Vans Berklee Off The Wall Scholarship Recipient Hangs With Passion Pit

2 From Left – Ryan DeWitt, Vans East Coast Marketing Manager, Passion Pit bassist Jeff Apruzzese, Miette Hope-Goldman and Jeffrey Dorenfeld, Berklee Professor of Music Business Management_photo by Emily Driskill

Vans, an action sports footwear and apparel brand, in partnership with Berklee College of Music have announced that Miette Hope-Goldman, 17-year-old singer-songwriter, has been named the first recipient of the Vans Berklee Off The Wall Scholarship – a four-year award covering tuition, room and board. She begins at Berklee in the fall and plans to study music therapy.

The scholarship, announced earlier this year, is the first educational initiative of its kind for Vans, a brand rich in music culture with deep roots in genres ranging from punk and metal to indie rock and hip-hop.

To congratulate Hope-Goldman on her achievement, representatives from Vans and Berklee alongside guest Jeff Apruzzese, Passion Pit bassist and Berklee alumnus, flew to Colorado to surprise her with a brand new Vans wardrobe and guitar at a performance in her hometown.

Vans documented the event for a special feature on OffTheWall.TV.

"Creative expression is central to the core of Vans' heritage. The Off The Wall scholarship is an outlet for our brand to help elevate student’s creativity,” said President of VF Actions Sports and Vans, Kevin Bailey. “We were looking to award this scholarship to a student who exemplified the meaning of the Off The Wall spirit; thinking differently and embracing self-expression. Being able to award this to someone as creative as Miette, whose talents go beyond music is truly exciting. We are looking forward to watching her grow.”

Hope-Goldman realized that Berklee was the only place for her after attending the college’s summer programs. She plans to study Music Therapy while continuing to write, record, and perform her original songs. “I’ve always believed strongly in the therapeutic powers music can have,” she said. “I want to be able to help people through the power of music and make a difference in the world.”

Miette Hope-Goldman, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, performs as a solo artist using a pedal to loop her vocals, guitar and beatboxing. She also sings, plays ukulele, and writes for the band Edith Makes a Paper Chain, whom The Colorado Springs Independent twice named Best Folk Band. Hope-Goldman attended The Colorado Springs Conservatory, performed in the Palmer High women’s and jazz choirs, and was the first person in school history to perform with the Colorado All-State Jazz Choir.

“Miette was a natural choice for the scholarship because she displayed a wide range of musical, creative, and academic traits that are important for Berklee and Vans as partners,” said Tod Oliviere, director of scholarships at Berklee. “Her original songs have shape, her arrangements are good, and she shows excellent potential as an artist. We are so happy that such a bright, young musician will be able to launch her career at Berklee and inspire others to do so as well through the generous support of Vans.”

Hope-Goldman will be outfitted with a Vans themed dorm room and laptop, and will have the opportunity to showcase her music at events and venues like House of Vans. Vans will also provide opportunities for additional Berklee students through the partnership, including performances at House of Vans locations and Vans’ Open Mic Nights; a collaboration between Vans Vinyl and Berklee’s student-run Heavy Rotation Records to produce a compilation album; and a music-related summer internship at Vans for an upper semester student.

To learn more about Hope-Goldman, Vans has released an exclusive interview in the Vans Women’s Fall 2014 Zine. You can pick up a copy at Vans retail locations or by visiting vans.com/womensfall14zine. Additionally, Hope-Goldman will be performing her solo music at the Vans Store in Chapel Hill Malls on July 22 at 6p.m. in Colorado Springs to celebrate the magazine release.

Pictured (l-r): Ryan DeWitt (Vans East Coast Marketing Manager), Jeff Apruzzese (Passion Pit bassist), Miette Hope-Goldman and Jeffrey Dorenfeld (Berklee Professor of Music Business/Management).