DHS musician gets 'opportunity of a lifetime'

Gabrielle Scott

An opportunity to study with musicians from around the world was earned by a Daleville High School senior.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Gabrielle Scott with a smile as she talked about her recent graduation from the Berklee College of Music Summer Aspire Class.

Scott applied to the five-week intense summer music camp held on the Berklee campus in Boston, Mass., and earned a full tuition scholarship to attend what is billed as the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.

Founded in 2002, Berklee focuses on interdisciplinary study of all aspects of the music industry and that was what Scott was able to experience during the summer camp that ran from July 10 until Aug. 14.

The youngest student in Scott’s class was 15 years old. The others were in their 20s, the 17-year-old said. “There were people who came from all over the country and all over the world. It was really diverse.”

Playing trumpet for two years before switching to baritone in the eighth grade, Scott is the Daleville High School “Pride of the South” Baritone Section Leader. “We are so proud of her for what she accomplished through first, getting accepted to this prestigious college and second, getting a full tuition scholarship,” said DHS Band Director Mark Nichols.

Scott did a virtual tryout as part of the application process during which she submitted three videos. For the scholarship she had to write a short essay about why she wanted to apply and list her academic and musical qualifications.

On the Berklee campus, Scott and her roommate, who was from Chicago, roomed on the 12th floor of Berklee’s 16-story 160 Massachusetts Avenue building which includes 173 residence hall rooms for 369 students, 23 practice rooms, six two-story common areas, a fitness center and a 400-seat dining hall that doubles as a performance space.

From one-on-one instruction to a curriculum offering college credit, Summer Aspire is an immersive program that teaches the gamut from music theory to developing improvisational and reading skills to song composition. “The final exam was taking a composite of everything that was taught and writing a song,” she said. “We had to transcribe a song but I also had to transpose it because of the instrument that I play.”

Scott is a dual enrollment student and continued taking two Enterprise State Community College courses while at Berklee. “I’m trying to get as many classes done as possible,” she said.

It was the people she met as well as the musical experience that Scott said that made the five-week experience an opportunity of a lifetime. “People were crying when the five weeks ended because people who didn’t even know each other in the beginning had a friendship that bonded because of their love for something in common,” she said. “The bonding was unbreakable.”

“Adventure is out there. I must go” is printed on the black T-shirt that Scott is wearing. It could be her motto she said because traveling across the world is a goal she has. She wants to study abroad in South Korea and plans to major in biomedical engineering. “Some of my family is Korean so Iwant to go there to learn the culture. It would be very cool to study different cultures and I’ve always wanted to do something with engineering and science.

“I definitely would recommend to anyone interested to try to attend Berklee,” Scott said. “It opened up opportunities for me. Even for people who don’t want to make a career of music, you still have a chance to learn from others and meet people from other countries and just learn from that.

“It felt like home when I got there,” she added with a smile. “I was around people who constantly strived to become better—and that’s what I do.”

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