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If you would like to chat with a member of the HSO team to learn more about working in a non-profit arts organization, please email us at

Internship Opportunities

Come work alongside Harrisburg Symphony staff and gain experience aiding an established, reputable symphony orchestra.

General Information

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra is looking for motivated, energetic college-level students who are eager to gain practical, hands-on experience working with a professional symphony.

The HSO is dedicated to creating exceptional educational experiences and strives to provide interns with a thorough understanding of how a non-profit performing arts organization functions. Focus areas allow interns to gain a deeper understanding of specific functions while simultaneously gaining a general overview of how a non-profit performing arts organization operates. Interns leave with a well-rounded knowledge of the day-to-day activities including concert production and the sustainability efforts of a professional symphony.

Interns will assist with the following general tasks:

  • Box office management – including selling tickets and processing subscription renewals
  • Volunteer coordination – including ushering
  • Concert operations, both artistic (working with conductor, guest artists and musicians) and technical (working with venues and stage, lighting and sound crews)
  • Interacting with patrons
  • Financial management

Requirements for interns:

  • Graduate or undergraduate college/university student
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Ability to work independently
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Ability to conduct internet research

HSO accepts interns for fall, spring, and summer semesters.  All internships are unpaid and hours are flexible. Please note: The HSO concert season runs October through May.  During the summer the HSO staff is busy preparing for the upcoming season.  Additionally, we offer five outdoor concerts in surrounding communities on five consecutive nights during the week of the July 4 holiday.

Application Deadlines

  • July 15 for Fall semester
  • Nov 15 for Spring semester
  • April 15 for Summer

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered for any unfilled positions.  Preference is given to interns who commit to a daily presence in the office.

To apply, please email your resume and a cover letter to  For more information about HSO’s internship program and policies, contact Mark Hunsberger, Director of Education, at

Areas of Focus


The HSO is a not-for-profit organization that relies primarily on the Greater Harrisburg region for its support. The Development Department strives to connect with the community, demonstrate the value of our mission and bring in the funding that is necessary to present our concerts and deliver our education programs. Funding comes from individuals, private foundations, and corporations.

What You Will Learn

  • Basics of fundraising principles
  • How to effectively use a Customer Relations Management (CRM) program
  • The importance of good communication with donors and prospective donors
  • How to create an effective Fundraising Plan
  • Understanding of fundraising initiatives such as Annual Fund, Corporate Sponsorships, Capital Campaigns, Special Events, and Planned Giving.

What You Will Do

  • Assist in the design and implementation of direct mail campaigns
  • Enter contributions and donor related information into HSO database (CRM)
  • Assist in processing of acknowledgement letters to donors
  • Participate in donor and sponsor receptions during concert weekends


The HSO’s Education Department aims to educate and engage the Central Pennsylvania community through a variety of outreach programs.  These programs support and enhance a traditional public school music education and provide experiences which establish a foundation for life-long support of the creative arts.

What You Will Learn

  • How educational outreach programs can successfully and effectively enhance the overall mission of a professional symphony orchestra
  • The importance of communication and collaboration with public school music educators
  • How a non-profit arts organization operates including the significance of the relationships among staff, committee, and board members
  • How to create and maintain a budget

What You Will Do

  • Aid in creating children’s Concert Guides for all Masterworks performances (7 programs per season) as part of the Welcome to the Concert program
  • Help organize two to four Young Persons’ Concerts per season (2 in the Fall, 2 in the Spring)
  • Coordinate educational outreach programs in public schools and within the community
  • Assist with administrative tasks and concert production for the Harrisburg Symphony YOUTH Orchestras

Sales & Box Office

The Symphony’s Sales and Marketing Department is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive marketing strategy that produces sales sufficient to meet annual ticket revenue goals and position the organization for long-term audience growth. The department is ultimately responsible for the branding, identity, publication design, and web design of the Symphony. The department assists the marketing efforts of other departments within the organization and the Harrisburg Symphony Society.

What You Will Learn

At the end of the internship, the student will have gained hands-on experience in the Sales & Marketing Department of a non-profit arts organization.  Although meeting annual revenue goals is crucial, the student will learn how non-profit marketing is similar to or different from for-profit marketing and how the mission of an organization can impact sales and marketing strategies and tactics. The student will have an increased understanding of the working relationship between marketing and graphic design.

What You Will Do

ALL Sales & Marketing Interns will:

  • prepare and distribute media releases for concerts and special events
  • assist with general public relations activities
  • monitor website analytics and perform basic website maintenance in WordPress
  • assist with design and implementation of direct mail and email campaigns
  • database management and reporting in Salesforce (one of the world’s leading CRM platforms)

Fall Interns will also:

  • assist with concert box office functions as needed
  • create and schedule social media posts and events for the season

Spring Interns will also:

  • assist with concert box office functions as needed
  • assist with the development and implementation of the subscription renewal campaign

Summer Interns will also:

  • assist with marketing booth at free summer concerts (July 4th weekend)
  • assist in the processing of subscription orders
  • submit season’s concert info to online calendars


The Harrisburg Symphony (HSO) Operations Department oversees all aspects of concert operations and personnel, both artistic and technical.  It is responsible for scheduling, arranging, communicating and overseeing all artist, musician, stage crew, venue and music preparation details surrounding rehearsals and concerts, including summer concerts.  The Operations Department works closely with the Music Director, Executive Director and HSO musicians.

Operations is a fast-paced department; no two days are alike.  The ability to multi-task and to pay great attention to detail is paramount.  Several of the operations intern duties require specialized training (stage plots, payroll, budgets, etc.).  Because training takes time and practice before an intern can begin to contribute, full-time interns are given preference over part-time interns.  Part-time interns who maintain a daily office presence during weeks without concerts will be given preference over interns looking for an experience two or three times a week.

What You Will Learn

  • You will learn about the day-to-day operations of a symphony orchestra and how to plan and prepare behind the scenes for rehearsals and concert productions.
  • The Harrisburg Symphony is a union orchestra; as such, its musicians are members of the American Federation of Musicians. You will gain an understanding of and appreciation for a union-management relationship in the context of a positive and respectful symphony orchestra work environment.
  • As you work closely, and often individually, with the many different groups with which the Operations Department interacts, you will begin to understand the vastly different needs and concerns of each group. You will gain experience and confidence anticipating, accommodating and resolving those needs and concerns, with the goal of ensuring an environment that supports peak performances from all parties both on and off stage.
  • You will acquire invaluable hands-on experience generating standard operations documents, which may include stage plots, payrolls and contracts.

What You Will Do

Full-Time Interns:

Final Project, full-time interns, all semesters, circumstances permitting:

  • Toward the end of the semester (or during the July 4 week for summer interns), you will organize and run, with supervision, at least one concert production from start to finish, including:
    • Pre-production planning, artist and musician communication, rehearsal announcements, and stage set-up
    • Create stage plots using Visio (software provided) and a production check-list, as well as payroll, pension and union documents, with supervision
    • Create online hotel reservation signup for musicians; collect data and submit to hotel
    • Create and maintain concert, rehearsal, stage, venue and operations schedules
    • Create artist and musician information packets, musician sign-in sheets and signage

Full-time interns, all semesters:  Circumstances permitting, duties may include:

  • Skills necessary for the Final Project will be addressed individually throughout the internship
  • Participate in almost all aspects of concert and personnel operations, both artistic and technical
  • Observe operations meetings with venues, staff, the board and community partners
  • Assist Director of Operations at rehearsals and concerts
  • Help coordinate logistics and all operations details for symphony, ballet, chamber music, education, in-school, run-out and possibly Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra productions
  • Help create/maintain webpages for HSO musicians and for auditions
  • Arrange and oversee tasks as assigned, such as instrument rental, piano tuning and hiring musicians
  • Assist in the advertising, organizing and administering of any scheduled orchestra auditions
  • Help with guest artist duties, including the following: administer artist travel, hotel, in-town transportation, dressing room setup and food requirements; arrange artist sound checks; oversee artist hospitality and special requests; create detailed, individualized artist information packets, including itineraries, maps and transportation
  • Provide administrative help, including filing
  • Other duties as assigned

Full-time interns, spring and/or summer semesters:  Circumstances permitting, your duties may also include:

  • Help prepare individual musician and artist contracts
  • Help advance, coordinate and oversee summer run-outs, including scheduling, truck rentals, stage setup, stage crew and bus transportation
  • Help transfer musician contract data to master hiring spreadsheet

Part-Time Interns:

Part-time operations interns must be able to attend and assist during some of the rehearsals and concerts in the semester. Concerts during the summer semester are limited to the week of the July 4 holiday.

  • We will attempt to cover as many of the duties and experiences of the Full-Time internship as possible, provided training on unfamiliar software is not required. How much we accomplish and in what depth will depend on the number of office hours worked per day and per week and whether or not the intern days are consecutive.

Part-time interns who maintain a daily presence in the office and/or who work consecutive days, can be assigned to more projects than part-time interns who work two or three non-consecutive days per week.

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