In witness to his remarkable body of work and his contributions to humanity, tonight, is it is my great pleasure to present the Honorary Doctorate of Music degree from Berklee College of Music to Wang Leehom.
Acceptance Speech by Wang Leehom after Receiving the Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music
Boston’s Symphony Hall
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know that there would be a podium with a microphone. I thought I would just be singing songs. Not to downplay that, but…oh, my goodness, what an honor! I am just so humbled and excited to be here, looking out at all of you. Being back here on campus is…I feel so proud to have studied here. And…that’s 16 years ago, but…I used to come to Symphony Hall every weekend and get those rush tickets, the student packs, and watch the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform as often as possible, often by myself. And it was one of the highlights of my time here at Berklee, so being here on stage is really unreal. Walking around on campus today was a testament to how far Berklee’s come in the last 16 years. It is beautiful, the campus, the facilities. I was walking by the MP&E, the studios, the equipment, the fitness center. We didn’t have any of this stuff. So I…I guess you guys have been doing a pretty good job. So thank you, and congratulations to that.
What a time for the East and West in music, in pop culture! All of you, music lovers, future musicians, future professional musicians on the stage, and like Roger just said, it’s so important for us to be ambassadors, to be that bridge, to be ambassadors of peace, and breaking down walls, bringing people together. Last night – this is an issue that’s so close to my heart – because last night in Los Angeles, my dear friend Jackie Chan was the first person…first Chinese actor ever to win an Oscar, last night! And…I just want to thank all of you for being here, that’s why we make music – is to connect with people.
And…you know, I’ve never written a song without loving it myself. So, for all of you musicians, you know, always follow your heart and always do what you love. I’ve definitely…you know…never, never convince yourself that what other people are telling you to do is right if you don’t feel like it’s right in your heart. As a musician, it just doesn’t work. So, yeah, work like a bull, I guess…and…and always have fun. And all the accolades don’t mean anything without your friends and your family to share with. So, thank you to them as well for being here tonight, and always.