Music Interpretation Intern

The need for preserving all of our nation’s history has never been greater, we’re counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) DHA Program is an 11-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Participants gain real world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.
Position Title:   Interpreting the African American Experience Through Music
NPS Unit Name: New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Direct Hiring Authority Resource Assistant          
The DHA Resource Assistant internship (DHA-RA) is a unique internship opportunity within the Department of the Interior (DOI). The objective is to build a pathway to employment in the DOI for exemplary students in higher education.  DHA-RA interns will apply content expertise to NPS management and build a network with federal employees throughout the internship. These rigorous internships require specialized expertise and typically are available to upper level undergraduate or graduate students or recent graduates. The internships are designed to develop the participant’s technical and creative thinking abilities, leadership skills, and problem-solving capabilities.  DHA-RA interns will receive a weekly stipend of $480, park-provided housing or a housing allowance, and paid travel expenses.  Successful completion of the internship does not guarantee that the participant will be hired in to a federal position.

In order to be eligible for a DHA–RA Internship, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) and enrolled or within one year of graduating from an institution of higher education.  

DHA-RA interns who successfully complete the internship requirements become eligible for 2 years from the date of their degree to be non-competitively hired by the Department of Interior.

Position Dates: May 21 – August 3, 2018

Position Description:    

  • Intern will learn on average 4 new songs per week as assigned by supervisor that fits interpretive program themes. Intern will be required to practice daily, both individually and in a group setting, as a member of the Arrowhead Jazz Band.
  • Intern will practice public speaking skills daily by being coached by JAZZ staff on proper microphone technique, posture, projecting confidence, stage presence, voice tone, and messaging. After 2 weeks of coaching, intern will introduce concerts in a theatre setting daily at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Standard introductions are 3 minutes long and include performer information, self-introduction and describing the HBCUI program, mission of the New Orleans Jazz NHP, and explaining the partnership between the Louisiana State Museum and the NPS.
  • Research, under the guidance of JAZZ supervisor, specific topics that fit program themes like “Freedom is Coming”, “Civil Rights & Jazz”, “The “Influence of the Blues in Jazz music”, “Jazz Funerals”, and “Brass Band Parades”. Research will be used to provide interpretive introductions to song titles during concerts.
  • Learn to open and close visitor center, complete sales transactions, direct visitors to local jazz resources, and project the NPS standard of professionalism and customer service.
  • Daily tasks will include accompanying JAZZ supervisor to park division and squad meetings, introducing public concerts and events for the New Orleans Jazz NHP and the New Orleans Jazz Museum, rehearsing daily with the NPS Arrowhead Jazz Band to learn new music, Performing and rehearsing daily with local New Orleans jazz musicians or with the Arrowhead Jazz Band during afternoon interpretive performances.
  • Intern will complete a final project that will be professionally filmed and recorded. The final project will be the composition of an original piece of music that thematically interprets one of the stories that the intern focused on during the summer. The Independently composed piece of music will then be used by the park in its NPS website and social media platforms.
  • Intern will create an original musical composition that will enhance the interpretation of one aspect of the African American Experience in New Orleans.

 Intern will also be a participant in the following special concerts or programs:

  • “An evening of Jazz from the Big Easy” in Natchez, MS. May 25th
  • MAAFA concert at the Ashe’ Cultural Center as part of the parks’ Essence Festival special events. July 6th, 2018
  • Spirits of Congo Square. Every Saturday. African Drum and Dance workshop with the Congo Square Preservation Society.
  • Intern will present a final recital in the performance theater at the New Orleans Jazz Museum that will include a culmination of songs, subjects, and thematic material that was covered during the internship. Intern will be expected to narrate the final recital, giving interpretive introductions to song selections. Intern will also premiere to a live audience their independent thematic musical composition during this recital. A DVD and professional audio recording will be made of the recital and highlights will be used by the park in its web and social media platforms, as well as becoming part of the parts official archives. The intern will be coached daily in 3 primary points of focus: thematic interpretation using music, public speaking with confidence and clarity of message, and music performance ability.

Learning Goals:

  • The intern will learn what NPS interpretation is and how to connect a tangible musical idea like a song, dance, or rhythm to an intangible meaning like joy, struggle, freedom, and strength.
  • The intern will be able to communicate eloquently, in their own words, the mission of the NPS and the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park to the public either during a formal program or informally at a visitor center desk.
  • The intern will have made a marked improvement in their individual vocal or instrumental ability form the start of their internship, to their final performance as a result of daily rehearsals and public performances.
  • The intern will have gained confidence in public speaking and performance through daily coaching, practice, and repetition.
  • The intern will be able to make interpretive connections effectively using musical demonstration.
  • Intern will be able to create an original musical composition that thematically interprets one of the parks’ interpretive theme statements.

Intern should be either a music performance or theater major. Intern should be able to sing or play a musical instrument at an advanced level in the following styles: jazz, gospel, blues, or rhythm and blues. Intern shall provide an audio or video example of musical performance.
Additional qualifications:
•             Must be currently enrolled in an accredited HBCU institution
•             Must be between 18 and 35 years of age
•             Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
•             Must be able to pass a federal background check

Work Environment:
New Orleans Jazz Museum and the New Orleans JAZZ NHP visitor center are both located in the French Quarter and work will primarily be done indoors.

Vehicle/License Requirement:  N/A

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Compensation is at a rate of $480 per week.
  • Housing stipend is provided for non-local intern.
  • Attend the all-expense paid Leadership & Careers Workshop in Washington, D.C. in August.
  • Qualify for federal non-compete hiring after meeting service requirements.
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond.

Application Instructions:
Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at: Please send an audition video (1 minute) to Jamila Jackson at Must have application and video to be considered for the position.

Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture environmental stewardship among diverse youth and young adults, while exposing them to conservation careers.
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search