Sunday, June 16, 2024


Appearing as part of the Vans Warped Tour is a potential prize of the four-year Vans Berklee Off The Wall Scholarship. (Photo: Giovanni)

Appearing as part of the Vans Warped Tour is a potential prize of the four-year Vans Berklee Off The Wall Scholarship. (Photo: Giovanni)

Young musicians with an eye on the Berklee College of Music next fall have a little more pressure when they audition this month and in March. Not only is getting into the school at stake, but a scholarship offering four years of full tuition, room and board – and even a chance at performing on a national tour.

There’s one more product of the scholarship the winner may or may not consider a perk: a dorm room and laptop decorated by and about Vans, the “Off the Wall” shoemaker.

That’s because this isn’t a simple, if extravagant, Berklee scholarship. It’s the first Vans Berklee Off The Wall Scholarship, shared by the Boston school and Anaheim, Calif., skate apparel company, which has roots in genres ranging from punk and metal to indie rock and hip hop.

“Berklee awarded its first bachelor of music degrees in 1966, the year Vans was founded,” said Kevin Bailey, president of Vans. “Vans’ history has been built alongside athletes, artists, designers and musicians. We are looking forward to a long relationship together embracing and elevating students’ creativity.”

The scholarship is to be awarded annually to a talented musician from the United States. Recipients will be chosen through Berklee auditions and interviews starting in Boston (Saturday and Feb. 22 and March 1 and 8) and moving on to Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Any U.S. citizen and resident is eligible, and applicants who qualify on merit and financial need will be nominated for the scholarship by a Berklee committee. (Applicants will be considered for other scholarships as well; school officials say there is $30 million in scholarship funds available to prospective and continuing students.) The winner will be announced in May.

In addition to being able to focus on pursuing their music education without financial concerns, winners will get the chance to perform at venues such as House of Vans and The Vans Warped Tour. And the Vans Vinyl label will collaborate with Berklee’s own, student-run label Heavy Rotation Records to produce and distribute a compilation of student music. Upperclassman will have the chance to participate in a music-related summer internship at Vans.

“Here you find two institutions with like-minded philosophies: freedom of self-expression through creativity,” said Jeffrey Dorenfeld, a Berklee professor of music business and management and adviser to Heavy Rotation Records who spearheaded the partnership with Vans. “For Vans it can be demonstrated on a skateboard, a bike or on stage. At Berklee, creativity is found in the classroom, on stage, in a studio or behind a computer. Together we hope to enable students to live out their dreams.”

This post was written from a press release.