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  • Zack Hayhurst 9:05 pm on June 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: artistic administration, ,   

    Country Life, opera, and blogging 

    For those of you who regularly read my blog posts and keep tabs on my progress (thanks Jessica and Matt!!), you will know that I haven’t posted on here in a while.  It’s not that I don’t want to – far from it.  However, living in a part of the country with limited cell phone service and spotty internet connection presents a new challenge to frequently blogging not seen since the day of dial-up AOL.

    I’ve now been here at Glimmerglass Opera for about a month and a half.  In other words, I’ve just past the halfway point of my summer here.  Things have definietely picked up, and I finally feel like I understand my role here and where this summer is headed.  Some of things I’ve been doing include setting up for audition panels, processing VIP tickets, revising young artist resumes, assist scheduling manager with company daily schedule.. just to name a few.

    There also a lot of things that happen here that I can’t necessarily talk about in a public forum.  Hence, my material for these posts must remain somewhat watered down and general.  Sorry!

    Looking forward to the rest of the summer, I can look forward to a host of additional fun things.  For example, there are a series of development events later this summer where certain guest artists and young artists are asked to perform for donors, etc.  It will be my job to act as a contact between the artistic department and the development department in coordinating all of this with the selected singers.  Good times!  I’ll be sure to post more about that as it happens.

    Okay – back to my country roads and cow pastures!

  • Zack Hayhurst 1:27 am on June 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Four weeks in 

    Today marks the beginning of my fourth week interning at Glimmerglass Opera.  It feels like I’ve been here a lot longer, but only because I’ve been doing a lot of work and staying busy.  Most of my days are ten hours long.  It starts at around 10am, and goes to around 6 or 8pm each evening.  It’s less like an internship here, and more like a job.  This is a good thing.

    I am working with great artists.  The level of talent they are bringing here is amazing.

    This week begins the residency of Steven Blier.  He is the artistic director and co-founder of the New York Festival of Song, 1990 Grammy winner and two time Grammy nominee, is on the faculty at Juilliard, a coach for the New York City Opera, and has done recitals with such renowned singers as Renee Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Jessye Norman, Wolfgang Holzmair, Samuel Ramey, Susan Graham, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Dwayne Croft, Susanne Mentzer, June Anderson, Arleen Auger, Roberta Peters, Kurt Ollmann, among others.

    I am particularly looking forward to his arrival, as I will be spending a large part of my day with him both in-transit and in other activities throughout his daily schedule.

    This week also begins tech dress rehearsals for The Tenderland and Tosca.  In fact, I’m writing this blog post while watching the dress rehearsal in the theater.  I typically wouldn’t feel compelled to be on my laptop while watching a dress rehearsal, but I’ve been without a strong internet connection ever since I got here, and this theater has awesome wireless!

  • Zack Hayhurst 8:53 pm on May 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Summer internship – Glimmerglass Opera 

    Hey gang!
    Another semester, another internship.  As some of you may already know, I am spending the summer in Cooperstown, NY, working for the Glimmerglass Opera.  I arrived here on May 16th, and I will be here until the last opera ends on August 24th.  As such, I will miss the first week of Fall semester.  <sad face>.
    Glimmerglass Opera is a summer opera festival that prides itself in presenting rarely performed and newly staged operas.  A proud aspect of their organization is the Young American Artist Program (YAAP).  The Young American Artists Program was established at Glimmerglass Opera in 1988 as an important component of the company’s mission to promote an artistically challenging environment for young American performers. The program provides training and performance experience for talented singers at the beginning of their professional careers.
    This semester I will work directly with the artistic staff, primarily the director of the YAAP program.  My primary duties include helping to manage the schedules of the 38 young artists performing here this summer.  These duties include, but are not limited to:
    • cross-checking daily recital, rehearsal and coaching schedules
    • coordinating audition panels and all the arrangements for audition panelists
    • arranging for VIP and Comp tickets for all audition panelists and VIP’s
    These are the things I’ve been assigned so far in these first two weeks.  The YAAPs just arrive this week, so things are bound to get crazy really soon, which means my duties will probably continue to increase and change.  After all, who knows what to expect when you get 38 opera singers together?  One word: DRAMA!
    My living situation is like many here at Glimmerglass this summer.  I am living in one of the five satellite houses with three of the YAAPs; two tenors and one baritone.  They are all really cool guys, and I feel lucky to mesh with them so well.  
    I chose to come to Glimmerglass this summer for two reasons.  One, I wanted to learn more about the opera field.  And second, I wanted an internship on the artistic side of things.  I wanted to see what it would be like to work directly with the artists and develop a season/production.  This summer will certainly expose me to these experiences.
    • Matt Sokoloff 1:48 pm on May 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Have a blast…look forward to hearing about it.

      • Jessica Beasley 2:57 pm on June 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t realize you were in Cooperstown! One of my favorites places! Lots and lots of baseball and opera for you this summer!

  • Zack Hayhurst 9:28 pm on April 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Remaining days…Lessons learned…Future plans 

    I am going into the last few weeks of my internship at WPAS. The work has not slowed down, however. As I begin to wrap things up, I have spent some time reflecting on what I have learned, what I had hoped to learn, and what I will differently in future internships.

    What I have learned: marketing is truly creative work. There is very little “hard science” when it comes right down to it. A good marketer is someone who has had the experience and wisdom to know what their intended audience is looking for. Effective marketing is a daily, even hourly job, and one that requires constant modification of goals and “changes of plan”. If you are someone who likes routine and to remain static in a job, marketing is not for you.

    What I hoped to learn: I hoped to gain more of an understanding about marketing “strategy”. Short of doing a lot of semi-related tasks and the goal of selling tickets, I never really actually felt as though I understood the overall strategy of the marketing department.

    What I would have done differently: I would have asked for more work. Often times, interns are forgotten by their supervisors. This is nothing intentional or malicious on the part of supervisors, just what happens when you have an extra worker, and not enough work.

    Looking towards the summer semester, I am happy to have been afforded the opportunity as artistic administration intern at Glimmerglass Opera festival in Cooperstown, NY. Perhaps I will get to blog about my experiences there as well, but until then, sayonara!!!

    • Leila Smith 2:20 am on April 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Did you learn what you hoped to learn? Did you figure out the strategy part? You certainly will have the opportunity to blog this summer…..

  • Zack Hayhurst 12:45 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: group sales marketing   

    Outreach Outreach Outreach 

    After completing an ad analysis last week, it’s on to more personable duties.

    For this week and next, I’ve been tasked with assisting the group sales manager with outreach on two particular concerts. It’s a lot tougher than you might initially think. Figuring out which groups to target based on what the concert is or who the artist is, can be a true test of finding the hidden angle of association.

    It’s not just other music related groups we contact, although they are the first resort. We also contact ethnic heritage groups, depending on the ethnic background of the artist. Different religious groups who like to organize social outings with their congregations. The plethora of random student groups throughout all the universities here in D.C. The list goes on and on. The more creative, the better.

    The hard part is first collecting all the contact information and determining who are the most relevant contacts for a particular concert. Second, one must craft an email that really speaks to that particular group. No boiler plate email here! Lastly, but probably most importantly, once you do get a bite or even a nibble of interest from one of the groups you contact, you must do three things. Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up! Keep the interest alive until they are purchasing 20 tickets for themselves and their other nineteen Scandinavian, sitar music loving friends. 🙂

  • Zack Hayhurst 5:25 pm on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Survey Design and loaded questions 

    Finishing up the final stages of compiling my research data on student/young adult participation in the performing arts. I have received quite a good response, and the challenge now begins of analyzing all the answers. This was the first survey I have ever designed, and there were some definite things I learned from the experience.

    First of all, it is easier than one may think to write questions that are “loaded”. That is, questions that are worded in such a way that the taker of the survey is sub-consciously directed to answer the question in a certain way. The classic example is an attorney asking a defendant at trial, “Mr. Jones, have you stopped beating your wife?” This is “loaded” because it presupposes many things about Mr. Jones.

    After having already sent out the survey, I realized that some of the questions I asked could possible be seen as loaded. Lesson learned. Now the challenge comes of working this all out in the data. Good times.

  • Zack Hayhurst 5:16 pm on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bit.ly/bWDGeF   

    Finishing up the final stages of compiling my research data on student/young adult participation in the performing arts. I have received quite a good response, and the challenge now begins of analyzing all the answers. This was the first survey I have ever designed, and there were some definite things I learned from the experience.

  • Zack Hayhurst 5:40 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s Spring Break! (minus the beach and pina coladas) 

    Coming to graduate school after a four year break between my undergrad, I looked forward to once again enjoying  a spring break full of pina colada’s and warm weather somewhere South of the Border.  Haha!  Who am I kidding?

    No, this Spring Break I will remain in D.C., helping to finish up details on the 2010-2011 Washington Performing Arts Society season.  I can’t release details as of yet, but I can say there are some HUGE names coming our way.  From singers to jazz artists, there are plenty of goodies beginning Fall 2010.  My role in this process has included collecting multi-media for our new online brochure, set to launch very soon. 

    In addition to the craziness that is planning the new season offerings, I have been working to complete a student performing arts participation survey.  You can take it here bit.ly/bWDGeF and become eligible to win two tickets to an upcoming WPAS performance.  Please check it out.

    • fblume 4:22 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love WPAS! How many folks did the survey?

    • fblume 4:23 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Oops! The link is broken. Can you fix it?

      • Zack Hayhurst 6:46 pm on March 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for pointing that out! I have no idea what happened. It was working originally. I just posted the bit.ly link directly into the post, that way there is no confusion.

    • Stephanie Quinton 7:50 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Although you were stuck in DC for the break I think that your task you needed to complete that week sounded like a lot of fun!

  • Zack Hayhurst 4:39 pm on February 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Riding the wave of work 

    Work at my internship comes in waves.  Sometimes there is a lull, a dip, in the amount of work to be done.  Then there are other times when the wave crests, like this past week, and all of a sudden something new needs to be accomplished, and quick.

    Due to craziness that was Snowmageddon 2010, the office was closed for a week.  If this was the week before the Christmas holiday, it might not have been so bad.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to drop 2 feet of snow right at the time when we are finalizing our 2010-2011 season brochure.  WPAS is doing something entirely new this year with their season brochure (the details of which are yet to be released), so the process for completing it has some new elements involved unlike previous seasons.

    My task in all this, as it was assigned to me, was to make contact with the many arts groups in the D.C. area to request a “list trade”.  This is where you agree to exchange the names of people who have bought tickets to your organization for the same from another organization.  The purpose of all this being to obviously expand your own potential audience.  It is a delicate quid pro quo that at times must be managed with kid gloves so as to not come across as pushy.  Furthermore, it makes it more difficult when you are requesting the names somewhat last minute, due to the snow of course.

    So, this week was a building wave of work for me.  When I left Friday afternoon, all requests for lists had been made, and the wave began to subside a little bit.  The next wave will begin building Monday, hopefully, when all the responses come flooding back into my inbox.

    • fblume 12:22 am on February 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, but when you get that tsunami, you’ll feel pretty good about seeing the fruits of your labor! How many did you send? Then tell us how many answers you get!

  • Zack Hayhurst 11:03 pm on February 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , snowpocalypse 2010   

    Office Closures x 5 

    I feel so disconnected from the world right now, not to mention my internship. The last time I was there was for about two hours last Friday morning. I came in around 10am to wrap some things up, and the left as the snow began to fall around 12:30pm. The office closed shortly after. Ever since then the only thing I have received from WPAS are brief emails simply stating the office will be closed, and notification that our two scheduled performances these past five days were cancelled.

    Sadly, one of the performances was a big one – violinist Joshua Bell at Strathmore. Last I saw the numbers, we were nearly sold out. Luckily, we were able to reschedule with Mr. Bell for a date this coming March. Consequentially, all tickets bought will have the ability to be redeemed then.
    • Matt Sokoloff 8:49 pm on February 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Best of luck getting in to work. Hope you are staying warm! Always enjoy your posts.

      • FB 3:25 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Shameless plugs are great! Did you make it in?

    • Zack Hayhurst 3:35 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I made it in, albeit late. Metro is not known for its timeliness after all.

  • Zack Hayhurst 5:25 am on February 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Taking Initiative 

    This week completes my third week working at WPAS.  I feel I finally “get” the office environment, what is expected of me and where my tasks will take for the remainder of the semester.

    While I am working on a variety of smaller projects with deadlines approaching in the next couple weeks, the main project I’m working on does not have a hard and fast deadline.  The student discount project, as I have lovingly begun to call it, is my baby for the semester.  My management has not provided much oversight on the project so far, but that is fine because I simply go to them when I have questions and they are responsive.  I like that they feel they can trust me with handling this.

    I am also working with two other WPAS members on this project.  The ticket services manager and their group sales coordinator.  On Thursday, we had a meeting outside of the office with someone who has a history of creating successful student discount programs for the University of Michigan.  It was a productive meeting that added some valuable insight to the project, and reminded me that there are in fact limits and realistic expectations to be placed on every project.

    All in all, this internship has shown me what “taking initiative” is all about.  Bosses expect you to get things done without any hand holding. And this is a good thing.  I find the more freedom I am given, the more I seek to achieve.

    • FB 3:08 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great closing quote! What do you think the challenges will be for your project?

    • Zack Hayhurst 3:34 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The challenges for me have been not only figuring out WHAT to offer in student discounts, but also HOW to make the offer to students and young adults in a manner that relates and connects to them.

      • FB 3:49 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        So how are you figuring that out? Talking with other AU students? As a field, the performing arts often worry about their aging audiences and how to get younger audiences interested then loyal. WPAS offers terrific programs. Would Americans for the Arts have ideas (another AU intern employer)? And years ago, Arena Stage offered discounts and special programming. Good luck!

  • Zack Hayhurst 10:23 pm on January 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , personal style   

    Hands-off vs. Hands-on supervision. What do you prefer? 

    Yesterday marked the completion of my third week at Washington Performing Arts Society.  Something that has become more and more clear to me each day I work there is the hands-off style of my supervisors.  I have tasks that I have been given, and short of me asking them questions, they rarely come around to my desk to monitor my progress.  While personally, I like this type of supervision, I know others prefer a more guided approach to assignments.

    For all of you reading this who are currently in an internship, or those of you who plan on doing an internship sometime soon, what kind of style do you prefer and why?  Are you the person that likes to be given a general goal or outcome to achieve and then be left to your own devices to accomplish it, or are you someone that performs better when clear directions and expectations are given?

    • FB 7:40 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’m surprised no one’s answered yet! Maybe they aren’t sure. If you’re brand new to something, you might want the hands on. If you up and ready to go, hands off can be fine. But sometime, somewhere, everyone needs feedback!

  • Zack Hayhurst 9:56 pm on January 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Zack Hayhurst – Marketing the Performing Arts 

    This past fall I began the Master of Arts Management program here at AU. I have my Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal Communications and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida. Four years out of college, I wondered how I might get involved with the arts on an administrative and professional level. I had always been a vocal artist, singing with various groups and as a soloist, but I realized after a while I enjoyed it more as a hobby than a profession. After thoroughly researching possible graduate programs, I decided on the Arts Management program here at American.

    This semester, I am undertaking a marketing internship at Washington Performing Arts Society. They are an arts presenting organization here in DC, hosting artists and groups from all over the world. This semester, I am charged with researching and writing different marketing copy for next seasons’ artists, as well as implementing a student discount program.  It is only my first week,  so I am sure to have more interesting assignments as the semester progresses. This blog will serve as a way for me to reflect on my experiences, and perhaps spark some interest in readers to pursue a similar internship in marketing for the performing arts.

    • FB 7:11 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      A student discount program is a great way to keep the arts alive! Great idea and good luck on the PR. How did you get your internship?

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