Internships in New Music

Hi! My name is Joëlla Becker and I am a senior cello performance Major and candidate for the Arts Leadership Certificate Program (ALP). As part of my ALP, I will complete two paid internships. My first internship concluded at the end of August and I started my second this semester. Both have been amazing experiences for me to grow as a musician! 

This summer, I interned virtually with Fifth House Ensemble, a new music ensemble in Chicago. This was a transformative experience that showed me the ‘behind the scenes’ of what goes into preparing a concert series, how to hire new members, and how to apply for grants. Fifth House performs chamber music throughout the Chicago area collaborating with civic groups, schools, and even video game designers to provide creative and interesting music. I love playing in chamber settings, so it was very interesting for me to see how Fifth House Ensemble identified locations to play and selected their repertoire. I was able to attend meetings with CEOs and presidents of organisations like Youth Job Center, an agency helping young adults find jobs in the workplace, Ignite, an organization giving services to youth who are unstably housed, and Nancy B. Jefferson, an agency preparing students to live socially responsible lives and see changes in community. These meetings were so educational for me as I saw how Fifth House Ensemble negotiated contracts and created lesson plans for each individual program!

musicians perform on stage with screen overhead

I am currently doing my second internship with fivebyfive, a Rochester based new music ensemble. I get to work closely with their Artistic Director, Laura Lentz, discussing future artistic plans, working on their website, and learning about fundraising and marketing. Fivebyfive is extremely innovative and tries to find cool ways to integrate new music with the Rochester community. I helped out with their first in person concert since the pandemic at the Fringe Festival in September. The concert was named Persevering, and they asked the audience members to tweet about what kept them persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic. Fivebyfive collaborated with a poet to compose poetry in real time inspired by the comments that were being projected on a screen. This poem was shared as a closer to the concert. As their intern, I am helping plan and prepare for future projects that are just as fun and unique as this was! 

Both of these internships have inspired me to be inventive, have given me a sneak-peak of how to find new ways of making music to enrich my community, and have shown me how organizations share music in their communities!