Two Mississippi Teen Musicians Awarded Full Scholarships for Summer Study
at Boston’s Renowned Berklee College of Music

Boston, April 22, 2009 – PJ Walker, from Clarksdale, and Demetrius Williams, from Brookhaven, both 18, will spend five weeks this summer in Boston, studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music on full scholarships valued at $7,000 apiece. They’ll join teens from all over the world for Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program.

Both auditioned at sites in Mississippi where Berklee has twice partnered to support young musicians with summer scholarships. Walker is a student of Delta Blues Museum’s After School Arts and Education program, in Clarksdale. Williams auditioned at an annual talent showcase in Crystal Springs organized by the Robert Johnson Blues Museum.

Berklee summer scholarship recipient
PJ Walker and Shelley Ritter, director of the Delta Blues Museum.

Walker is currently studying music composition at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, where he also directs a gospel choir. He teaches third graders how to play the recorder at Mound Bayou Elementary School. A busy composer, he writes children’s tunes, jazz and gospel music, and orchestral compositions, one of which was performed by a 15-piece ensemble. He also works in the gift shop at the Delta Blues Museum.

Williams won his scholarship in a talent showcase organized by Steven Johnson, grandson of the legendary Delta blues pioneer Robert Johnson, at the Crystal Springs High School. Williams plays the keyboard and sings. His career goal is to become a contemporary gospel performer and songwriter. Besides gospel music, he also writes r&b songs. Performing regularly at his church, Williams is now starting to play in clubs and other venues. On May 9, he’ll perform at the Robert Johnson Birthday Blast, a free festival at Lake Chautauqua Park, in Crystal Springs.

To read more about each recipient, visit berkleeontour.com.

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 non-performance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing 70-plus countries, and a music industry "who's who" of alumni, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today — and tomorrow.

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