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Island musician receives Berklee College of Music scholarships

Bass player Deana Joka will continue her education at Berklee College of Music after receiving $19,000 in scholarships from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Bass player Deana Joka will continue her education at Berklee College of Music after receiving $19,000 in scholarships from Berklee College of Music in Boston. - Sally Cole

Local musician Deana Joka, a graduate of the Holland College School of Performing Arts (SoPA) music performance program, has received $19,000 in scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music.

Joka, who grew up in Charlottetown, received a Berklee International Network Augmentation Award of $10,000 to enable her to continue her studies at the prestigious music school, in addition to a $9,000 scholarship the bass player received after auditioning for Berklee earlier this year.

She graduated from the School of Performing Arts in 2013, and returned this year to prepare to apply and audition for Berklee.

Holland College’s SoPA Music Performance program uses Berklee curriculum and is the only Canadian member of the Berklee International Network. Holland College also has an articulation agreement with Berklee, enabling graduates from the SoPA program to enter their third year of study at Berklee.

“Being able to go to Berklee is a dream come true and I look forward to studying and learning with other talented musicians,” said Joka.

Liam Corcoran, program manager for School of Performing Arts, expects the number of graduates from the music performance program who choose to continue their studies at Berklee to increase significantly.

“When our graduates see exemplary students such as Deana going on to study at Berklee, I’m sure that they will be inspired to do the same,” said Corcoran. “We are very proud of Deana, and will be following her career with great interest.”

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