As we continue with our virtual season, the Schubert Club staff is still working predominantly from home. We checked in with our hard-working team to ask their favorite Schubert Club memories, what it’s like to work remotely, and how their roles have changed during the pandemic.

Read up on our other staff members!
Part One: Janet Peterson, Kelsey Norton, Galen Higgins, and Anna Torgerson
Part Two (Currently reading): Kate Cooper, Miranda Kettlewell, Jessica Hastreiter, and Amy Marret
Part Three:  Kristina MacKenzie, Maximillian Carlson, and Barry Kempton

 

 


Kate Cooper – Director of Education and Museum:

How has your role changed during the pandemic?
My role and responsibilities have not changed dramatically as most of the Education programs continue to run, however now in a virtual capacity.  I did need to learn quickly about working with ensembles to present these virtual programs which were recorded and then posted online.  It was fun to do, though there were some challenges in planning these recordings safely – social distancing has been tricky for both the ensembles and the video crew doing the recording work.  But safe plans were put in place and everything worked out.  There was also plenty of rescheduling sessions as many individuals were either exposed to COVID or sick themselves when the scheduled dates arrived.
My Museum role was going to be different, pandemic or not.  We planned to close the museum for a renovation project late last spring anyway so since March we have not had visitors in the space.  The part of this project directly affected by the pandemic came in the fabrication and installation of the new exhibits as it became difficult to have workers in the space safely and we hit many roadblocks with processing, building and shipping of equipment needed for the galleries which also slowed us down.  It required more time on my end to work around these roadblocks and my role definitely required a lot more flexibility. 

Schubert Club has a very collaborative office culture – what is it like working remotely?
Because of the museum project, I’ve really needed to be in the office a few days each week since summer.  The emptiness of Landmark Center along with not seeing my office colleagues made the time in the office rather lonely.  I really miss the day-to-day personal interactions.  We have such a great staff who are like family to me.  However, I had a lot of personal interaction with my other family – the museum design team who was often in the building and they felt like my new/temporary collaborative teammates!  Otherwise I actually like having a combination of 1/2 remote and 1/2 in-the-office time.  With technology like Zoom, reaching out to hear AND see our office colleagues is so simple and we consistently come together on Zoom twice weekly for staff meetings.  I have a big daily commute out to Minnetonka, so being able to skip that drive 2-3 times weekly was a game changer.  Those days gave me more productive work time and I felt way less stressed without the commute.  

What is your favorite Schubert Club memory?
There are so many it’s difficult to identify just one.  There have been so many memorable concerts within all of our series that I can’t really name my favorite, but I think I have a top 10 list for sure.  I think the memories that are nearest and dearest to me on an emotional level are those moments in a KidsJam program when I really felt like what we were doing had a significant impact on children’s lives, especially those who have troubling situations at home or in the classroom.
The program that left a lasting impact on me was back in 2017.  Twelve elementary aged students from 4-5 different cultures were asked to listen to some improvisational Indian music sung by Nirmala Rajasekar and then express how the music made them feel.  Following the performance they each shared a personal story from deep within their hearts with much emotion.  Many of these tiny humans expressed feelings of fear, sadness, grief and loss – but they poured it all out.  Following this, the students got up without any prompting and hugged, comforted, and embraced each other – at that moment, there were no barriers of skin color or race among them.  The power of music was incredible!

What has helped you stay positive and keep busy during the pandemic?
Still having music in my daily life is my fulfillment.  Planning and recording my own Education programs and then having the opportunity to hear so many great Schubert Club concerts virtually has kept me positive.  Also, in my professional life, the excitement of the Museum project has been a true joy and certainly has kept me busy.
In my personal life, I feel like family connections have strengthened as we support each other through this crisis.  We enjoy the simpler things these days and savor any way we can connect on a human level with our loved ones.  Reading stories and doing crafts with my grandkids on FaceTime has been a definite winner!  My husband and I love our time up North at the lake even more these days.  Lastly, I’ve been playing the piano a LOT and just for fun took up the ukulele 🙂


Miranda Kettlewell – Patron Relations Associate:

How has your role changed during the pandemic?
I started my position in September of 2020, so I have spent my entire time at Schubert Club working remotely. According to the rest of the team, it sounds like pre-pandemic was an incredibly collaborative environment where everyone was busy doing about a million things. Since the staff is so small, the workload often gets dispersed and people end up helping out wherever they are needed – even if it is not directly in their job description. Before, I think I would have been interacting with patrons in person and over the phone, helping Kristina and Kelsey make sure everything was running smoothly with the box office and anything marketing related, and doing work with our social media and website. I still do all of these things, but it’s understandably much less hands-on now.
Since the rest of the team is working extremely hard to simply do their jobs with such new terrain, I go wherever I am needed. This means doing many various tasks for different people throughout the day. I don’t really have a frame of reference as to how different all of this is from what I would have been doing pre-pandemic, but I am more than happy to do my part!

Schubert Club has a very collaborative office culture – what is it like working remotely?
It has been really hard! I have heard from the rest of the staff about how fun it was around the office pre-pandemic and I think I would have really enjoyed that workspace. Even as an extrovert, Zoom can sometimes be really awkward. I have only met with a few of the staff in person and even then it has been brief. Trying to form relationships with the staff virtually has been really hard, as you have to be really intentional without being able to read body language, have down time between meetings to chat about life, or even work in the same space. The rest of the staff has been so welcoming and patient as I learn and grow, but there is no replacing in-person interaction! Because of this, I tend to be a little more formal and awkward in ways I never had problems with before. Schubert Club is a well-respected musical organization, but I’ve come to find that it is made even more special by its small team of supportive and close-knit colleagues. Hopefully I will get to experience this even more when it is safe to be back in person!

What is your favorite Schubert Club memory?
Besides our Zoom Holiday Party that we did back in December, I would have to say that I have really enjoyed learning what goes on behind the scenes of an arts organization. I am a singer and have been going to Schubert Club programs since I was little, so to see how things are decided on the other end is fascinating. Moreover, I feel that working here has made me appreciate how much work and thought goes into putting on concerts – something that, as an audience member, often seems so effortlessly produced.

What has helped you stay positive and keep busy during the pandemic?
Keeping busy, having projects, and making sure I don’t do the same thing every day has been really helpful in keeping me positive. The pandemic has led to fewer options in general, so it has been difficult to find variety. One project I have been working on is preparing a virtual recital to present sometime this year. I graduated in May of 2020 with a degree in Vocal Performance, but was not able to do my Senior Recital because of the pandemic. So, I’ve taken this time to really work hard at studying language, theory, diction, and repertoire on my own time, as well as taking multiple lessons a week and coaching with my dad whenever possible. It has been hard to stay motivated, but it has given me something to work towards. 
I have also been doing more meditating/yoga, spending time with my boyfriend and family, watching Bridgerton, and reading!


Jessica Hastreiter – Education and Museum Associate

How has your role changed during the pandemic?
The balance of my work tipped from preparing and staffing in-person education events and managing day-to-day museum needs to doing research for the museum redesign and supporting on-going administrative needs and virtual programs. The biggest shift for me has been redesigning, building, and managing the Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship Competition in a virtual format for 2020 and 2021.

Schubert Club has a very collaborative office culture – what is it like working remotely?
Project roles have to be a bit more planned and defined, but there is still plenty of proactive communication and regular meetings ensuring cross-department communication is still active and current. Tools like Slack also help me keep up with colleagues more organically by enabling us to continue to share the fun tidbits that happen throughout the day.

What is your favorite Schubert Club memory?
Most involve the museum. It was there in junior high (when the museum was still in the Landmark Center basement) that I played a harpsichord for the first time. I’ve also keenly enjoyed the many facets of museum collection research and anytime our technicians Steve Misener or Chad McAnally are around to geek out about instruments and history. 
For a concert memory, my brother will attest that I gleefully giggled most of the way through Joyce DiDonato’s Songplay concert. As a collaborative pianist and mezzo-soprano, I really want those jazz charts to the Italian Songs and Arias.  

What has helped you stay positive and keep busy during the pandemic?
Keeping busy hasn’t been much of an issue. With the museum redesign and transitioning educational programs to virtual formats, work has been as – if not more – busy than “normal”. 
The pause on many extra-curriculars has opened time for a renewed focus on family relationships and settling into new life phases. I also got married and moved states in 2020. With such large personal changes, I’ve been grateful to be able to continue to work for Schubert Club remotely to support our virtual education programs and the museum redesign.


Amy Marret -Director of Development:

How has your role changed during the pandemic?
Due to the pandemic, I’m finding that I am communicating with donors via Zoom and via phone, rather than in-person. 

Schubert Club has a very collaborative office culture – what is it like working remotely?
Since we have staff meetings twice a week via Zoom, I still feel quite connected to the staff. I also like that we meet via video conference for other meetings so we can see each other and still feel connected, even though we are not physically together, sitting next to each other around a table.

What is your favorite Schubert Club memory?
There are so many, but one that stands out to me are the performances by Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason. I attended both the evening and daytime concerts. I loved seeing the reaction from the audiences at both concerts. I especially loved seeing the students enter the Ordway and hearing their applause and cheers from the audience.

What has helped you stay positive and keep busy during the pandemic?
I’ve been motivated by seeing so much generous support from donors both locally and across the nation. The online performances have given Schubert Club the opportunity to broaden its reach significantly, so it’s been fun for me to interact with new and loyal donors and hearing how important our online performances have been for them this past year as they cope with the pandemic and quarantine.


Make sure to check out our blog post next week for Part Three!