Ron Savage PHOTO: DAVE GREEN
Ron Savage was named the first Executive Director of Berklee College of Music. Savage, who graduated from college in 1984, was previously the Dean of the Professional Performance Division, where he championed successful initiatives in diversity at work, development of new curricula, and student recruitment. He is also the chair and co-founder of the Black Scholars Initiative.
“Ron has distinguished himself in his nearly 30-year career at Berklee, which uniquely qualifies him for the position,” said Berklee President Erica Muhl. “Ron will be instrumental in promoting the importance of music, artistic entrepreneurship, and arts and technology education as a tool to advance a fairer world, foster the growth and development of young people, and articulate the ideals and heritage of our cultural resources. “
Savage will report to David Bogen, Berklee’s executive vice president and provost, and will have responsibility for the oversight and direction of all academic programs, facilities, operations, and faculty and staff for the college’s three divisions. He will join Berklee’s core leadership team, which is involved in formulating strategy for the entire organization. This includes developing new educational models, new academic programs, career development efforts, student success, outreach to emerging musicians in underserved communities, and more.
“I am humbled and honored to serve as the first-ever Executive Director at Berklee College of Music, my alma mater,” said Savage. Before becoming dean of PPD, Savage served as chairman of the ensemble department for 17 years. In this role, he has significantly expanded the musical diversity of Berklee’s ensemble offerings to include acoustic blues, neo-soul, women in rock, heavy metal, dub-reggae and more.
An acclaimed drummer with a particular focus on jazz and blues, Savage has performed in 48 states and 46 countries around the world with a variety of artists including James Moody, Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller, Mulgrew Miller and Nnenna Freelon. He also has extensive professional experience in television, theatre, studio recording, film and music therapy. A passionate advocate and community leader, he received the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Community Service Award from the NAACP Chapter of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is President of All Dorchester Sports and Leadership Program and a Board Member of the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge. He also founded the Cambridge Jazz Foundation, the Johnny Hodges Scholarship Fund and the Ron Savage Music Academy, which provides affordable music lessons and instruments to underserved youth.
Savage began his new role on November 1st.