Aerosmith Fan Wins Band's Endowment: An Excerpt from the Post-Gazette

Below is an excerpt from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by the paper's pop music critic Ed Masley. Enjoy!

An Aerosmith album changed her life.

"I think I was 8 or maybe 10," Melinda Colaizzi says. "And that was the first time I had heard anything like that."  Now, the band itself is helping the Woodland Hills High graduate along the road to the career in music that "Pump" inspired. Colaizzi, of Forest Hills, was recently honored with the Aerosmith Endowment Award at Berklee College of Music's Annual Spring Awards in recognition of outstanding musical and academic achievement.

That means she'll receive a break on her tuition to the Boston college in the fall as she works toward a degree in music business with an emphasis, she stresses, on performance. It also means she got to hang with Steven Tyler, who was there with Aerosmith to get an honorary doctorate.

"They actually had to pull him away," the guitarist recalls with a laugh. Dr. Tyler asked her for a demo, but she'd left her all-girl rock band, Mass Ave., in April and had nothing new to give him. Tyler's personal assistant handed her a contact number to use when she has something she's ready for Tyler to hear. And in the meantime, Tyler offered her encouragement.

"He told me to keep on going," she says. And that's exactly what she plans on doing, after spending the summer here in Pittsburgh, where she'll more than likely make the rounds of open stages at the blues clubs. "Pittsburgh is so filled with blues," she says. "I never realized that until I left."