By Bridget Kinneary, ROCO Intern
Bridget Kinneary is a rising senior at the Eastman School of Music. She is working on a double major in Viola Performance and Music Education. Bridget is also enrolled in Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program. She served as a ROCO Intern during the summer of 2014.
Being a student of music in this day and age is exhilarating because it is a time of rapid change and incredible opportunity for the arts. ROCO is an organization that has embraced that opportunity, taken risks, and pioneered new concert models that shake up all expectations of what classical music should be and how it should be presented. I feel so fortunate to have spent four weeks this summer working alongside the staff as an intern. I had so many experiences and gained so many skills that will impact my career- skills I could have never learned inside a practice room!
First, computer proficiency. While at ROCO, I worked extensively with Microsoft Excel, and I had the opportunity to work with a new online initiative- the Cultural Data Project. Dexterity and familiarity in both of these programs has given me an appreciation for the amount of work it takes to stay organized, and a bit of skill to make that organization happen in my life!
Next, community relations. Doing Grant Research for ROCO and helping the other fabulous intern, Rachel Smith, with her project of visiting local businesses and asking for silent auction donations, was an enormous learning experience. It takes a lot of sincerity and hard work to build a genuine relationship with the community, yet it is essential to the success of any arts organization. Finding myself in situations such as explaining to a clerk at a boutique the difference between a violin and a viola, forced me to assume the role of more than just a musician – it made me into an advocate for classical music and its importance.
Ah, and the unexpected tasks- every intern has ‘em! This year, I got to take inventory of ROCO’s operations equipment alongside the Operations Manager himself! The hours I spent organizing supplies, checking stand lights, and pulling gaff tape off of extension cords gave me a lasting appreciation for all of the “behind the scenes” aspects of putting on a concert. Plus, after all of that yanking, I don’t think my fingers will let me forget the proper way to pull up gaff tape! I will never sit in an orchestra again without thinking of the operations crew and all of their work.
Now, at the end of my internship, I feel like a much more informed student and musician. ROCO’s creative spirit and positive attitude about the versatility of music and its potential to shape the community and impact lives will stay with me for a long time!