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Below, Rebecca Patterson ’17 presents MCLA President James F. Birge with the painting she was asked to create for him as a present from the Student Government Association (SGA), upon the occasion of his inauguration during the spring semester.

New Alumna Works for BSO at Tanglewood

07/12/17

For some time, Rebecca Patterson ’17 has dreamed of working for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). This year marks her second summer of doing just that: she is working in a fulltime, seasonal position with the BSO at Tanglewood.

Last year, the arts management major was the volunteer services assistant for the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers. This summer, she is working for the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) as the assistant dormitory supervisor, living and working with 125 “amazing musicians” from around the world.

“I actually applied to be a Tanglewood guide, but after interviewing for the position was asked to apply for this position instead because of my experience as a Resident Assistant (RA) at MCLA for three years,” Patterson said.

She was hired two days after her interview with TMC. “I make sure that the musicians have everything they need to be able to do their best work and get the most out of the Tanglewood season.” She continued, “I love the opportunity to get to know so many talented musicians.”

This summer affords Patterson another opportunity to show BSO officials her work ethic and her vision, “and, it’s another summer at Tanglewood.” 

She credits her arts management professors at MCLA with motivating her to get real world experience, and to take what she learned in their classes and apply it in the field. MCLA’s arts management program “really positions students to do good work in the field, and also provides opportunities to start work while still at school – including internships, work study, field work, volunteer experience, and more.”

Also an artist, Patterson was asked by the Student Government Association (SGA) to create a work of art of an iconic place on campus for MCLA President James F. Birge, as a gift for his inauguration. The painting, titled “Touchable,” now hangs in his office, across from his desk.

“I chose the gates because they have so much meaning to me” and other students who attend MCLA, Patterson explained. Students only pass through these gates twice throughout their college career. First, when they arrive as freshmen on their way to convocation, and again on their graduation day.

“I also set the painting in the softest part of spring, when everything is brand new. I remember walking through the gates at convocation and commencement, and who I was at those separate moments. I wanted him to look back at his time at MCLA and see how it changed him and how he changed the campus.”

Patterson hopes this summer’s assignment will lead to continued work with the BSO this fall. Positions often become available in late August.

“I think the people I know here understand my passion and drive and want to see me succeed,” she said. “My hope is to work for the BSO in Boston in the fall, and I’m doing everything I can to make that happen.”