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Prizes & Internships


The Smith College Department of Music awards annual prizes for excellent work in the areas of music history, theory, composition, and performance. In some cases these prizes offer substantial amounts that may cover the expense of summer musical study or even tuition at an institution of higher learning.

Susan Rose Internships in Music

Each summer since 1998, a number of students in music have pursued career internships in a wide variety of areas with financial support provided by an extraordinarily generous gift to the college from Susan Wechsler Rose, Smith ’63. These internships—in performance, in academic musical study, in music administration and in the real world of the business of music—have ranged from participation in the opera workshop at the Aspen Music Festival, in Aspen, Colorado, to the study of traditional Ewe drumming in the African nation of Ghana; they have supported field work on Buddhist chanting in California and bibliographical work on Berlioz at the Bibliothèque nationale de France; they have included the study of conducting at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, and the producing of popular albums with “What Are Records” in Boulder, Colorado; they have sponsored orchestral librarianship at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York, and administrative assistance at the Washington National Opera, in Washington, D.C.

All sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled at Smith College whose curriculum has included classroom courses in music, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the study of music, are eligible—and are encouraged—to compete for a Susan Rose Internship. The grant provides funding up to an approximate maximum of $5,000. Students are normally awarded only one grant during their years at the college, but in special circumstances students may apply for a second Rose Internship.

Internships are normally carried out during the summer months following the sophomore or junior year, but proposals for work during the academic year, or for work to be carried out after graduation, will also receive careful consideration.

A student who wishes to compete for an internship should consult with her music professors, and with the chair of the music department’s Susan Rose Internship Committee, regarding the area in which she expects to pursue her work. She should then prepare a one-page proposal and a detailed budget (indicating, as specifically required for the internship, the cost of room and board, instruction, and transportation), and submit these documents to the chair of the committee along with an unofficial copy of her academic transcript. She should have two brief letters of recommendation (from music professors or others familiar with her work) sent via email to the chair of the committee.

Applications must be submitted to the chair of the committee on or before March 15. Awards will be announced in early April.

Susan Rose Internships 2014

Organization: Brevard Summer Music Festival
Title of internship: Student Participant
Location: Brevard, NC
Website/contact information: www.brevardmusic.org

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Intern Reflection:
I attended weekly master classes, studio classes, and individual instructed classes; attended concerts; participated in student recitals and community preconcert performances; networked with students and music professionals; enhanced my own musicianship, and received conservatory music training quite different from what I was familiar with at Smith College.

Please contact Winni Ni ’15 at wni@smith.edu for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: The Glimmerglass Festival
Title of internship: Artistic Administration Intern
Location: Cooperstown, NY
Website/contact information: glimmerglass.org

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Intern Reflection:
I assisted the company manager in a variety of tasks: arranging transportation for visiting artists, finding music for current singers and musicians, keeping track of the rehearsal and performance hours of the “Young Artists”; attending rehearsals, creating and editing documents, scanning materials for digital storage, etc. I also assisted the Young Artist Program director in such tasks as gathering scores and organizing documents. And I assisted the scheduling manager with the daily schedule and the orchestra librarian with scores. Perhaps most importantly, I was a "child-wrangler": I was in charge of the children who were in three of the four summer productions. This meant keeping the kids occupied during rehearsals and performances, and making sure they understood what they needed to do on stage. For the younger children, it was necessary to be backstage with them during every performance, something that was lots of fun!

I honed my computer abilities, especially using Excel; I learned how to work with many different types of people and how to do small tasks at a moment’s notice. I learned the importance of being friendly with everyone in the company—the IT guys, chefs, electricians, directors, singers, and more. I learned how many people it takes to run a summer opera festival (about 400) and that to succeed you need to work at crazy hours. I met some amazing people and listened to world-class performances in a beautiful setting.

Please contact Nora Nadire ’14 at noracnadire@gmail.com for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: The Glimmerglass Festival
Title of internship: Glimmerglass Music Intern
Location: Cooperstown, NY
Website: glimmerglass.org/company/internships

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Intern Reflection:
I worked closely with the orchestra during rehearsals and performances, made sure that chairs and music stands were in their proper places, and helped to break down and set up the different orchestra configurations between shows. I learned what it means to be a professional musician in a pit orchestra, how an opera company functions on the administrative level, and how opera in today’s society is a (financially) endangered species. I learned teamwork, the niceties of opera production, and the nature of operatic rehearsals. I met and networked with singers, orchestra players, conductors, directors, designers, and administrators, all of whom have strong connections all around the world.

Please contact Katie Lipow ’14 at katie.lipow@gmail.com for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: University of Liverpool
Title of internship: Presenter, University of Liverpool Screen and Media Conference
Location: Liverpool, England
Website/contact information: www.liv.ac.uk/music/conferences,&,festivals/mediascreening2014

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Intern Reflection:
I presented a paper on classical music and film at a scholarly conference and participated in all conference activities. As an aspiring film/music scholar, I was able to engage with future colleagues, to learn a great deal about paper presentations at international conferences, and to discover the topics that are emerging in the field.

Please contact Sarah Lerner ’14 at slerner@smith.edu for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music
Title of internship: Summer Chamber Music Workshop Participant
Location: Nelson, NH
Website/contact information: www.applehill.org/summer_workshop/sw_summerworkshop.htm

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Intern Reflection:
I collaborated to perform chamber music with various musicians. I improved my technique, received constructive feedback, made wonderful acquaintances, and bonded with many warm and supportive people who believe in collaborative rather than soloistic performance.

Please contact Gabriella Grange ’16 at ggrange@smith.edu for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: Signature Sounds Recordings, Inc.
Title of internship: Record Label Intern
Location: Northampton, MA
Website/contact information: www.signaturesounds.com; Jim Olsen

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Intern reflection:
My responsibilities varied among gathering contact information for local coffee shops, libraries and other institutions, in order to do promotion; assembling radio and venue mailings; managing shows at the Parlor Room; promoting tour spots; and designing VIP passes for events. I learned a great deal about the inner workings of a local record label. I watched the genesis of the Green River Festival, saw many minute details come into focus, helped to create a successful event. I was able to start projects and see them into fruition. One project was organizing contracts, following up with artist’s managers, and making sure the paperwork was in order by show time. I greeted stage artists, providing them with necessary assistance, kept them on schedule. All of this was very rewarding.

Please contact Abbie Duqette ’15 at abbie.duquette@gmail.com for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: Asociación Cultural Qantu
Title of internship: Assistant Music Teacher
Location: Cusco, Peru
Website/contact information: www.facebook.com/asociacionqantucusco

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Intern Reflection:
I assisted professors in teaching music via the Suzuki method—in violin lessons, group violin lessons, and group lessons for children beginners. I assisted at sectional and full rehearsals, and performed in concerts as well as doing set-up and clean-up. One month into the internship I became a temporary professor of cello and viola and had twelve of my own students as well as supervising the cello and viola sections in the orchestra.

I learned how to teach music to children with a variety of different learning styles. Since most of the students I worked with did not read music, I had to develop different ways of teaching: playing the music and having students imitate; having students play from solfeggi. I learned how to deal with children of ages from six to twenty-three. I learned how much I was able to persevere, how much resilience I had, when students were difficult, and when the language barrier was high; I learned to succeed in a completely unfamiliar city in a foreign country.

Please contact Joanna Giordano ’16 at jgiordano@smith.edu for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.

Organization: The Walden School
Title of internship: Creative Musicians Retreat Participant
Location: Dublin, NH
Website: waldenschool.org/creative-musicians-retreat

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Intern Reflection:
After taking a course with Kate Soper on electro-acoustic music, I wanted to continue with computer music composition. I took courses in electronic music; sang in a chorus; attended concerts, composer forums, and improvisation workshops. I took master classes and private lessons with composers in residence. Attending this program was an inspiration: I gained basic theoretical knowledge and skill, I learned from other composers, networked, and most importantly realized how deeply I enjoyed composition. I decided to pursue composition as a career.

Organization: Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall
Title of internship: NeON Arts Intern
Location: New York, NY
Website/contact information: www.carnegiehall.org/NeONArts

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Intern Reflection:
NeON (Neighborhood Opportunity Network) Arts is a project of the NYC Department of Probation in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. I participated in the planning and production process for NeON stakeholder group meetings, provided production support for NeON Arts culminating events, organized mailings of application materials and other supporting documents, and helped with data collection, reporting, assessment, and evaluation. I interviewed community stakeholders, probation officers, arts organizations, and program participants, about their experiences with the program. I learned the benefits and challenges of doing arts programming within the justice system, the nuances of community-led partnerships, and the wide variety of careers within the field of arts administration. WMI also provided many professional development sessions, including meetings with the directors of outreach programs, resume and job search workshops, and opportunities to attend concerts and to learn Tessitura.

Please contact Anna Lee Hirschi ’15 at annalhirschi@gmail.com for more information, or refer to the Internships Binder in the Green Room, Sage Hall.