American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
Years in current position: 3.5
Years in the field: 4
Intern, National Symphony Orchestra
Education and Outreach Coordinator, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
Prince William Symphony Orchestra
Years in current position: 1.5
Years in the field: 20+ (Arts Management)
B.S. Arts Management
M.A. Arts Management
League of American Orchestras seminars
Local programs through Chamber of Commerce
Operations Manager, Fairfield Orchestra (CT)
Program Assistant, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Grants writer (freelance)
Personnel Manager/Performer, NOVA Manassas Symphony Orchestra Founder/Performer/Manager, Fairwinds Quintet
What are the most surprising, interesting or challenging aspects of your day-to-day work?
Raising funds is always a challenge. People management can be interesting—getting many personalities to work toward the same goal. Long-range planning. Having the time to get everything done.
What inspired you to work for an orchestra?
I love to play my flute but envisioned myself on a street corner in NYC with my hat out for donations while I played. So, I decided to have some skills and still play a large part in presenting live performances. I am still able to play but I don’t have to rely on performing to support myself and my family.
What were your first steps toward an orchestra career?
Compared to many the people that I have met in this field, my path seems pretty straightforward. I decided as a junior in high school that arts/orchestra management was what I wanted to do. I went to a quality music college for my degree and took every opportunity there was to intern for different orchestras during my college career. Making contacts is the way around this world.
What advice would you offer to someone considering the orchestra field?
Try to learn something new every day. Know what is out there, what is being offered, and take every opportunity possible to learn and to make contacts. More often than not, it is who you know and not what you know that gets you into this field (and most others, really).
Any other advice?
You must do this because you love it. The salaries are getting better but they aren’t as high as in the for-profit world. The hours are long and you will put in many more hours than what you will get compensated for. It is all worth it if you are at the performance and you can smile and say, “I helped make this happen” and be proud.