News From Masters

Alum in the Spotlight: Sophia Dumaine
Posted 03/28/2017 01:00PM

Alum in the Spotlight: Sophia Dumaine

Class Year: 2005
Are you a Delta or a Phi? Eek I can’t remember!
College: Wesleyan University, class of 2009

  1. Where do you work and what is your current position? I currently work as the Executive Director of Strategy and Development for a not-for-profit called LoftOpera. LoftOpera’s mission is to make opera more accessible by bringing it out of its normal context and producing it in alternative spaces.
  2. How did you get involved in the nonprofit/art world? Directly after graduating from Wesleyan, I was hired as an assistant to Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera. After working in his office for four years, I transferred to the Development Department, where I worked on the Major Gifts team for the next two years.
  3. What/who inspired you to pursue a career in development? I became interested in development after volunteering for Generation Ubuntu, a not-for-profit organization located in South Africa that provides comprehensive care for HIV-positive children. I decided to organize an annual benefit concert for them and started fundraising for them outside of my work at the Metropolitan Opera. I later joined the Board of Directors and realized how much I enjoyed supporting causes I really care about.
  4. What is the coolest project you have worked on and/or, what is an accomplishment you are most proud of? When I first started working at LoftOpera, there was no fundraising infrastructure in place. I created a fundraising platform from scratch, which included growing the Board, establishing a Patron and a membership program, applying for foundation and government support, and then maintaining these programs on my own. I went from working on a development team of 40 people at the Met to working as a team of one at LoftOpera. Adjusting successfully to such a drastically different scale is what I am most proud of accomplishing in my career so far.
  5. What activities were you involved in at Masters? I was actively involved in various music programs at Masters. I was a member of Dohters, Glee Club, and Dobbs 16. In my senior year I became president of Dobbs 16 and Glee Club. I was a member of the varsity tennis team.
  6. How did your Masters experience impact the trajectory of your career? Masters instilled in me the importance of doing what you love and working hard at it. I was challenged but supported in such a way that allowed me to develop my love of and appreciation for music.
  7. Who was your most influential teacher at Masters? How and why? There are just too many amazing teachers at Masters who made an enormous impact on me, so I can’t pick one! Dr. Theeman took me under her wing and is responsible for my learning to sing and to love opera; Mr. Kammrath taught me the importance of hard work and determination; Ms. Roche taught me how to think critically, and my mom, Ms. Dumaine, taught me how to write.
  8.  What is your favorite Masters memory? There are so many! I would have to say singing with Dobbs 16 and going to class with my wonderful teachers and classmates.
  9. Do you have any advice for the class of 2017 as it approaches its graduation? Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for favors. Everyone needs help when he or she is first starting out. And trust your gut  – it’s usually right!  
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