WMU News

Recent grad gets internship at Kennedy Center

Nov. 2, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Recent Western Michigan University graduate Holly L. Holmes is spending this fall as a jazz programming intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Holmes is part of the Vilar Institute for Arts Management Internship Program. She works as both an artistic liaison and administrator for the numerous jazz events offered by the Kennedy Center, and has focused on "Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center," a series which is recorded live and broadcast over National Public Radio stations throughout the country.

"I provide general logistical support for the jazz performers," says Holmes, "often speaking with the artists and their managers concerning travel, accommodations, and contracts. On the day of the show, I act as host to the artists, who have included the Billy Taylor Trio, Kurt Elling, Nnenna Freelon, Bill Charlap Trio and Russell Malone Quartet, among others."

Holmes also draws on her experience as an audio engineer in the WMU School of Music's Western Sound Studios, serving as a tape operator for many of the Kennedy Center jazz shows.

"I'm really in a unique situation here," says Holmes. "As one of just three staff members in the jazz programming department hosting four series, a festival and a residency program, I can take a great sense of pride and ownership in my work."

Originally from Stevens Point, Wis., Holmes was a Medallion Scholar at WMU and graduated magna cum laude in April 2000 with a bachelor of music degree in jazz studies. She was a member of the Lee Honors College and a two-year member of WMU's internationally known vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company. In addition to working in the Western Sound Studios, she also worked as a ticket office supervisor at Miller Auditorium, and a radio host on the jazz show, Birdland, for WIDR, the student radio station.

Since graduating, Holmes released her debut solo CD, "The Climb," has worked as a freelance audio engineer and has performed vocally in the Kalamazoo area. Holly Holmes' "The Climb" is available at the WMU Bookstore and at CD Warehouse in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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