- Victor "Blue" Dogah of Ghana has been named the first recipient of Berkelee College of Music's newly instituted African Scholars Program. The US-based college has been the world's leading institution for the study of contemporary music.
As the first recipient of the award, the traditional Ewe drummer will enjoy a full-ride scholarship to attend the college through its newly instituted Africa Scholars Program, which provides a four-year scholarship covering full tuition and room and board.
This is the first time the college has designed such a program specifically targeting African musicians.
The Ghanaian was chosen from among more than 65 musicians who auditioned in Accra, Ghana, and Durban, South Africa, where Berklee recently held audition and interview events to launch this groundbreaking program providing opportunities for African musicians who lack the financial means to study at Berklee.
Berklee is poised to fulfill Blue's dream of twelve years. "I want to share and expand my passion and love for music through the educational means that Berklee can provide for me," said Blue. "Learning, teaching and understanding the world of music resides in my heart and I know that Berklee will open up a limitless love for music."
"Victor is a unique talent and a natural born musician who will have an immediate impact on Berklee's rich musical diversity and enhance the Berklee experience for our entire community," Damien Bracken, director of admissions was quoted as saying.
"His focus and determination to absorb everything that Berklee can provide to him made this a compelling choice. We will continue to search worldwide for other Africa Scholarship candidates."
Already considered a master in the Ewe tradition, Blue has a reputation in Accra as an expert in teaching the different music dialects. He is currently studying music theory in preparation to begin attending Berklee in the summer of 2009.
Michael Shaver, assistant director for international/BIN admissions, who interviewed Blue said, "Blue has been hearing about Berklee and researching it for a long time even though he comes from a very poor area that didn’t have running water until a few years ago. He’s very interested in rhythm, and wants to learn to play bass so he can combine African and Western instruments in his music."
Berklee awarded scholarships valued at $1.4 million to a total of 26 musicians who auditioned in Africa, including six full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee programs. Albino Mbie of Mozambique; and Victor Dey of Ghana, were awarded full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee full time, and Irvine Mukwere of Zimbabwe; N’gaza Kouame Marc-Arnaud, of Cote d’Ivoire; Enoch Kujem Abassey of Ghana; and Jaydine Baron of South Africa, were awarded full-tuition scholarships to attend Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program.
Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music.
For over 60 years, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry "who's who" of alumni, Berklee is considered the world's premier learning lab for the music of today and tomorrow.
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