Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
As Queen of the Night in the Ithaca College Theatre production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, Mengchun Yang delivered one of the world's most well-known arias to a packed audience. She stunned the crowd with her pitch-perfect performance, bringing the vengeful queen to life with her commanding stage presence.
For Mengchun, the journey to the IC stage was a long one—halfway around the world—but she knew that a graduate degree in performance at Ithaca College would be well worth the trip. She auditioned in her home country of China and wowed visiting faculty with her powerful soprano. Late that summer, Mengchun packed her bags and was on her way to Ithaca.
In IC's welcoming community, Mengchun quickly found a second family—music professors invited her over for home-cooked meals, music school peers helped her overcome the language barrier, and the women's chorus and choir provided a place for her to sing with new friends. She soon learned of an opportunity to broaden her range: "During my first semester, they had auditions for The Magic Flute. I just went to try. I never thought I would get a role or be a part of the opera, but I got it," Mengchun says.
She was cast as Queen of the Night, which has one of the most vocally demanding arias in opera. In nightly rehearsals with a supportive cast and crew, she developed her passion for opera. "I learned many things. I know how to prepare a whole opera: to learn the music and then read the dialogue and then the acting—and mix it together with the orchestra."
When opening night arrived, her music school family helped calm her nerves. "I was very excited and a little bit nervous. My friends and my teachers were all sitting in the audience to see me. That made me feel like family. I felt like, 'Okay. I can sing to my family.'"
Mengchun hopes to go on to sing opera professionally in China, where it’s becoming increasingly popular. With one outstanding performance already under her belt, she has a promising future as one of China's next stars.
"Being on stage, you are not yourself. You are that person. You have another personality. You need to build a person and have yourself and mix them together. I feel like I can see my value being on stage."
Drew Steedman ’13 grew up near Boston loving to play sports (he was recruited by Ithaca College to play soccer) and loving to watch them (especially the Celtics and Bruins). As a business administration major, Drew decided to explore the business side of athletics. A paid internship with Fenway Sports Management—marketing firm for the Boston Red Sox—showed him what his future could hold.
“That experience showed me that I’d enjoy working in the sports industry,” he said. “Also, I made contacts that led to other internships.”
One was with Kraft Sports Group. The other was what Drew called “the jackpot”—a paid, semester-long stint at MSG Sports, promoter of the New York Knicks and Rangers.
“It took me to Madison Square Garden—the World’s Most Famous Arena,” Drew said. “The big lesson learned? If you want to set yourself apart in sports promotion, New York City is the place to go.”
The road to the Big Apple started with IC’s New York City Internship Program (ICNYC). In addition to a six-credit internship in New York, Drew enrolled for six course credits and worked with the business school to find the right internship.
“MSG was very competitive, but the president was friends with the president of FSM. That got me an interview, and the interview got me the job. I reported directly to the president.” Who was, Drew said, very high energy.
“Some days I’d work on a research project, some days e-mailing story clips, other days getting ready for that night’s game. It was go, go, go, and to my surprise, I liked it. It was like sports. Whatever comes your way, you have to know you can handle it.”
Being a Celtics fan working the Knicks sideline was the biggest challenge. “I had to put my loyalties on hold and focus on why I was there. Sports have a major impact on people. My favorite thing was taking clients courtside and seeing the thrill kids and parents got when a Knicks player signed a pregame autograph.”
Drew also sees how his semester at MSG will impact his career.
“I’m ready to tell interviewers, whatever that first job throws my way, I’ve already experienced it at The Garden.”
>> More on this story: ICNYC
- Campus Life and Leadership
- Health Sciences
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Internships and Fieldwork
- Math and Natural Sciences
- Music and Performing Arts
- All Categories