What's Happening at the Symphony

#OberTerns: Meet Katie

Introducing now Miss Katie, Intern No. 2 who joins us from Oberlin College for the Winter Term. Her #symphonylife diary here:

The First Week.

Hi, I’m Katie, and I’m one of the Oberlin interns working at the symphony for the month of January. San Diego is my hometown, and it’s always my goal to make it back home at least twice a year, and Oberlin’s Winter Term requirement allows me to do that. Winter Term is a month-long period during January when students are required to do some independent study. I thought this would be the perfect time to get some hands-on experience working for a large non-profit arts administration, and I consider myself pretty lucky to be doing this internship because I reached out to the symphony rather last minute.

Nick and I met Chelsea Allen, manager of community engagement, and she took us out to lunch to discuss what we wished to gain from this internship, and I let her know that although I love performing, I also wanted to learn more about how a large non-profit arts organization is run during my time here at the Symphony. My goal is to be able to both perform and work on the administrative side of music.

After Chelsea got Nick and I set up and into the system with our own laptops, she spent the rest of the day giving us a tour of the grounds, and introducing us to a lot of new people. Among them was Kayla Wilson, who oversees social media for the Symphony. Kayla gave us our own private tour of backstage Copley. We saw the musicians’ practice rooms (which I have yet to utilize, though I hope to during my time here), the musicians’ lounge, the piano elevator, and other areas backstage. A harpist was practicing onstage – I recognized her performance as the opening cadenza in the Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet.

This was my first time seeing Copley Symphony Hall from backstage. The San Diego Symphony is one of the few US orchestras that actually owns its own performance space, making Copley Hall very special. It’s a venue that has a lot of history to it. Originally constructed as the Fox Theater, a huge luxury movie theater, it was transformed into a concert hall in 1984. Being a performer, I’ve seen my share of concert halls. Copley Hall stands out to me. It is not as opulent as Severance Hall in Cleveland or as cutting-edge as Walt Disney Hall in L.A, but Copley is grand in its own way. It is full of history, and you can feel it when you walk in through the lobby. The hall feels old – by no means decrepit, but full of memories and tradition. There’s a sense of reverence that I feel whenever I walk into the hall, and it feels like home - I’m excited to be able to call it home for the month.

So far, I’ve been to many amazing concerts. A couple that stood out to me were “Americans in Paris” and “Birth of the Cool: A West Coast Jazz Salute.” As a classical flutist, there aren’t many opportunities back at school for me to hear live professional jazz. This whole festival has been a welcomed change for me and really showcases the distinctively diverse American musical voice.


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