2B: Integrate professional programs with the liberal arts and sciences

Faculty members from across the University recently designed the interdisciplinary minor called Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) that enables students to combine their interest in the humanities, the arts, or the social sciences with practical, business applications. This distinctive program can be a model for further developing connections between professional education, business education, and the rest of the University.

Mariana Lopez Levi worked with Opera San Antonio at the Tobin Center.

The Business of Song

Trinity ALE intern expands repertoire at Opera San Antonio

Mariana Lopez Levi ’17 has physical proof that she’s always wanted to become a music teacher. Going through old family belongings, Lopez Levi recently unearthed a self-portrait she drew as a five-year-old. Below the image a caption reads, “When I grow up, I want to be a music teacher.”

“Apparently it has been set in stone forever,” Lopez Levi says, laughing.

Lopez Levi spent the summer of 2015 as a summer intern with Opera San Antonio. A music education major at Trinity University, she secured her full-time, paid internship through the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE) program at Trinity, earning one hour of credit, utilizing free campus housing, and being mentored by a Trinity faculty member.

A singer herself, Lopez Levi says she was proud to be a member of the small team at Opera San Antonio. She says that she was drawn to the nonprofit because she was eager to learn about all of the “behind-the-scenes” work that makes an opera possible.

“I just love opera,” Lopez Levis says. “Here I’m learning a lot about the music business itself, from how to budget a production to drafting contracts to doing the casting. It’s really interesting to see the administrative work behind everything.”

While Lopez Levi says she does her share of administrative work, like fielding phone calls and making copies, she also serves as a brand ambassador for the opera. Due to Opera San Antonio’s age – it was established in 2013 – she says some people are simply unaware that the city even has an opera.

“It’s important to bring awareness that we have an opera in San Antonio,” Lopez Levi says. “I also like to share general knowledge about how big an opera production truly is.”

At Trinity, Lopez Levi is a member of the Trinity Chamber Singers, the all-female a cappella group The Acabellas, and the Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity. From Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, Lopez Levi says that Trinity is an excellent place for anyone unwilling to settle on just one area of study.

“You can learn so much about the different things that interest you,” Lopez Levi says. “You don’t have to limit yourself to your major or one area of learning because it’s such an expansive school.”

Only just hitting her stride, Lopez Levi looks forward to bringing the skills she’s learning at Opera San Antonio back to music education at Trinity.