BAAMS: MUSIC EDUCATION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN BERKSHIRE COUNTY — AND BEYOND!
Berkshires’ Academy for Advanced Musical Studies has been introducing local kids to music since 2018, providing them with incredible opportunities for education and mentorship.
BAAMS’ founder, trumpeter Richard Boulger, initially began the organization by hosting summer jazz day camps in the Northern Berkshires, bringing star-studded faculty like Alex Foster, saxophonist with the “Saturday Night Live” Band for over 30 years, and Smokey Robinson’s bassist, Gary Foote.
There was so much demand for the programming, BAAMS incorporated as a nonprofit in 2020 and now brings its musicians to 11 local schools–even doing so remotely during the pandemic. The fifth Berkshires’ Summer Jazz Band Day Camp will be held August 14-18, 2023. BAAMS also offers regular after-school instruction for young musicians ages 10-18 from its headquarters in the Western Gateway Urban Heritage State Park in North Adams.
"There's so much talent here. I'm amazed when I see what these kids can put together," Richard told iBerkshires in a recent piece about BAAMS’ in-school instruction and residency programs.
BAAMS connected with Adams Theater Founder Yina Moore in early 2022 and discussed collaboration possibilities based on a shared vision of arts accessibility. They will now present a third-anniversary fundraiser with its star-studded faculty and special guests on May 26 at the Adams Theater.
“The Adams Theater wants to be a regional creative hub, and a collaborator,” said Yina. “BAAMS’ educational programs are top-notch–they’re bringing incredible talent to the area in order to nurture the talented young people here.
The May 26 show will support BAAMS’ mission, which is to continue providing that top-notch education to as many students as possible, regardless of income.
"Donations and grants, partnerships with other arts organizations, schools, and nonprofits, all make a huge difference," Jane Forrestal, director of development and communications, told iBerkshires. "Music is for everyone."