Every summer, college students across the country flock to music festivals to soak up a little sun and a lot of great music. St. Olaf College student Sarah Bauer ’17 was no exception this year — but instead of simply enjoying a music festival, she helped make it happen.
This summer Bauer interned with the La Jolla Music Society, working to put together the organization’s annual SummerFest in California.
SummerFest is a chamber music festival featuring more than 80 world-class artists and ensembles throughout August. Bauer worked on everything from creating musician schedules to constructing an online artist review center that allows musicians who play in the festival to approve audio recordings of their performances.
“My favorite part of the experience was being able to work in every department, from marketing to education. Most internships only allow student access to one facet of an organization — and while you may be learning great new skills, you’re missing out on whole departments,” Bauer says.
Her time with the La Jolla Music Society enabled Bauer to see how she might apply her music performance major to a career in the arts.
“I plan on entering the arts management field after graduation, and my internship has shown me that I’d love to work in either marketing or artistic development,” she says.
Bauer received internship funding from the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career to support her time in California this summer.
In the past year, 107 St. Olaf students have received Piper Center funding for unpaid or underpaid internships. Another 107 students have received internship funding through college programs such as the Rockswold Health Scholars Program, the Svoboda Legal Scholars Program, and the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund — all part of the college’s commitment to supporting students as they navigate potential career paths.
Bauer, a member of the St. Olaf Choir who has participated in operas as part of St. Olaf Lyric Theater, says her experience with music on campus prepared her well for her time with La Jolla this summer.
“My music education has been valuable because at St. Olaf, we dissect every single part of the music-making process — from the theory behind a composition, to rehearsing it for a performance, to performing it live,” Bauer says. “I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the music-making process so many times that when I was put in a position to coordinate other musicians, I knew what needed to be done and how to execute it effectively.”