Fourth-year Bachelor of Music (voice) student Alyssa Waldner has been awarded an internship at the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC for the spring of 2017. The Smithsonian Jazz Music Program’s internship is a combination of concert and program production as well as concert outreach and promotion, with the goal to equip interns with helpful tools for future work in music, museum, or event production and communication.
“Academic appointments at the Smithsonian afford the opportunity for learning, study and research through our unparalleled collections, experts and facilities,” says Eric Woodard, director of Fellowships and Internships in Waldner’s acceptance letter. “In accepting this appointment (students) are exposed to new ideas… have a chance to get outside (their) comfort zone, explore, discover and share what (they) learn.”
Waldner applied for the opportunity through the Alberta Smithsonian Internship Program in January 2016. She was excited to find out in the fall that funding came through and she’d be able to attend in spring 2017.
“I’m always looking for things to do, especially travel opportunities,” explains Waldner. “I want to explore different areas outside of performance to help figure out what I want to do in the future. I know I love music and want to work in a field that involves music so this internship is a way to explore my options.”
As part of the internship, Waldner will work on the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra 2016-2017 concert season and Jazz Appreciation Month. She’ll be involved in repertoire selection, content research, concert planning, musician organization and concert production. She’ll also get experience in audience development, communication and outreach tools for local and national audiences.
“I’m interested in music research and have been working as a research assistant with Dr. Paul Sanden,” shares Waldner. Because of this, she’s very excited to get there and work in the archives.
“I’ll be working on exhibits and displays for Jazz Appreciation month, and it’s Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial. They have everything! They have her baseball collection – not that it has anything to do with jazz,” laughs Waldner.
Waldner will spend 9.5 weeks in DC with the internship beginning on Feb 8.
“I get to stay and perform in our big opera production, then leave two days later,” says Waldner. “I’m just excited to learn things and not be graded or worried about marks – learning because I’m just curious.”
Waldner is a student of Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, and was featured last year as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and appears Feb 3 and 4 in The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan, in collaboration with the Lethbridge Symphony.