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 Montpelier Magazine

Stars in the arts

Students and alumni land competitive Kennedy Center internships

Two students and three alumni held internships during summer and fall 2002 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Seniors Megan Thornton of Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Kate Preston of Roanoke were among 22 summer interns selected from a field of 400 applicants for the internships.

Thornton, a communication studies major, worked at the Kennedy Center Arts Alliance Education Network, which coordinates state arts alliances. She helped with the national conference for state Alliances for Arts Education. Thornton is a member of the JMU Chorale and has helped non-English-speaking first-graders at Stone Spring Elementary School.

Preston, a music performance major, worked in the operations department of the National Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the JMU Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Symphony Orchestra. She also serves as an admissions assistant in the JMU School of Music.

Three alumni who interned for the Kennedy Center were chosen from a pool of 120 applicants for the fall internship program. Sean Costello ('01), a history major from Oak Hill, Va., worked with the jazz programming department. He coordinated jazz events and served as a liaison among performing artists, their managers and the Kennedy Center.

Laura Miller ('02), a theater and dance major from Reston, worked in the youth and family programming office. She wrote a grant application, secured the visit of a storyteller from Pennsylvania and worked on the Youth and Family Programs Web page. She was assistant stage manager for the American Place Theatre's Literature to Life production of Zora.

Brandi Rose ('00), a cum laude music major from Culpeper, worked in the education department's Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers program. She helped 13 schools in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland to integrate the arts with other core subjects and coordinated evening workshops for area teachers.

The Kennedy Center nurtures new works and artists, serves as a national leader in arts education and is the nation's largest performing arts facility. The center offers internships for students and graduates interested in arts education and performing arts management. Learn more at


- Michelle Hite ('88)