ExternshipsStudent ContributorSummer Opportunities

Eileen Gazzola – Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival

Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival 1This photo was taken the first day of my externship with Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival. This picture was taken as my host, Ann Felter, was introducing the University of North Texas. This was a very exciting day because I was introduced to a whole other world of music. Before the concert began there were many things that had to get done. I helped tape and hang up posters, obtain signatures for the photo and video release form, and set up any other things for the start of the show. Before the concert began I had a chance to grab three students to conduct an interview. The question I asked them was: “What does it mean to be a part of the Young Performers Festival?” This question yielded responses such as “a great way to explore the avenues of early music” and “a good way to get your name out there.” Shortly after the concert began I watched as I took photographs such as this one. The concert lasted for about an hour and I watched from the balcony as I observed all the different instruments. The concert consisted of vocals and an orchestra ensemble. I learned of a new instrument named the harpsichord, which looks vaguely like a piano. When the concert was over we conducted one more interview with two international students. Brandon, whom I mostly worked alongside during this externship, asked the questions. He asked how their performance they have been practicing has changed from the start of practicing in Texas to the final performance in Boston. They each said that their mood and what kind of day they were having affected their quality of performance during practice, but since then they have figured out their flaws and worked on them to produce a performance they were proud of in Boston. They each told us how fortunate they were to be able to travel from the University of Texas to Boston to perform for an audience who wants to listen to it! It was a great first day learning about early music and how this festival is organized.
Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival 2This photo was taken on my second day of my externship. This picture is of Brandon interviewing three students who performed Les Plaisirs de Versailles. These students were from the Oberlin Conservatory. They were the second concert of the day, after Peabody Conservatory. Earlier that morning I was at the Marriott Courtyard where they held the exhibition for the Boston Early Music Festival. Here I set up a table of pamphlets and magazines for those who were interested in learning about Early Music America, and encouraged people to subscribe to the magazine. I met a lot of knowledgeable people in the field of early music and was commended in my participation with this organization. I was excited to learn about more early music instruments and walk around the exhibition to learn about each table, especially the instrument makers! I have learned that the community of people interested in early music is very close- knit. Many people return year after to the festival and become close to each other through music. After about two hours of the exhibition, I walked back to the church to watch the concerts. I got there in time to catch Brandon interview a couple of students from Peabody, as shown in this picture. These students expressed their gratitude to Early Music America and the opportunity that this gave them to perform and reintroduce this music to the public. Part of my responsibility as an extern was to post to the EarlyMusicAmerica instagram page. I used this photo to show the audience behind the scenes! For the rest of the week I watched performances from Case- Western Reserve University, McGill University, Indiana University, and Seattle Historical Arts for Kids. On Thursday I watched the Case Western Reserve University Baroque Chamber Ensenble perform. It was my first time watching baroque dance and it was fun to see the movement in their hands and feet! My last day followed the same layout- run the table at the festival at the Marriott, and then run over to the church for the performances. After the first performance we conducted an interview where Brandon asked philosophical questions to one professor and his students. These interviews will be up on their facebook and youtube page, and I can’t wait to check them out once they are finished. Our next step in this hectic day was to prepare for the second concert, grab lunch, check up on our table at the festival, and flag down the caterer. Once three o’clock rolled around the second concert began as we prepared for the Annual meeting at 4pm. There were many little things to do such as cut out everyone’s nametag, get out the agendas, place an agenda on each seat in the auditorium, set up the surprise orchestra in the balcony, and lay out tablecloths on the tables. Once the concert ended parents and board members packed into the room where the meeting was held. When this came to an end, we enjoyed refreshments and good food in the lobby while everyone socialized. This was the end of my time at EMA and it was sad to say goodbye to Ann Felter and the rest of her team, but I am appreciative that I had this opportunity to take advantage of.

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