Intern Blog: Researching and Creating Digital Tools for KBMF

POSTED: Jun. 15, 2020

Since the in-person components of Kent Blossom Music Festival are canceled this season, my internship and its responsibilities have become entirely digital. In today’s blog, I want to introduce some of them related to operations and also ask you, the readers of this blog, to provide any advice to help us better deliver information, services, and performances.

My first project is to construct a FAQ webpage. This new page is for both concert audiences and for the young artists applying to attend KBMF. When I started putting together questions, everything I knew about the festival was from the official website. However, in the virtual setting, it is difficult to fully picture a detailed daily young artist schedule. I am eager to talk with program alumni to find out any questions they faced when applying to KBMF. Without opportunities to ask in person, online references are the best alternative. I have also looked up other music festivals across the US. What are some materials and information they have online we don’t? Do we need to add them on our website or simply put them into the FAQ? Since we aren't able to offer the full festival this year, we can take this time to evaluate our management and administration so we can move forward with stronger practices and policies.

My second project is a repertoire database. I brought this up to help with repertoire assignments. One of the most complicated planning processes to me is the assignment of chamber music repertoire to young artists. I thought this process would occur after we received a list of festival participants. But this process actually starts right away and may open to adjustments when we have the list of participants. Several factors go into these decisions:

  1. One is because of the variety of chamber music. This is something I was not aware of because I do not have much experience with chamber music. There are hundreds of ways to combine strings, woodwinds, and piano. When I look through past repertoire lists, I can tell that the ensembles become more and more diverse in composition time, style, and instrumentation. The educational objective is embedded in the repertoire selection as well. The number of musicians in an ensemble ranges from two to fifteen. 

  2. Along with the educational goals, every young artist should have equal opportunities and enough pieces to work on in a five-week period of time. This means the alternation between the first and second parts, playing pieces with different instrumentation, and getting feedback from different faculty members. 

  3. Finally, Mr. Sepúlveda needs to work with the admission board and the faculty during this process. Because there is a separate advisory board to review the application materials, it is important to communicate frequently with them and make sure the music is assigned appropriately. Faculty are also essential to connect with since sometimes they have preferred pieces to teach and may like to assign musicians by themselves. 

With those factors in mind, my intention is to create a reusable database document that is flexible for adjustments and facilitates easy tracking of assignments.

Right now, we are also planning for our rebroadcast series. We look back and select pieces from past videos and recordings. Pieces from both faculty concerts and young artists’ concerts are on our list. They are varied in instrumentation, venues, and style. I cannot wait to see how this series is shaped!