Katelin Richter ’11 has always been a go-getter. After internships with the Fox Valley Symphony, the Santa Barbara Symphony, Germany’s Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the State Department in Munich, the fifth-year senior approached Lawrence President Jill Beck about the possibility of doing an internship with her. What followed became one of Richter’s most ambitious projects of her Lawrence career—and one that resulted in the creation of a first-of-its-kind educational opportunity for conservatory of music students.
Called Conservatory2 (Conservatory Squared) the program is modeled after LU-R1, Lawrence’s highly successful summer program that places students at leading research institutions, often under the watchful eyes of alumni scientists. Like LU-R1, Conservatory Squared is part mentorship, part internship and part alumni engagement—all blended together to provide a way for conservatory students to grow their music careers exponentially.
“Conservatory Squared is all about spurring students to see how their education can make them successful in many diverse careers,” said Richter. “Because I’ve done several internships that I sought out independently over the last four years, I know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to search for and secure internships, but I also know how incredibly rewarding and important they are. The Conservatory Squared internships were specifically engineered to complement the conservatory education students receive at Lawrence, whether it’s in performance, composition, teaching, history or any of the diverse array of interests in the conservatory.”
Conservatory Squared will begin this summer with eight internship opportunities at seven locations, including two abroad. A gift from the Olga Herberg Administrative Trust will fund each internship:
- Composer, performer and educator Javier Arau ’98, director
- of the New York Jazz Academy, offers a summer-long internship at New York’s fastest growing music school. Arau will integrate the student intern directly into his administration including customer service, recruiting, multi-media marketing, curriculum development, music library management, on-site lesson and course observation and development, and networking with
- New York City music professionals and performance establishments.
- Connie Trok Olivera ’82, manager and musician at Olivera Music Entertainment in Washington, D.C., will provide a start-to-finish music production experience that includes following a sales call from beginning to end; organizing schedules and confirming performers; special projects such as developing a marketing strategy to target younger demographics; and selecting and arranging repertoire per client requests.
- Elizabeth Snodgrass ’93 will oversee the internship at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the education and community arm of Carnegie Hall. The position will provide general assistance and administrative support as the staff prepares for the 2012–13 season for three community programs: the Neighborhood Concert Series, the McGraw-Hill Companies CarnegieKids and Musical Connections. The intern will have hands-on experience in finalizing artist contracts; planning concert production; working with marketing on advertising strategies; scheduling creative projects; analyzing data from audience surveys; and preparing tools for documentation and assessment.
- Oberlin Conservatory has partnered with Lawrence to offer internships in two of its summer programs: the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, where the student will gain experience in festival administration with full participation in the annual festival; and Oberlin in Italy, which will offer two performance opportunities in the areas of vocal performance, stage direction or rehearsal accompanying. This opportunity takes place in Arezzo, Italy.
- Beit Yehuda Guest House Amphitheatre near Jerusalem, Israel, offers a student internship managing the hotel’s offerings of plays and concerts.
- The Deep Listening Institute in Kingston, N.Y., under the supervision of composer Pauline Oliveros, offers an internship opportunity for students interested in electronic composition, performance of new music or deep listening philosophy. Oliveros, an accordionist and one of the 20th century’s most important composers, has been a pioneer in the development of electronic art music and the concept of “deep listening,” which she describes as “a practice intended for experiencing heightened and expanded awareness of the sound/silence continuum.”
Lawton Hall ’10 (pictured right) interned with Oliveros during the summer of 2009 and 2010. His experience served as a “test run” for Conservatory Squared. For Hall, what began with general day-to-day office work at the Deep Listening Institute gradually transitioned into a large archiving project and eventually into the task of compiling and editing Oliveros’ book, Sounding the Margins: Collected Writings 1992–2009.
“I handled everything from determining a budget, coming up with the page design, communicating with proofreaders and other contributors, and working with the self-publishing company,” said Hall. “I had to learn a lot of new skills very quickly. Getting this experience while I was still a Lawrence student was invaluable for me and opened my mind to career paths I didn’t even know existed before.”
For the trio of Lawrence alumni who are hosting Conservatory Squared students this summer, the program provides a unique way for them to reconnect with their alma mater.
“I’m very pleased to be assisting a Lawrence student,” said Olivera (pictured left). “As a student, I never would have imagined I would use my music education degree the way I have, but it has led to a very rewarding career in entertainment production. [Conservatory Squared] will allow students to apply what they have learned in a real-life experience, while using their knowledge in a new environment.”
“Despite the magnificent level of instruction I received at Lawrence,” said Arau, ”I still felt like I did not really have much perspective regarding the ‘real world’ and the music profession itself. I know in my own experience as an entrepreneur, I feel like I’ve earned a few extra college degrees in management, business and education. I am certain the student will feel the same way after this experience. It’s a continuous learning process.”
To apply for Conservatory Squared, each student must submit a resume, an essay, one faculty recommendation and, when required, supplemental materials customized for each internship, such as an audition or a production portfolio. After an internal review, select candidates will be invited for an interview before
the final selections are made.
“The idea that we would have someone devoted to community programs this summer, someone from Lawrence University who has gone through a highly selective application process, was a welcome one,” said Snodgrass (pictured right). “Lawrence’s commitment to giving its students the best educational experience possible and Carnegie Hall’s commitment to providing the best musical experiences possible, shows a connection in each institution’s dedication to quality. It seemed like a good match in terms of mission and goals for the interns and their experience.”
Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl ’86 said Conservatory Squared is already creating a buzz in the conservatory among students and faculty. “At the conservatory, we are committed to challenging our students to think deeply about the musical life they might lead after their Lawrence education ends,” said Pertl. “I firmly believe that strong conservatory training coupled with a broad liberal arts education is absolutely the best preparation for the 21st-century musician. Conservatory Squared is a wonderful addition to our efforts to expand the scope of a conservatory education well beyond the confines of the practice room, performance hall and classroom.”
While Conservatory Squared is just getting off the ground, Richter is already looking ahead to next year, when she hopes to see the program expand to include even more opportunities in other career areas. “The conservatory has an awesome network of alumni out there; their insights on how they’ve used their conservatory education to be successful are invaluable,” she said.