This past Saturday evening was the final event of the 2008-2009 season of The Artist Series at Wheaton College. Composer Marvin Hamlisch and actor-singer Joel Grey, joined by our own Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, performed major stage and screen music from the heights of the mid-twentieth century to an enthusiastic audience in Edman Memorial Chapel. I was privileged to serve as acting head stage manager for the event, and I had one of the best days of my life working the show.
Working for the Artist Series has been a huge blessing in my life the past year and a quarter. Readers of this blog will remember my enthusiastic recap of the April 2008 Artist Series presentation of Hector Berlioz' Requiem, for which I also served as acting head stage manager. In the 2008-2009 season, I have been backstage for four of the nine events: Branford Marsalis with the Filharmonia Brasileira, the National Acrobats of China, the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra, and of course Marvin Hamlisch and Joel Grey.
My experience with the Artist Series has exposed me to the world of performing arts management which, as anybody who has been around me during an “Artist Series weekend” will know, is something that really excites me, to the point of being a second career interest for me.
I say second because I am not for a minute abandoning my passion for music education. And music education and performing arts management are not at all mutually exclusive fields. In fact, the Artist Series seems to be the perfect marriage of the two in a unique program that brings world-class performing arts events into a world-class academic institution, providing a rare opportunity for exposure to the performing arts. What excites me about music education is the unique way it brings people together when they collaborate to produce a concert that in turn brings together an audience. High school students (my preferred level of teaching) are by no means the only demographic who can profit from exposure to and experience in the performing arts.
At this point, I am continuing work toward completion of a Bachelor of Music Education. My own opinion and the opinion of various Conservatory faculty are that music education is an excellent undergraduate degree for a career in performing arts management, especially for one interested in the education and outreach side of the industry. As for what happens after I graduate, I will wait for the Lord’s leading. At this point I want to start my career as a school music teacher, and probably work toward a master’s degree in performing arts management. But for now, as I said, I will continue to work toward my BME and to stay involved with the Artist Series. If it is possible, I encourage you to come to some of next season’s events (great deals on subscription packages are available!). They are:
Alison Balsom (October 2)
Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company (October 24)
The King’s Singers (November 13)
Russian National Ballet Theatre (January 23)
Band of the Irish Guards and Royal Regiment of Scotland (February 5)
Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra (February 27)
Festival of Voices (March 20)
This is Rubio, over and out.