Time Progressive Rock Album” in a 2012 Rolling Stone poll. Not to mention, it ranked as the “15th Greatest Concept Album” by Classic Rock. 2009 saw Black Clouds & Silver Linings crash the Billboard Top 200 at #6 as A Dramatic Turn of Events  and Dream Theater  maintained a three-peat in the chart’s Top 10. Consequence of Sound dubbed 2016’s The Astonishing, “An absolutely unique experience.”
Beyond three platinum and two gold videos, the group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010. On its 14th full-length and first release for InsideOutMusic / Sony Music, Distance Over Time, the band recharge the brotherhood that has kept them creating music together for over 30 years. It’s Dream Theater at their most dynamic, direct, and definitive.
About Berklee College of Music: Berklee is the preeminent institute of contemporary music and the performing arts, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs at its campuses in Boston, Massachusetts and Valencia, Spain, and through its award-winning distance learning program, Berklee Online. Dedicated to nurturing the creative and career potential of the world’s most inspired artists, Berklee’s commitment to arts education is reflected in the work of its students, faculty, and alumni—hundreds of whom have been recognized with Grammy, Tony, Oscar, and Emmy awards.
At Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, students explore interdisciplinary approaches to music, dance, theater, film, business, healthcare, education, technology, and more. Our pioneering youth programs reach underserved classrooms throughout the U.S. and beyond. With students and alumni from more than 100 nations and educational partners across the world, we are forging new connections among art forms, musical traditions, and technologies to build a dynamic, diverse, and collaborative global arts community.