It’s been months since I’ve posted a blog. After a hiatus, I now have the time to write what has been happening for the past three months.
I had the opportunity to return to Monadnock Music as the Marketing Coordinator this summer. The festival brought new faces to the public, with a new General Manager and three production interns. Two veterans, including myself, returned to tackle on a new direction for the festival.
Laina Barakat (GM), had brought new and exciting ideas to the table. She first pitched an idea for guests to participate in Picnic Basket auction. Each basket, provided by Peterboro Basket, were filled with delicious foods from bakeries and restaurants near the Peterborough area. Guests who’ve won the highest bid were invited to an afternoon (and rainy) picnic. Another idea she pitched was using Facebook Ads and creating a blog for guests to read the festivals experiences during the summer. Let me tell you if you want to expand your brand on social media, invest into Facebook Ads or any kind of social media advertisement. It may surprise you that there are a lot of people who may be interested in your organization.
I had the pleasure to work from home during non-concert days (a big plus since I commute an hour or more each way). At the beginning of the festival, I would have been able to attend fewer concerts this season. However, it changed when I first met with Laina and Ryleigh (Office Assistant). The Production Manager of MM decided to take a sabbatical leave, which left Ryleigh, Laina, and myself to pull most of the weight into the season.
In the first two weeks of the season, I thought my head was going to fall off. I had two weeks left of my fifth term of grad school on top of working at MM.
Another position I was asked to do was to turn pages for a pianist for three village concerts. I’ve previously was asked to turn pages for a pianist two years ago. I was terrified reading difficult piano music. I messed up a couple of times, and I felt embarrassed for fumbling. After being asked to turn pages again, a feeling of PTSD came back, but I knew that I had to step up to the plate. To prepare for a scary moment, I listened to each piece and looked through the scores that were available on IMSLP, studying when to turn a page. Antonin Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio in e minor was one of the pieces I considered carefully. After surviving the music, I conquered my fear of turning pages. The rest of the programs were straightforward and easy to read – except for one piece in which changed time signatures, from 4/4, 3/8, 2/4, and 11/16. I still managed to make it without any mistakes. Phew!
After braving the scary elements of page turning, I was back to my duties as Marketing Coordinator. My top priorities were sending promotional emails, creating Facebook Ads, drafting surveys, and editing press releases. Production was also another task I was responsible. Setting up chairs, music stands, lamps, and ringing the bell during intermission were some tasks I tackled on. Loading up chairs and stands in my car was a challenge since the festival does not come with a vehicle. Maybe MM should kick off another Kickstarter to raise money for a van!
MM developed fundraising campaign to professionally master a recording of an opera named “Our Town,” which was performed in 2013. We had generous donations from outstanding patrons, and we made our goal of $10,000. Nonetheless, I’ve learned that it takes a village to raise awareness of fundraising campaigns.
Though this season was stressful and busy, I can say that this was my favorite year to work for MM. Having a young manager with big ideas and great experience has grown MM back to its image it once had. The Beethoven concert was personally my favorite performance – though thunderstorms were adding some special effects. The audience stood up on their feet once the program concluded; praising the orchestra for a stellar performance.
Now in my final term of grad school, I can say that working for MM has expanded my knowledge of the PR/Marketing field within a non-profit organization. As I wrapped up my duties, I left with great memories and great friends that I will remember for a long time. Closing this chapter is scary, but I am looking forward to my next journey.
Thank you, Monadnock Music.
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