Pianist, arranger and composer Shelton G. Berg – who is also the dean of the Frost School of Music – was nominated for a Grammy Award this year.
Berg was nominated for his arrangement of “Out There” on Lorraine Feather’s album “Tales of the Unusual” (Jazzed Media) in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) category.
Other musicians nominated for the award include winner Esperanza Spalding, Vince Mendoza and Nan Schwartz.
“The old cliche is true – whether I win or not, it is a great honor to be nominated. The nomination is an affirmation of my work from my peers in the industry, and I am very grateful to receive it,” Berg said.
Berg and Feather are frequent musical collaborators and co-wrote the song that earned him the nomination.
“Lorraine often picks offbeat subjects for her songs … ‘Out There’ is about ‘The X-Files,’ and it is a very quirky song. The arrangement I wrote is intended to set the mood of that show and its character,” Berg said.
Sophomore Emily Minkow, a music therapy major, sees Berg as an inspiration to all Frost students and a reminder that their dreams are within reach.
Berg’s musical career began at the age of 5, when his parents sent him to the Cleveland Institute of Music to take part in a program for gifted young musicians.
By the age of 12, he was already playing and writing music professionally.
Berg paid his way through school at the University of Houston by playing in a college band six nights a week.
“I wrote the arrangements for that group, which was great training,” Berg said about his time with the band.
In addition to Berg’s commitment to higher education for the past 30 years at the University of Southern California and University of Miami, Berg has continued to work in the music industry by performing globally, arranging and orchestrating for pop and jazz stars.
He has also composed and arranged music for both film and television.
His most recent project has been arranging and co-producing a new album with Gloria Estefan of Sony International in addition to the Shelly Berg Trio, consisting of Shelly Berg, Gregg Field and Chuck Berghofer.
The trio is recording an all-Gershwin album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Jose Serebrier as conductor, according to the University of Miami website.
Sophomore Mateja Kalajian, a violin performance major, hopes that the nomination will attract more students to Frost.
“He is very inspiring and a well-rounded musician,” Kalajian said.