Michelle Riley
Marjorie Young Bell Intern in Music

Bell Intern Michelle RileyMichelle Riley has her sights set on a very specific dream: singing with the Canadian Opera Company. She’s already well on her way.  After she finishes her Bachelor of Music in voice, she’ll move to London, ON to pursue a Master of Music degree in literature and performance at Western University. In between, she’ll spend a month in the summer singing in an opera with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, then another month singing with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Before that, she’ll finish up her term as the Marjorie Young Bell Intern in Music, which she started in July 2016. It’s a position that sees her assist with social media and promotions for the Mount Allison Performing Arts Series, and prepare the schedule of the Tesla Quartet (Mount Allison’s string quartet in residence). She’s also helped the Music Department to prepare for celebrations in honour of the 100th anniversary of the awarding of the first Bachelor of Music degree at Mount Allison and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory of Music.

Riley couldn’t be more pleased with her internship experience.

“This internship has helped me develop so many practical skills that I'm sure will give me an edge in the future,” says Riley. “I've learned to be a better, more efficient communicator, I've learned to budget and prioritize not only my time but the time of others by managing the Tesla Quartet's schedule. I’ve also gotten a behind-the-scenes look at the arts administration side of all the concerts the Mount Allison Performing Arts series puts on, which has been invaluable to me.”

Riley was encouraged to attend Mount Allison by her former piano teacher, who is an alumnus.

“I tested the waters by coming here for the Summer Academy of Music in 2012 and was incredibly inspired by the faculty and the environment. I was completely sold: Mount Allison is the only school I applied to,” she says.

She’s been involved with the Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society for four years and is also a member of the auditioned chamber choir, the Elliott Chorale. She says her time at Mount A has decidedly lived up to her expectations.

“The intimacy between the faculty and the students in the Music Department has by far been the largest factor in my development as a musician. They have all gone above and beyond to make sure I was successful and achieved my goals.”