Berklee Creates Al Schmitt Engineering Scholarship



The Berklee College of Music created a scholarship named after Grammy Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt. The fund was established by the school’s music production and engineering department and endowed with a $ 50,000 donation from the endowment of former Berklee faculty member Wayne Wadhams, who performed a key role in the construction of the department, from 1983. The Al Schmitt scholarship in engineering will be selected aid students specializing in music production and engineering.

The tuition-based scholarship will be awarded to a single student each year, starting in fall 2022.

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Schmitt died in April at the age of 91. He’s known to have received more Grammy Awards for Engineering – 20, not counting his separate Latin Grammys and a National Trustees Award – than anyone in his field. In 2015, he became the first mixer engineer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Highlights from his discography included Steely Dan’s “Aja” and Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company”, marking just two of the 10 occasions he received a Grammy for Best Recording or Best Album (non-classical). Schmitt had 36 Grammy nominations in his career, according to the Recording Academy website. His last two Grammy wins, in 2012-13, came from working with Paul McCartney on his standards album, “Kisses on the Bottom” and his personal video sequel “Live Kisses”.

The more than 150 gold or platinum records that bore his name in the credits included recordings by Henry Mancini, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Josh Groban, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson .

“Al Schmitt would be very honored and delighted, along with his family, to make the scholarship available,” said his wife, Lisa Schmitt. “We can think of no better way to celebrate Al than to financially help those who frequent Berklee and want to follow in his footsteps.”

Added Rob Jaczko, President of Music Production and Engineering: “I can’t think of a more meaningful way for us to honor a man who has defined every benchmark in the art of music production and performance. audio engineering. Al’s work embodied boundless musicality, mind-blowing technical ability and, most importantly, a sense of warmth, compassion and humanity. Berklee’s MP&E department is proud to award the Al Schmitt Engineering Scholarship to recognize and inspire the next generations of audio professionals.

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