Introducing Hailey McKinley!
Leading Tones Music had the pleasure of working with a student intern for the 2021-2022 academic year, and what a year it was! In December, we took our first-ever trip to The Midwest Clinic in Chicago. This spring, Hailey got to work on an exciting new project. Let’s have her tell us about herself and her work with Leading Tones…
Q: How did you find out about Leading Tones Music?
A: It was my second year at Winona State. Dr. Brooks presented to the Music Business Seminar asking for students to intern with Leading Tones Music’s first booth at the Minnesota Music Educators’ Association.
Q: What has excited you the most about working with Leading Tones?
A: Getting experience and exploring my curiosity in music publishing, exhibiting at a convention, and learning that process. After that first conference, from all of the research we had to do, I learned more about LTM’s mission and goals. That made me really want to support you guys and grew my curiosity. Seeing your commissioning projects going on and wanting to learn more about the backend with that.
Q: What instrument do you play, and have you played any pieces from the LTM catalog?
A: I play euphonium and trombone. I’ve played Renaissance Festival, Second to None, The Bamboo Tree Needs Water, The Tournament (<--I conducted this one!), Tango Corazon, Concert Overture, and I believe we did Flex Tango during the pandemic. My classmate also recorded The Coast in Winter. OH! And On the Banks of the Mississippi. That was a great piece. I’ve gotten to meet Jukka Viitasaari, Hanna Lehtonen, Stephen Mitton, Ian Deterling, Am’re Ford, Eric Xu, Spencer Brand, and Robert Pore over my years at Winona State University.
Q: What value do you see in working with living composers?
A: When a living composer comes and visits an ensemble, it’s such a cool experience that not many people will get unless you’re in an honor band. It was such a common thing at Winona State and every experience was so great to learn the composer’s inspiration behind each piece and being able to work with them on it.
When it came to performing Eric’s The Bamboo Tree Needs Water, I wasn’t as stressed because I knew his personality and he was a really nice person. I also became more focused on little details I had missed, such as articulation and style. I wanted it to be the best it could be!
Q: You are finishing your degree in Music Business, what made you want to go into this degree and what are some of your goals for the future?
A: I was originally Music Ed and got to a point where I realized that when I graduate, I would have a degree that just went toward education. I still want to educate, but I felt that the Music Business degree gave me the opportunity to learn more about how to be a successful musician and find different ways to make a difference. I’ve gained all of this knowledge on arts administration and event management through my courses. I came in with an idea of how it would be and it’s shifted more with the knowledge I’ve gained.
Q: Tell us about a highlight from your time with Leading Tones.
A: Definitely I would say the Midwest Clinic was really cool. Being someone that worked at MMEA for the first booth, it was really great to see how much the booth improved. There were also so many people to meet. I loved the energy at Midwest: I loved exhibiting and talking to so many different people from all over the country. Being able to experience that was beyond words. It definitely made me want to go back again.
It was really cool to see Carl Holmquist have his piece Second to None played at the conference. It made me realize that Leading Tones has a place in the field, and we have so many other cool projects in the works.
Q: What did you learn and what skills did you develop when preparing for the Midwest Clinic this fall?
A: I guess figuring out how to be more outgoing and reach out to people. I first thought I had to be at a certain level to be respected or popular. But I got to meet Steven Mead, the world’s best trombone player! I also learned how to be prepared for any scenario in a conversation. There could be people sending out different vibes as they walk by the booth, and being able to connect with people who seemed unsure about learning what Leading Tones is all about was important to do.
Q: This spring you finished a capstone project for your Music Business degree. What did the project entail?
A: The two major things from my capstone were (1) developing new commissioning collaborations and (2) contributing to Leading Tones by starting a YouTube channel. I felt like I had a lot of creative liberty to learn how to develop video content on YouTube, and it gave me a lot more confidence in my creative direction. I also reviewed new content from composers and learned a lot about the composition and formatting process.
Thank you, Hailey, for being an amazing colleague and a huge help at Leading Tones Music this year! We wish you all the best!
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