Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Exit interview: Michelle Buckley

Fri May 8 2015

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Now time for some music by Felix Mendelssohn's good friend, Prince Albert (i.e. Queen Victoria's husband).… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Our Communications Trainee (also known as Marketing and Press Trainee), Michelle, leaves us today. Sad sad face. We got the 411 before she left.

What made you apply for the trainee position in the first place?

As part of my MA in Arts Administration, I was required to complete a work experience somewhere.  A friend of mine had done an internship with the OAE, and she told me lots of good things about it – about how interesting the work was, and about the great office environment. So, when I saw the opening, I applied and hoped for the best.


What surprised you most about working here?

I was surprised by how glamorous it is. People in the office are constantly going to cool places – New York, Paris, Chesterfield. Then they just roll into work the next day with their sunglasses over their eyes saying, “Yeah – I was in Russia this morning. I brought you back some biscuits”.


What’s been your favourite item of food in the office during your time here?

Does wine count as a food? OK, well, in terms of solid food, I’d have to say the train cake which Laura put together. It was amazing – she made it out of a swiss roll, and used chocolate fingers for tracks.


Any musical highlights?

I really loved going to see the Flying the Flag: Best of Both concert at Southbank Centre. It was a great performance, and the first time I’d been to that concert hall. I also saw Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Rotterdam, which was incredible – although I had to leave early for transport-related reasons.


You’ve written quite a few blogs for us during your time here. What’s the favourite musical fact that you’ve unearthed?

Hmm…  I learned that Bach once pulled off his wig and threw it at someone during a performance.  That was interesting. I also learned that Dvorak’s New World Symphony was inspired by the rhythm of Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha. I like that poem a lot, and it has a really distinctive meter, so it was interesting to listen to the music and to compare the two.


What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start a career in the arts?

Just because you worked hard for an interview or on an application doesn’t mean you’ll get the job, and just because you worked hard on a project doesn’t mean that anyone will pat you on the back. You should work hard for the sake of doing a good job, not because you expect anything.

We’ll be looking for a new Communications Trainee closer to the beginning of the 2015–2016 season, so keep your eyes peeled.


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