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Berklee to Present Honorary Doctorate To Ricky Skaggs on Grand Ole Opry

By Mitzi Dorbu, Berklee Office of Public Information
March 12, 2008 - 3:30 pm

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Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs

Boston, Mass. — Ricky Skaggs, known as an ambassador of bluegrass music, will be awarded a Berklee honorary doctorate of music on the Grand Ole Opry stage on March 18, 2008.

Berklee senior vice president for Academic Affairs Larry Simpson will bestow the honor as part of Skaggs's performance on the Tuesday night Opry.

Among other performers scheduled for the Opry that evening are Country Musc Hall of Famers Bill Anderson and Jimmy Dickens, the Del McCoury Band, and the Whites, with whom Skaggs won a Grammy Award last month. Also present will be 120 Berklee students who will have the special privilege of a private Q&A session with Skaggs after the ceremony as part of their spring break trip.

"At Berklee, we admire musicians of extraordinary talent who follow their artistic inclinations fearlessly," said Berklee College of Music president Roger Brown. "Ricky Skaggs is a master musician with sky-high standards who achieved mainstream success his own way, on his own terms. By honoring Ricky Skaggs, we shine a light on the present and future of bluegrass; its heritage and its infinite potential. And besides all that, the man can pick."

Skaggs's virtuosity, his rich musicality, and his commitment to the deep roots of American music make him a deserving recipient of a Berklee honorary doctorate. Berklee has also bestowed this honor upon country music legends Loretta Lynn and Earl Scruggs. This award places them in prestigious company, with such fellow recipients as Duke Ellington, Sting, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Joel, Sarah Vaughan, John Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, Paul Simon, Patti LaBelle, and David Bowie among others.

Berklee in Nashville

More than 100 Berklee students—including some from Malaysia, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the U.K.—will be in Nashville for spring break and will join local alumni, members of Berklee's Boston community, and friends of Skaggs for the presentation and performance. For more than 20 years, students have come to Nashville to gain an insider's knowledge of the music industry by meeting and learning from top performers, songwriters, publishers, producers, and engineers.

Additional information:
Berklee College of Music
Skaggs Family Records
Grand Ole Opry

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