Music composition major performs in Blossom Festival Chorus, takes on administrative duties during APEX Fellowship

Ethan Yoder '25

Ethan Yoder ’25 has a renewed sense of appreciation for the immense preparation and dedication that contributes to professional musical performance after his APEX Fellowship. Yoder, a music composition major at the College of Wooster from Granger, Indiana, interned with the Cleveland Orchestra, aiding in the organization of their music libraries and serving as an administrative coordinator for various groups during the Blossom Music Festival. He also had the opportunity to sing in the Blossom Festival Chorus. Under the guidance of Jill Harbaugh, manager of choruses at the Cleveland Orchestra, his experience enriched his perspective of the inner workings of professional performance and refined his skills in teamwork, organization, and coordination.

“My career plans and view of my field are stronger than ever before. I feel more certain than ever that I have picked the right path for myself.”

—Ethan Yoder ’25

How did you learn about the internship opportunity for your APEX Fellowship?  

“I was approached by Lisa Wong, Oliver Williams Kettering Professor of Music, about the position. As a music major, getting practical experience in a musical workspace is invaluable, as music is so much more than the songs performed.”

Ethan Yoder '25

Ethan Yoder ’25

What interests you most about the work you did? What were some of the things you did each day? 

“Part of my work was being a member of the Blossom Festival Chorus. As a lifelong singer, having the opportunity to sing at a professional level with one of the world’s leading orchestras was incredible. Though not every day, rehearsal and performance were a big part of my work. In the office, my daily tasks were oriented towards helping get the chorus ready for the 2023-2024 classical season, and I did this by preparing scores, organizing the music library, and making sure all necessary files were inventoried, digitized, and filed properly.”


Who was your mentor and how did they help you to succeed in this position? 

“My mentor was my supervisor, Jill Harbaugh. She helped me by giving me the structure of what I needed to do and then offering me the freedom to find my way to my goal on my own, guiding me as needed.”

What are some skills you’ve learned that you see yourself carrying forward in your career? 

“Organization and data management were two skills that were hugely developed, as well as interdisciplinary teamwork and coordination.”

How has the internship helped you to see what’s next for you?  

“My career plans and view of my field are stronger than ever before. I feel more certain than ever that I have picked the right path for myself.”

Is there anything else you want to share about your APEX Fellowship? 

“Working behind the scenes for a leading music institution has helped me realize how much I take for granted when I attend a concert. Weeks, if not months, are necessary to prepare for a single weekend of performances, and that’s not including the rehearsals and at-home work on the part of the musicians. If anything, my fellowship experience has deepened my appreciation for the music that I love so much.”

Posted in Experiential Learning, Showcase Stories 2023 on August 16, 2023.