Indiana Heights’ Frank Shelton and Crawford Lyons on Berklee and their band

Vocalist and keys player Frank Shelton and guitarist Crawford Lyons discussed what they think sets Berklee College of Music aside from other top music schools in the United States.

The first element that both Shelton and Lyons mentioned was the Berklee administration’s flexibility on, specifically, students’ abilities to read sheet music, or as Shelton called it: a “non-classical” approach. A number of Berklee students are self-taught musicians or have had no “formal” lessons or training, which is usually expected of top-notch music school candidates. For Lyons, this sense of “acceptance” especially compelled him to enroll.

Shelton, an Indianapolis native, and Lyons, a Nashville native, are both third-year students at Berklee. They met one another, along with saxophonist Zander Sugarman, in a guidance course their first semester. The three of them bonded over an interest in classic rock music; Shelton and Lyons had begun writing songs together, which would be the beginning of their rock-fusion band: Indiana Heights.

Shelton, Lyons and Sugarman would eventually recruit drummer Billy Bernstein and bassist Myles Clemons, who had known one another from a different introductory-level course their first year.

Since Indiana Heights’ establishment, the five members have found a sense of both self and group motivation and an opportunity for the application of their music education. They value the band as their collaborative musical pursuit and have similar goals, even though they “all do different things” individually, as Lyons said.

Indiana Heights released their debut album in the fall of 2018. The Spotify URL is embedded below:

Person On The Street: Boston Marathon Endeavors

The Boston Marathon is more than just a road race, it signifies unity. With a large percentage of Boston’s population either participating in the race or gathering around the race course to socialize and cheer on family and friends who may be running. The events surrounding the race in the days before are perfect opportunities to meet people in general. One does not have to run to foster connections.

For over a century, Boston natives and non-native residents alike have gathered at the race course to run, cheer from behind the metal bars or even to report on the contagiously enthusiastic event which only takes place once a year; BU journalism students often take advantage of this opportunity, which some professors avidly encourage.

The race is almost like a parade; it passes through residential areas including ones outside of the main city, like Brookline and Allston. In these areas, the volumes of people cheering and ringing bells dies down. Those who casually lounge on their couches can look out the windows and enjoy a slice of the energy emitted by the city of Boston, through which the sound of people’s cheering practically echoes.

In the video, three BU students, a mother of a special needs child and a recent Berklee College of Music graduate (and West-Coast born Boston resident) spoke about the nature of the race and what they experienced the day of. Some were out of town, some lounged at home and some went down to witness the scene at both the finish line and the more casual Brookline route.

Podcast with Berklee student Wong Su-Ren (黄淑仁): Ethnic Ambiguity

Wong Su-Ren (黄淑仁) is a Los Angeles native and mixed-race Chinese-American vocalist at Berklee College of Music.

Her background is comprised of seven different ethnicities: Chinese, French, German, Irish, English, Scandinavian and 1% Korean (“every little bit counts!”). She hones her cultural appreciation through her music, which is primarily jazz and blues influenced (though she aims for a multigenre approach.

Su-Ren is not only multiracial and multilingual; she is multitalented. Her album Synesthetic was ranked #6 on Broadway and vocalist charts, as well as Amazon music. In addition to singing, she swing dances, acts, invents toys (for which she was a finalist on ABC’s The Toy Box).

To Su-Ren, “cultural diversity” does not necessarily refer to the different ethnicities one is, but rather how much of a given culture they have been exposed to or even appreciate. She is very in touch with her Chinese roots despite being a second-generation Asian-American and identifying as “100% American.”

People have had perceptions and expectations as to “what she is” (what her ethnic background is and how she is “supposed” to act); Su-Ren is neither fully Asian or fully white, though she is American, characteristics which she says may comprise an “unidentifiable” figure too difficult to even try and understand. Regardless, however, her American customs are integrated with her cultural appreciation and this, she says, comprises her identity.

Her experiences showcase reasons as to why people should not make assumptions about mixed-race people based on select ethnicities; their identity is not limited to just one or two. The purpose of this podcast is to shed light on what mixed-race people may experience and to raise questions for those who cannot relate to what it is like to feel “unidentifiable.”

North End on a Tuesday Evening

It is 5:00 p.m. on a Tuesday in the North End. The weather is warmer than expected for Boston at the beginning of spring—around 60 degrees with little wind.

The streets are quiet, though plenty of people are lounging on the bench-swings along a stone walkway adjacent to the main street, Hanover St.

A small Italian grocery store called Salumeria Italiana—”Boston’s Best Italian Grocery Store,” as they display on a sign facing the main road—on Richmond St. (a crossroad of Hanover St.) is rather calm; there are six customers in the store at most, browsing the wide selection of pasta, bread, and their accompanying sauces and spreads.

Fresh meat—salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and various sausages—sits in a glass case toward the back of the room. The display is enough to make customers salivate or perhaps want to make a homemade pizza. The cheeses are fresh; kitchen staff slice large blocks of hard cheeses (such as Parmesan) for customers directly in front of them.

Next to the checkout counter (between two glass cases; the one containing meat is to the left of the counter), there is another glass case with displays of vegetable assortments including a multicolor olive and sun-dried tomato plate tossed in olive oil—a great accompaniment to a meat and cheese platter.

Meanwhile, on Hanover St., a small gelato shop called Gigi Gelateria—whose gelato selection takes up nearly half the length of the store—is rather vacant as well. Jessica, an employee, says the day has been “unusually slow.”

The New York Times adaptation to the digital era—no need for adjectives?



The New York Times has a very “classic” feel to it as one of the oldest newspapers with over 100 Pulitzer Prizes. Even with the integration of present-day multimedia assets like photos and videos, the Times still follows the journalistic integrity in which it was founded, but the number of topics (and the way in which they are covered) has expanded since the Ochs and Sulzberger days.

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Obviously, the NYT has accommodated to modern-day digitization through its website and SmartPhone App. This heightens the convenience of reader access. Under the ‘Magazine’ section they have interesting stories which they publish every one to five days (based on recently-published articles). Integrating assets of a magazine into a traditional news publication is far easier when done digitally; this is an advantage of the Times website, or in other words, the digital adaptation.

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Looking at the Times’ multimedia coverage really enhances the audible and visual characteristics of different news stories (all categories including sports, politics, opinions, business, and more). The site even has a designated “Video” section. Most news guidelines emphasize “showing” rather than “telling,” which is possible to convey through words; the writer must be very descriptive but also, in some cases, limit the use of adjectives to sustain purely factual reporting. Implementing photos and videos leaves it up to viewers’ senses or their interpretations based on what is taking place in the media assets. In shorter words, it can further clarify the objects, actions, and context of a news story without the writer presenting “opinions” (through the use of adjectives) and making viewers and readers rethink or question the credibility of an author.

Blythe Schulte, Berklee singer-songwriter’s evening composition routine

Blythe Schulte, 21, is a senior at Berklee College of Music who will complete her degree in Professional Music at the end of this spring.

A native of Los Angeles, Blythe takes a multi-genre and multilingual approach to music, presented through various original tunes (which touch on different topics, such as cultural diversity and appreciation) and covers from her favorite artists. Her 16-piece band also consists of both American and international musicians from Berklee and beyond.

Her music (both original tunes and covers) can be found on YouTube, Amazon, and Spotify. Blythe has appeared on TV locally and internationally, including when she was a finalist on ABC’s “The Toy Box” for her original creation of electronic dolls (which she often displays on her stage during shows).