Gettysburg College's Sunderman Conservatory of Music students were busy this summer working for non-profit organizations and performing in front of audiences around the world.
Nine students joined alumni and other members of the Gettysburg College community on a trip to Bulgaria for the annual Varna International Music Festival. Students collaborated with peers and mentors from around the world and performed in shows that often featured full orchestras. "I learned how to emotionally connect with a song, and that was a very powerful experience," said Bridget Creedon '14. The group also enjoyed traditional Bulgarian cuisine and an occasional recreational activity, such as swimming in the Dead Sea. After returning from Varna, Laura Bembridge '12 played the role of Maria in the Spring Lake Theatre Company's production of The Sound of Music.
Leroy Smith '12 connected with Jubilee Arts Baltimore and taught a music class to students ranging in age from eight and fifty years old. The organization offers low-cost courses in the arts to inner city youth and adults. "We put musical instruments into the hands of our community members, instead of guns," said Smith. His curriculum consisted of reading keys and time signatures, and transposing on musical instruments. One of his students even decided to quit smoking so that they could practice their wind instrument more often.
Alexandra Clint '13, Daniel Gordon '13, Victoria Sharbaugh '14, and Sara Smigen '12 were selected to participate in the Manhattan School of Music's Summer Voice Festival. During the six-week program, the students participated in a challenging curriculum led by numerous accomplished artists. "I learned a lot about self motivation and self-confidence, and experienced valuable personal growth by stepping outside of my comfort zone," said Gordon, who is currently studying abroad in Vienna.
Robert Whipple '12 spent his summer interning in the music library at the Jazz at Lincoln Center. His responsibilities included archiving thousands of music charts and working with a complex music database. He also participated in departmental meetings and assisted with preparing for the Center's 2011-2012 season. Whipple, who is a bass player, also found opportunities to attend concerts held at the Center. These concerts meant more to him than a chance to listen to live music for free. "I realized that I can follow my dreams by working hard and being an active promoter of the music I make," he said.
"The Conservatory students' summer activities provided an invaluable experience that will enhance their work and help build the Conservatory program at Gettysburg College," said Kathleen Sasnett, professor of voice and opera.
Although encouraged by Conservatory faculty and staff, most of the students coordinated the extra-curricular programs and activities that they participated in on their own.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
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