Arts Administration: Student grows as a musician and young professional with Pittsburgh Opera

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Knowing that his work would be seen by hundreds of spectators and educators, Jonathan Zeleny took his 2013 internship with the Pittsburgh Opera very seriously. From mid-summer to late fall, the senior arts administration (music) major spent 16 to 20 hours each week assisting the Opera’s Education Department. 

“I did anything and everything to help the opera company,” Zeleny said. “Most of my work included updating and reformatting the Opera Trunk Program, which sends trunks filled with information and props pertaining to certain operas such as ‘Madam Butterfly’ or ‘Carmen.’  I also created opera synopsis PowerPoints and historical/cultural PowerPoints that were presented in opera workshops and shown in the Benedum Center.”    

Zeleny, who said he couldn’t name just one favorite part because the entire experience was “wonderful,” obtained the internship after networking with the Opera’s education director via email. A strong recommendation from Melanie Catana, instructor of vocal music at Waynesburg University, sealed the deal. 

“I have seen a great deal of growth in Jonathan in the time I have known him, both academically and personally,” Catana said. “I strongly believe that he has the definite potential for great success in his career as he couples his knowledge and professionalism in business with his talent and expertise in music.”

Outside of the classroom, he’s involved in symphonic band, bagpipe and drum band, and private clarinet and bagpipe lessons. He has served as a student senate representative for Chamber Works, woodwind quartet, clarinet ensemble and the Waynesburg University Pep Band. He hopes to continue growing as a musician as he finishes his final year at Waynesburg and reflects on the success of his internship. 

“I have become much more self-sufficient in my work and more confident in my abilities as a young professional,” Zeleny said. “I have been able to grow as a musician because of the great environment at Pittsburgh Opera.”