Project 440 Teaching Artist Spotlight: Nozomi Imamura


Meet Project 440 Teaching Artist, Nozomi Imamura! Our interview highlights how and why he got involved with this organization, as well as an in-depth understanding of how he practices what he preaches to the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Q: How did you get involved with Project 440, and what drew you to this organization?

I first started working as a teaching artist during Project 440’s summer music program at Philadelphia International Music Festival. And now I co-teach one of the curriculums called Doing Good. To be completely honest, Joseph Conyers is one of my biggest inspirations as a musician, educator, and fitness enthusiast, and I wanted to have opportunities to work with him.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a Teaching Artist?

Being able to connect, mentor, and inspire people to open up their potential through music.


Q: Like most of the Project 440 staff, you wear many hats outside of your work as a Teaching Artist. Can you speak about what other projects/ensembles/organizations you are involved with outside of Project 440?

I am a Community Artist Fellow from the Curtis Institute of Music, and through the fellowship program I work as a band director at South Philadelphia High School and work closely with the Project HOME. I am also a regular substitute member for regional orchestras around Philadelphia.

Q: You have also worked in Japan as a performer; do you see a need for programs that Project 440 offer in Japanese society as well?

I have only performed in Japan for a few times, but seeing how community based projects and interactive performances are becoming more and more common and needed, I think it would be great to have curriculums that Project 440 offers in Japan.

Q: If you could give any advice to your high school self with regards to college applications and career choices, what would it be?

Be yourself and don’t try to fit in. When you find something you can be passionate about, take risks and pursue it!


Music Made Me

By Megan A. Speight, Project 440 Marketing Committee Chair

 “Did you practice?”

My mother always asked me this retched question about 5 minutes into the car ride on the way to my violin lessons. My response was usually the same, going through the motions of looking into her rearview mirror and mumbling something unrecognizable before continuing to eat my snack. Her response was always one of disappointment but at the end of the day, she knew deep down I loved the instrument and the relationship I had with it.


I started taking violin lessons at the age of 4 following the Suzuki method. However, my love for music didn't start there. My mother played all types of music for me while she was pregnant and I took a Mommy and Me music class that started when I was about 6 months old. My mother played piano growing up and was adamant that my brother and I also played instruments.

Playing the violin gave me opportunities and confidence that I may not have so easily obtained without it. I never had the opportunity to have stage fright because starting at 5 years old I played concerts for family which later evolved to recitals that featured my violin teacher’s other students. I participated in Suzuki play-ins at the Franklin Institute for years and was one of hundreds of students contributing to filling the halls of the historic museum. Most importantly, at my Grandmother’s orchestration, I began playing at church. In front of the entire congregation. My brother and I were members of our youth choir, but let’s be real, my real talent was playing the violin. I was able to captivate audiences through my voice personified through my instrument. I was small, but my sound and presence were mighty. Seeing a need for another youth activity, the Church Orchestra was formed with my brother and I as founding members. Being in church orchestra allowed me to strengthen my leadership skills, teaching other musicians how to read music and leading my small violin section. To this day, many of my family members and older Church members recognize me as “the girl with the violin” and some even ask if I still play. Unfortunately, I decided to take a break from playing once I graduated High school. Springside School was where I started playing and Springside School was where I had my final recital at my Senior Assembly. One day I plan to pick my old buddy back up, but for now, we are continuing to take some time apart.

While I no longer consider myself a musician, music is what has made me the woman I am today. Through music, I was able to make connections with people, practice new skills and through music, I feel at home. Growing up, my Grandmother not only ensured I was utilizing and showcasing my leadership and musicianship skills at church and beyond, but she also ensured I knew the importance of giving back. Not just to those who helped me get to where I am, but also to my direct and extended community. Growing up I participated in many days of service and participated in a reading program that directly contributed to my mother’s alma mater, Francis D. Pastorius Elementary School. I also have fond memories of riding to D’Ambrosios’s bakery to pick-up rolls that were included in platters that my Grandmother served to the homeless through our church. Ironically, I can still remember how amazing they smelled and how delicious they tasted coming fresh out of the over. My grandmother was also a founding member of our church scholarship committee and also preached the importance of an excellent education. Both my grandparents preached this to me while I was in their care and my parents were living proof of it and set the example for my brother and I on a daily basis. This commitment to service is what spurred my interest and later commitment to serving my community.

After graduating from George Mason University, I moved back to Philadelphia to pursue my Masters at Drexel University. While I was physically home, I felt as though something was missing from my life. Going to work and hanging out with friends only occupies so much of your time and as a millennial, I grew up with a booked calendar of extra-curricular activities. I knew I needed to use my time wisely. I was reminded of my commitment to service and made it a priority once I had finished Grad school and was settled in a job to find an organization that was a mutually good fit for me give back to my community through. After a great deal of research, I was connected to Project 440 through the Young Involved Philadelphia Board Prep Program. With my talents and passion for the arts and supporting my community, I knew that board service was a natural next step in my commitment to giving back. Project 440’s mission, to engage, educate and inspire young musicians, providing them with the career and life skills they need to develop into tomorrow's civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders, has and will continue to have a seismic impact on students. Many young musicians need support from organizations offering programs such as the ones at Project 440 to feel encouraged to continue with their passion or have a community to know that they can use their current passions to help evolve them into incredible human beings. I am proud to help continue the legacy and impact that music has on students through my service work with Project 440. I hope that more individuals in my generation step-up to keep music in schools or return them to schools and ensure organizations like Project 440 have the longevity to support and encourage student musicians and students interested in music for generations to come.

More About Megan:

Megan A. Speight is an experienced public relations and communications professional with over 6 years’ experience in the industry. She has worked in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors working for organizations such as Comcast, The Franklin Institute and the National Constitution Center. In her current role as Public Relations Manager at Maternity Care Coalition, Ms. Speight focuses her efforts on media relations, developing and implementing public relations plans, supporting the Fund Development and program staff with events, and co-manages all of the organizations’ social media platforms. Most notably, Ms. Speight has worked on the PA Safe Sleep campaign, a multi-media campaign promoting safe sleep practices for families with newborns, where she manages social media ads, purchased over $150,000 in SEPTA ads, developed a radio PSA, and managed the production of a hospital waiting room video.

Ms. Speight is a native of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, but currently resides in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Springside School, obtained her B.A. in Communications from George Mason University and her M.S. in Public Communication from Drexel University. She is the Deputy Director of Public Relations for WIM Global, a Blogger for the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Chair of the Marketing Advisory Committee for Project 440 and a member of the Junior League of Philadelphia.

Project 440 Donor Spotlight: Peter "Tad" LeVan


Meet Tad LeVan, Donor and Project 440 Board President! Tad is the man behind the scenes, ensuring that our Board is running like a smooth oiled machine. Our interview highlights what drives Tad to give so much to our organization and the important role music has and continues to play in his life.

Q: How did you get to know Project 440?
Back in 2014, my daughter Elena was being inducted in the Tri-M Music Honor Society at Washington Township High School in New Jersey. Joseph Conyers, Project 440’s Executive Director, gave the keynote address at the ceremony.  I was blown away by Joseph’s passion, motivation and vision for using music as a tool to teach important career and life-skills to high school students.  I walked right up to him after the ceremony ended and offered to help any way I could!

Q: What inspired you give to Project 440 as a donor and as a working Board member in your current capacity?
Music has always been an important part of my life.  I was completely taken with the idea of using music to develop educational, entrepreneurial and community-engaging programs to provide direction, assistance and professional advancement to young people.  And, of course, you cannot speak of inspiration without recognizing Joseph himself: His joy, passion and excitement for Project 440 is contagious. It’s impossible to hear Joseph speak and not want to be part of his vision to change the world for the better.  So right from the start I was excited to support Project 440, both financially and by serving on the Board.

Q: Why do you think our work is important?
Our country’s public secondary education system primarily focuses on providing students with substantive knowledge in particular subject-matter areas.  Even in well-administered and fiscally solvent districts, secondary schools rarely provide opportunities for students to develop the entrepreneurial and community-engaging skill sets that are so necessary to thrive in today’s world.  Project 440 fills that gap and provides important service and support in those critical skill areas. As our mission aptly states: “Project 440 engages, educates and inspires young musicians, providing them with the career and life skills they need to develop into tomorrow's civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.”

Q: What is your personal connection to music?
I have happily been involved with music my entire life.  When I was younger, I played piano and trombone, and also performed in several professional musical theater productions.  Even after becoming a trial attorney, music has remained a critically important part of my life. Over the years, I have sung with numerous choral groups, including the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Choral Arts of Philadelphia, and most recently Choral Arts of Southern New Jersey.  In addition, within the past few years I have returned to the stage in musical theater productions after a 30-year hiatus. I have always loved performing in front of an audience but I now have the added benefit of causing great embarrassment to my children! I consider that a win-win.  

Q: How did the skills you developed through your musical involvement/activities help in your career or inform your work approach?
Needless to say, there are numerous similarities between performing onstage and being a trial attorney.   Skills in public speaking, story-telling, and relating to an audience – to name just a few – easily transferred to my professional life and provided a solid foundation upon which to build.  But just as importantly, my early involvement in music taught me how to work within an ensemble, showed me the importance of consistently practicing your craft, and helped me develop the necessary grit to persevere through challenging situations that inevitably arise in any professional setting.  

Music is magical:  It has been a constant pillar in my life and will undoubtedly continue to play a central role in my years to come.  I am immensely grateful to have the opportunity to work with Project 440 and share the power of music with the next generation.

Photo from Tad performing.

Photo from Tad performing.

Project 440 Staff Spotlight: Susanna Loewy


Meet Susanna Loewy, Project 440 Program Director and Lead Teaching Artist! Our interview highlights how and why she got involved with this organization, as well as an in-depth understanding of how she practices what she preaches to the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Q: You’ve been working for Project 440 since Joseph moved to Philadelphia to join the Philadelphia Orchestra. How did you first get involved, and what drew you to this organization?
Since moving to Philadelphia in 2009, I had been a Teaching Artist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. When Joseph moved to Philly, I was excited to learn about his interest in music education and the paths it can take. The music circles are small, and eventually I got to meet Joe and expressed my interest in his non-profit. The next time he had a Teaching Artist opening, he asked me to help out, and from there our working relationship grew!

Q: You wear many hats at Project 440 (and in general!). Can you speak a little about what you do?
Well, I’m the Program Director and Lead Teaching Artist for P440. As Program Director, I develop and help to implement the programs, such as Doing Good, Instruments for Success, and the College Fair. We also have a series of workshops for PMAY and Philly Orchestra Fellows that I organize. As Lead Teaching Artist, I do a bit of ‘teach the teacher,’ where I train the current Teaching Artists to teach our leadership and entrepreneurship curriculum. I also teach for Doing Good, splitting the classes with another excellent Teaching Artist, Nozomi Imamura.


Q: How did you become a Teaching Artist?
I became a Teaching Artist through the Philadelphia Orchestra’s School Partnership Program (SPP). The education and training under Mary Javian was wonderful, and I really fell for the Teaching Artistry field. I worked for 9 years; I only gave up my position last spring after starting in the fall of 2009.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a teaching artist?
I love the idea of entry points -- this is the method of using the music to figure out the best way to reach an audience or group of students. If we can understand how to reach each other, then we can understand each other as humans, and what better way to explore music?

Q: You are involved in many organizations as a flutist, teacher, Teaching Artist, and administrator, a few that you actually started yourself! Can you speak about the other projects/ensembles/organizations you are involved with outside of Project 440?


This is generally when people start to get that glazed-over look in their eyes, but I’ll try! I am the flutist for two chamber ensembles -- Inscape Chamber Orchestra in the DC area, and NakedEye Ensemble in Lancaster. I run a chamber music and visual art festival in Vermont (this summer marks its 8th season!) called the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival. Last fall, I founded the Ellipses Ensemble in Philadelphia, which is a chamber music group that ties in documentary storytelling in order to promote mental health awareness.


Then, I teach flute lessons through the Philly Orchestra Fellowship Program and the Primavera Foundation, as well as privately. I’m also faculty at Kutztown University, where I’m the flute teacher for a wonderful studio of young flutists, as well as leading Flute Choir, and teaching a couple of classes -- Rhythm and Movement, and The Professional Classical Musician, a leadership/entrepreneurship class that is based on Project 440’s Doing Good curriculum. I also freelance in the Philadelphia area, playing with area ensembles when called upon. I think that about covers the scope of my career currently… it’s a lot of different avenues of musicianship, but that’s what makes each day interesting; overall, I really try to make sure that I feel invested in what I’m doing -- if I have love and appreciation for the organization or program, then I’m thrilled to put in the work.


Q: If you could give any advice to your high school self with regards to college applications and career choices, what would it be?
It has taken me way too long to understand my strengths and be willing to run with them. We all have our role models and mentors, and mine have been wonderful. I only wish I had been able to recognize earlier that my own path is also valid and valuable, instead of feeling unworthy because I wasn’t doing what I thought I needed to do. I wrote this Teaching Artist Statement a number of years ago; I think it applies here…
Music careers, in our current 21st-century world, are difficult. We have to learn that they won’t necessarily take on the form as that of our role models, our idols, our classical music rock stars. That can be hard to accept. But once you do, once you realize that you really can make your own opportunities, the musical world is large and bright. You can create situations that truly fit who you are, personally and musically; you can shape your career and teaching to be exactly what it needs to be. Because, no matter what the model, our world will always need music. We’ve evolved as musical beings, and that’s not going to go away. If anything, humanity is starving for more; it’s up to us to put it out there.”

YAC's "Young Person's Night at the Orchestra" Welcomes Record Number of Youth


Project 440's Youth Advisory Council (YAC), in collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, filled the room with over 50 youth from 25 different schools in the Philadelphia area at their second pre-concert mixer event for high school students interested in classical music. 

15 Philadelphia Orchestra musicians stopped by to mingle with the students over sweets and beverages, half of whom had never attended a Philadelphia Orchestra Concert before. 


The soloist for the evening, Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Viola C.J. Chang, also made an appearance to talk to students. We are blown away by YAC's reach and ability to engage peers who may not otherwise attend a concert. Keep up the great work!


Doing Good Students Pitch Community Based Projects at P440 Shark Tank


After a semester of learning the ins and outs of leadership, social entrepreneurship, and project management, student groups in the 2018-19 cohort of Doing Good presented pitches for their community based projects to a panel consisting of Philadelphia community leaders. 


In addition to projects that have continued from last year's class like Generation Music and Center City Chamber Orchestra, new projects ideas were also pitched:

  • Project Princeps - This group’s mission is to give every child the chance to experience the power of books through musically minded entrepreneurial ventures. They plan to accomplish this through putting together a community concert where, in lieu of a ticket, attendees donate a book.

  • Generation Music - Founded by 2018 Doing Good graduates, Generation Music is an organization that educates underrepresented youth about classical music to further diversify professional orchestras. Now a fiscally sponsored and award winning organization, they are expanding on their original project through developing an interactive “Night at the Orchestra” workshop, in partnership with Settlement Music School, aimed at introducing young people to different musical instruments.

  • Teen Arts: Theater and Film - This group’s mission is to give, inspire, and expose young people from schools without theater or film programs to these art forms. They plan to accomplish this by creating a program that will culminate in small showcase. Participants will have time to practice and perform each of their numbers, and get to enjoy the thrill of the dramatic arts.

  • Center City Chamber Orchestra project extension - CCCO was founded by a group of 2018 Doing Good graduates who wanted to brings together a diverse group of student musicians in the Philadelphia area to create a youth-led performing ensemble. This year, they plan to expand on their original project by building out a more formal board and putting together a community performance.


A special thank you the panelists who helped provide valuable feedback to these young entrepreneurs:

Interested in supporting the important work that these students are accomplishing in their communities? Your donations will help provide seed money for these projects and allow students to particpate in our programming. Click here to contribute!

Introducing the Youth Advisory Council's new members!


We are very happy to present the new Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members! YAC is a program that uses peer to peer influence to ensure student voices are included in the development of our programs and encourage students to further develop their leadership skills.

YAC includes alumni of Project 440 programs, the School District of Philadelphia, and other young leaders from throughout the region with a passion for music education. This group meets monthly and receives training aimed at developing their leadership skills.

Dotan Yarden, President of YAC, explained “We bring in professionals to present about topics such as event planning, budget, advocacy, and board governance. Many of these skills will benefit us in the years to come as we take on various roles as artists and entrepreneurs.”

The addition of YAC helps us to connect with new students and continue directly working with alumni of our previous programs. By teaching and working together with these students, we can help them continue to grow into their full potential. Yarden added “Real-time student feedback enables Project 440 to continuously evolve to best serve the needs of its students.” By listening and working with these young leaders, we will be able to continue growing and offering the best opportunities, skills and tools that current and future students need to succeed.

Click here for a list of all the new members of the Youth Advisory Council!

Connecting Students with Opportunity at the 2018 College Fair for Musicians

College Fair attendees listening to announcements from the stage. Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

College Fair attendees listening to announcements from the stage. Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

Not unlike any big event, months of preparation, organization (spear-headed by no one other than Sam Apgar), and sweat went into putting on our annual College Fair for Musicians, and it was a smashing success, thanks to a team effort from our staff, interns, and volunteers. We could not have been happier with the results—a turn out of over 300 attendees, representatives from 45 colleges, universities, and conservatories from around the country, and press coverage from all local major news stations. You can read more about our Fair in this Inquirer article.

The day before the Fair, Sam, Joseph, Susanna, Andy (our intern), and Youth Advisory Council members stuffed over 400 bags with Project 440 swag, brochures, and programs for our attendees. What could have been a mundane event was actually a nice bonding activity. Agnes, one of our YAC volunteers, was gracious enough to spend her birthday helping Project 440 so there were cupcakes and pizza. Upon the students discovering that Joe had never seen Shrek, Marquise promptly pulled up the movie on the screen, providing background entertainment for the afternoon.

Swag stuffing party! Photo Credit: Samantha Apgar

Swag stuffing party! Photo Credit: Samantha Apgar

Clark Connor leads a workshop on recording yourself for auditions. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Clark Connor leads a workshop on recording yourself for auditions. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

The day of the College Fair started bright and early for Team Project 440 with a 7am arrival at the Kimmel Center.  It was all worth it as our college registration, attendee registration, and set up for the 6 workshops on college admissions topics went smoothly.  The morning sessions included An Overview of College Prep, College Audition Prep, and Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Music. The afternoon sessions were on Scholarships and Financial Aid, College Essay Writing, and Tips on Recording Yourself for Auditions. Students seemed to find the Audition workshops to be the most helpful in addressing anxieties about this part of the application process.

Councilman David Oh presenting Joseph Conyers with Citation from the City Council. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Councilman David Oh presenting Joseph Conyers with Citation from the City Council. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

City Councilman David Oh made an appearance close to lunchtime to present Joseph with a citation recognizing the important work Project 440 is doing for the Philadelphia community. “Whereas, the College Fair for Musicians is an extraordinary opportunity that helps young musicians to connect to advanced education resources and be more effective in the realm of music and society by providing them with much needed leadership and talents that will strengthen our Music Community, our City, and our Country.” While what drives Joseph and Team Project 440 to work tirelessly towards putting on an event like the College Fair for Musicians comes from our deep desire to “do good,” it is nice to have some public recognition. We were truly happy that Joseph received this honor during the Fair.

Juilliard representative speaking to College Fair attendee. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Juilliard representative speaking to College Fair attendee. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

The feedback we’ve been receiving from the attendee’s post-College Fair surveys has been overwhelmingly positive. Many attendees felt that they were “exposed to many more options for colleges,” “more open to different types of programs in college,” and “were considering different career paths in music.” Attendees were impressed with the diversity and the number of colleges that were present at the Fair and found that the college representatives were “welcoming in their ability to answer any question no matter how vague or specific,” “ informative and approachable,” and “knew what kind of student the school generally attracts.”

Cigus “The College Fairy” Vanni presenting a workshop on An Overview of College Prep. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Cigus “The College Fairy” Vanni presenting a workshop on An Overview of College Prep. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Cigus, the College Fairy, who teaches Instruments for Success and led the Overview of College Prep workshops says: "How great is it when forty-five of the colleges and conservatories with the most high-quality music programs in the country come to YOUR venue for YOU?  That's what a college fair is--and it provides each student with the opportunity to interact personally with school representatives that can answer questions, address concerns and provide insight and nuance.  Finding the right "fit" between student and program is critical--and what a great opportunity the college fair provides!"

Winner of the Sixers tickets in the raffle at the end of the day. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Winner of the Sixers tickets in the raffle at the end of the day. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

The day concluded with a raffle drawing for attendees who attended 3 or more workshops offered throughout the day. Through in-kind sponsorships, we were able to give away a Wawa gift basket, gift cards to Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle, Amazon, and South, concert tickets to Philly POPs, Kimmel Center, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and perhaps most excitingly, Sixers tickets donated to us by Board member, Jonathan Fink. The look on the winner’s face just says it all— hopefully he left the Fair with a lot of great information on college admissions, but he may have been most happy to leave with those Sixers tickets in hand :)

*Many many thanks are in order to all of our in-kind sponsors; all of our raffle items were donations from Board members Mary Javian, Blake Espy, Jon Fink, plus all of the organizations named above; the print job of our beautiful programs were donated to us by Media Copy; our day was captured by the talents of Ed Hille, Rick Urbanowski, and our very own Chloe Cooper; lunchtime entertainment was provided by the Dan McCain Quartet; Fox & Hound offered us coupons for attendee swag bags; Frederick Oster Fine Violins and Stephanie M. Schwartzberg Esq. were fiscal sponsors. And of course thank you to our volunteer team-- YAC members, Thomas Meany, and Teresa Montano.

Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

Joseph Conyers, Project 440 Founder and Executive Director, honored by Sphinx Organization

The Sphinx Organization, the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, has announced the 2019 recipients of the Sphinx Medals of Excellence. Project 440 Founder and Executive Director Joseph H. Conyers is among the recipients of this prestigious award. The other recpients are Raquel González and Will Liverman.

Click here  to download the full press release.

Click here to download the full press release.

Sphinx annually honors three emerging Black or Latinx classical musicians with the Sphinx Medal of Excellence. Through a national nomination process, Sphinx identifies musicians early in their professional career who demonstrate the following qualities: artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination and ongoing commitment to leadership. The recipients each receive a $50,000 career grant, bestowed in Washington D.C. at a private luncheon hosted by The Kennedy Center and the Aspen Institute, and celebrated at a black-tie gala. The eighth annual Sphinx Medals of Excellence celebration will take place on March 20, 2019.

Sphinx President Afa S. Dworkin shared, “It is an honor and privilege to celebrate three outstanding artists of color in our nation’s capital. In the midst of a divisive climate, music truly unites us all. The incredible recipients of theSphinx Medal of Excellence are sources of light and inspiration in the classical music field and in our communities at large, and I cannot wait to see what each of them will accomplish.”

About Joseph H. Conyers: Double bassist Joseph H. Conyers was appointed assistant principal bassist of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010 after tenures with the Atlanta Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and Grand Rapids Symphony where he served as principal bass. A formidable advocate for music education, he is executive director of Project 440, an organization that engages, educates, and inspires young musicians, providing them with the career and life skills they need to develop into tomorrow's civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.

A Project 440 Alum Returns: A Reflection from Hannah Silverberg

Hannah at a Project 440 event in June.

Hannah at a Project 440 event in June.

Hannah playing flute at a Project 440/Philadelphia International Music Festival community performance.

Hannah playing flute at a Project 440/Philadelphia International Music Festival community performance.

Hannah is a rising sophomore at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She is also an alumna of both All City Orchestra and Project 440! It was such a treat to have her with us this summer and we are so impressed by the leadership that she showed as our Program Intern. Read more about her experience below!


Q: What made you decide to intern with Project 440?
During my last years of high school, I gained valuable information from the workshops available to me as well as the amazing opportunity of being a fellow in the Project 440 fellowship program. I knew that I was so lucky to have this experience, and since I wanted to give back and help others the way I was helped, I saw this internship as the perfect medium. It provided me with a way to help aspiring musicians as well as learn a new hands-on experiences that could not be gained from conservatory education alone. 

Q: What are the key things you learned from the internship?
One big thing that I learned is that in working for an organization that is dedicated to doing good, no job, no matter how small, is insignificant. The word ‘intern’ sometimes comes with the connotation of repetitive and less exciting work, but in the end, the work that gets done affects everyone in the organization positively and is of service to the students we are dedicated to helping. I learned that, just as every cog is important in the functioning of a machine, it was important and motivating to me to step back and look at the big picture of how Project 440 operates and helps. The biggest insight that I was able take away from the internship was learning that when you are working with the right people in the right organization, that has a mission you believe in, and everyone’s heart is in the right place –– then you are willing to do the best job you can, and go above and beyond, which makes the outcome even more rewarding! 

Q: What aspects of the internship did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed being able to see an organization from both sides –– from the perspective of the providers of our services and from the perspective of those we have served. Since I was a student in high school receiving information from the organization, I was excited to intern with Project 440 because I knew of all the benefits this organization can provide to aspiring musicians and I knew the tools for success that were offered. Everyone who is involved with Project 440 truly believes in the good of the organization and the good works of the organization, which inspired me everyday to work my hardest. The Project 440 team may be small, but together, provide experiences that can change a life.