September 26, 2018

Different Opportunities For Musicians Who Don’t Go Pro

Yuto Hirano ’14
Staff Writer

Dreams of becoming a professional musician do not always come true. Not only does it take exceptional talent, but also an indomitable will to advance, luck, and commitment to hours of practicing per day for years. Especially in this falling economy, even prodigies who place first in competitions and play in the top youth ensembles struggle to find a musical post and to maintain a steady financial input. Many cannot continue and choose different paths.

However, the performance venue is not the only option for musical careers. Arts management is a great musical career. It has a stable wage, many opportunities, and most importantly allows close contact with music while requiring completely different skill sets.

For a chance to experience this career, the BSO education staff sponsored for the first time the annual, BSO High School Spring Break Internship Program, free of charge. From Monday to Friday during spring break, high school interns meet with various BSO arts management staff, attend a closed BSO rehearsal, tour Symphony Hall, and have a panel discussion with BSO players and members from the Tanglewood chorus. The interns also work together to organize a concert at the end of the week.

The arts management staff range includes personnel manager, operations manager, marketing projects coordinator, and concert programmer. They all described why they chose this job, what they do, and how to be successful at it

The 2011 spring break was the first time for this program and was a great success. Students who participated came from wide range of schools from the Greater Boston area. Freshman Alice Xiao, violinist attending the Boston Latin School said, “It was really interesting to hear from different people that worked with the BSO, and gave me a fresh perspective on careers in arts management.”

Interns varied in age as well. Senior Ava Gurekian, flautist attending Mount Alvernia High School said, “BSO was the perfect place for me. I got hands on experience and met very influential people in the BSO including musicians like cello player Blaise [Déjardin], and the Artistic Director Anthony Fogg. As a group, the interns helped produce and perform in a concert for a local nursing home, and we used the skills we learned from the internship for this enriching task. This internship combined music, fun, and amazing mentors whom I plan to keep in touch with.”

The program gave students insight of the musical world and experienced working with one of the top professional orchestras in the world.

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