What's Happening at the Symphony

Symphony summer marketing intern says farewell

It’s early August and also the last week of my summer internship with the San Diego Symphony. The air is more humid than ever and this air conditioning in the office couldn’t be more appreciated. In two weeks, I’ll be back skateboarding across campus to claim my practice room among the many tinkling pianos where scales and arpeggios echo in a chaotic glimmer. Many of us will saunter into the lecture halls, find familiar faces and we’ll extol to each other about our frivolities over the past few months. Most will talk of far away trips, staycations and summer camps, but I will cheekily sneer, awaiting my turn to share my experience as a marketing intern for the San Diego Symphony.

With one deeply satiating breath, I’ll do my best to remain calm, but obviously won’t because, "Dude, I walked around Copley Symphony Hall in the dark! I saw fireworks over the marina and heard Beethoven’s 5th on the Bay (and also hundreds of rosy-cheeked attendees walking to their car humming ‘duhn-duhn-duhn-duhhhnnnnnn’). I saw a Jurassic Jedi, CP3-Bro and geishas at The Music of John Williams concert — but as this all sounds exciting, I’ve learned that it’s really the small things that have made the biggest impression on me.

Even seemingly rote tasks fulfilled a sense of purpose pertaining to what I like to think of as a “trickle-up effect.” When I logged invoices or posted calendar listings, my colleagues were able to then take this extra time and craft these beautiful banners, eloquent blogs and  — my goodness, are those flamingo cups? Yas. And when I saw attendees having a grand ol’ time with the pink-swirly-flamingo straws and leis we picked out, I couldn’t help but get a bit giddy inside.

You see, I’ve come to realize there are heroes behind the curtains that don’t get the applause they deserve. The amount of things that must go right in order to get that delicious sound into the ears of an eager listener are understated. First, you need the artist and they need to be amazingly practiced. Then you need an audience and they need to be emphatic enough to come spend time and listen. In between this, you have all these tenacious folks chugging coffee, shaking hands, crunching numbers and pressing buttons to make that connection seem effortless. Through this symbiotic dance between all these different roles, music becomes more than just some sounds we enjoy, but rather becomes a cacophony of events that miraculously all happen together. Whether on stage, in the stands or at a desk, we all make this music possible.

I want to thank the San Diego Symphony for allowing a Joe like me under their wing. The experience has given me a lot to think about while I finish my final year of college. It was a hectic summer, but much like the flamingo who must run before flight, I can see the Symphony heading at a full-sprint into their Winter season and I’m very excited to see what happens once they take off flying.


Joe Pascual is a senior studying music entrepreneurship and business at San Diego State University. He interned in the marketing department at the San Diego Symphony this summer.

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