Can you hear live music coursing through Kenyon’s campus on an otherwise quiet Gambier evening? It’s likely coming from the Horn Gallery, a multi-purpose performance space next to Peirce Hall. The Horn is decorated with posters advertising years of musical acts from Peach Pit to JPEGMafia. While some acts are composed of student musicians, professional performers regularly travel from all over the country to play at Kenyon — that’s where Dora Segall ’20 comes in.
“I really enjoy connecting with artists outside of Kenyon,” said Segall, one of two Horn general managers. Along with Sajara Magdaleno Urquieta ’22, Segall helps to coordinate the talent that comes to the Horn, from initial outreach to the night of the performance. “What I do involves scheduling with artists, emailing about the contract and negotiating the terms,” she said. “We figure out how to get them here, the exact details and the process right up to the night of the show.” Although communicating with the acts’ representatives can be challenging, Segall said, the end result is rewarding: “Sometimes managers and agents forget that we’re limited in what we can do as college students. But it’s really cool to shape the music scene that students are exposed to.”
Segall’s interest in the Horn began when she was a sophomore attending the space’s meetings. “I ended up going to the meetings and booking a lot of my own shows from start to finish,” she said. After applying to be a manager while abroad in Argentina, Segall now spends her senior year co-managing the Horn with Magdaleno Urquieta, with oversight from the Office of Student Engagement.
Segall and Magdaleno Urquieta plan to expand the Horn’s reach in the coming months to nearby Mount Vernon. “She and I have been really interested in making the Horn more accessible to everyone in the community,” Segall said. “Sajara’s thing is reaching out to people within Kenyon, and I’m interested as a sociology major in interacting with rural life in Knox County.” Segall’s duties at the Horn complement her liberal arts education: “I never saw myself as a business person, but I found that it was something I’m really good at. I’ve learned a lot about negotiating in a business setting, which I think legitimizes me in the professional world.”
After graduating in May, Segall plans to pursue journalism, booking artists professionally, or sustainable management for music venues. She’s gotten a head start on the latter prospect this year as a Horn manager. “Sustainability in this setting is all about buying the equipment that uses the least power for the best sound and user quality,” she said.
The skills in business management and communication Segall is learning aren’t limited to the Hill. She sees her duties as Horn manager translating to the professional world. “I did a marketing internship last summer at a music venue in D.C., so the skills I learned there were very useful,” she said. “I’ve also found that experience in handling money has been really helpful for student organizations, and that’s definitely something I can put on a resume.”