Arvin Ma ’20 Selected as Solo Vocalist at Berklee’s Summer Musical Performance Program

This summer, senior Arvin Ma ’20 participated in Berklee’s Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive in Boston, MA.  The five-week program is considered one of the world's preeminent summer musical performance programs for high school and precollege students. Participants of the prestigious program earn a college credit and have the opportunity for one--on-one instruction with well-known artists and scholarships.
 
 
“My music workshop at Berklee was taught by New York Voices’ Lauren Kinhan,” says Ma. “She taught me how to sing more softly and smoothly (more like Chet Baker) and I really learned a lot.”

Ma was one of 21 students who received a call back out of over 700 participants who auditioned for a solo performance. “I was pretty lucky that I had two different five-week ensembles and in both of them, I was the only vocalist,” says Arvin Ma. “All the people who worked with me were so talented, and their solos were crazy! Both of my classes had final projects to complete with a 15-minute live performance...I was excited about that!”

Ma performed three performances as part of the program, performing with his jazz combo band called Arvin and the Hipmonks and Ensemble 027 on August 6th at Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall. He concluded his solo performance at the Blowout Concert on August 7th at the Berklee Performance Center where he performed two pieces arranged by New York Voices: “In a Mellow Tone” and “That’s the Way of the World.” 

Fryeburg Academy’s Director of Music (and a Berklee alumna), Mimi Rohlfing, was instrumental in encouraging Ma to apply to the program. “After we returned from the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, Arvin asked me for help in preparing his audition videos,” says Rohlfing. “Arvin has done a lot of work independently, always striving to perfect his singing, music-reading, and especially his improvisation skills. I’m really proud of his accomplishments.”

Ma looks forward to his final year at the Academy to once again perform with FA’s jazz ensembles and to share with his fellow musicians what he learned over the summer. To learn more about Berklee’s five-week music performance program, please go to https://www.berklee.edu/summer/programs/five-week.
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