Carmel Valley student earns scholarship to Berklee College of Music program


By Megan McVay


This year at the Berklee College of Music Summer Program, administrators realized that Chris Borst’s talent was more than just music to their ears.

While attending the one-week camp in Los Angeles, the Canyon Crest Academy junior harmonized his lively stage presence and unique lyrics with his impressive guitar, singing and drumming skills. As a result, Borst was awarded a scholarship to next year’s five-week summer performance program at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Although receiving the scholarship certainly struck a high note, it is only one of Borst’s many accomplishments.

His musical prowess began in the 7th grade when he joined his first band called “Thunder Ground” as the drummer and recorded his first songs at a local studio. Borst further fostered his musical passion by learning to play the guitar and taking vocal lessons.

Drawing inspiration from Led Zeppelin and the Foo Fighters, Borst faithfully practiced daily, held garage band rehearsals and even began to write his own songs. The first song he wrote was called “Good-bye Gorgeous” and since then he has been a part of more than 40 songs and five different bands. Borst experiments with classic rock, metal, grunge and alternative rock, but he also stresses the importance of staying in tune with his own personal sound.

“It’s hard to write your own lyrics and find your sound and not sound cheesy or off-putting,” said Borst. “Writing songs is very personal. It’s not fun to hear something that doesn’t sound like yourself.”

With the support of his family, friends and band members, Borst has transitioned from garage practices to center stage performances. On Nov. 29, after going through several auditions, he was able to compete in the Bringing Down the House: Battle of the Bands competition, an annual teenage event hosted by the International House of Blues Foundation. He has also performed at venues such as the Del Mar Fair, Epicentre and Soma.

“The coolest concert I ever got to play at was a local, sold-out show at Soma San Diego this past January. My band called ‘For the Legends’ got to perform in front of a crowd of 1,300 screaming people. Seeing that many people in front of me was beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” Borst reminisced.

Not only has Borst played at numerous concerts alongside his favorite local bands, but he has also performed on multiple radio shows, including Sophie’s 103.7, Star 94.1 and 102.1 KPRI. He was even named “Artist of the Week” by 103.3 KTMQ in Temecula.

Now a member of the band “Captain Fiction,” Borst is continuing to write songs and book performances. Recently, on Sept. 4, Borst performed his newest song called “Castle County” on Rock 105.3 and on Sept. 9 he played in Epifest concert at Epicentre.

Yes, Borst has big dreams of affecting lives with his music, and with numerous performances, songs and concerts under his belt, he has certainly started his journey down the road to stardom on a good note.

“I’m looking forward to keeping up the show playing and music camps. And I am definitely looking forward to the Berklee camp and all that will come with it, especially going to Boston. After the camp, I hope I will get accepted to Berklee College of Music,” Borst said.