Arts at Interlochen

Interlochen Center for the Arts has arts education programs for students in grades 3-12 and adults. Interlochen also hosts hundreds of concerts and events in northern Michigan and is the parent organization of our two public radio stations.

Find the stories and sounds of Interlochen below, or click here for recordings of Interlochen student performances. 

Interlochen Arts Academy Alumnus Keith Buncke has just been named Principal Bassoon of the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

When Buncke graduated from Interlochen, he probably assumed he’d take a few years to finish college and begin a career. That was not to be: not long into his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, Buncke, then 20 years old, was selected as First Bassoonist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Now, at 21, Buncke embarks on his new adventure under the baton of Riccardo Muti in Chicago.

Toi toi toi, Keith!

Radio Collage: Our own "Studio A-list"

Jan 17, 2015
The view from behind the microphone
Tim Burke

  This month, Radio Collage dips into our vault for several of what you could call our very own "A-list"...student performances from IPR's "Live from Studio A" series.  We'll be revisiting sessions from the past five years for music of Debussy, Boccherini, Mendelssohn and Chopin, along with works from some not-so-familiar composers!

Luke Ratray

Contemporary classical music sometimes gets a bad rap – from both classical music purists and a broader audience not used to music that doesn’t always follow a melody. But among the genre’s fans, eighth blackbird is considered a fearless and innovative ensemble. They’ve been rewarded with three Grammy awards.

The six members of eighth blackbird came together at Oberlin Conservatory in 1996. A couple of its members have changed over the years but the group’s focus on exploring musical boundaries has not.

Sounds of the Season

Dec 23, 2014

  Interlochen Arts Academy Symphonic Band and Choir join forces for a concert full of thrilling music for the holidays.  There's plenty here that will move and inspire you, and room for some fun, too! Hosted by IPR's Kate Botello.

Listen online, or at 4:00PM on Christmas Day on Classical IPR. Find our complete lineup of holiday favorites here.


francine j. harris

Award-winning poet francine j. harris says her writing life began in high school, when she started a kind of conversation with her best friend.

Harris says one day her friend asked if she could read a poem she'd written – something she had never done before.

"And it was so weird because I didn't recognize her in it," Harris says.

But it made Harris want to write. She says she called her friend the next day and read her something that she wrote.

"We started doing this back and forth."

Listen to Harris read  "The Fat of the Fog Hovers Over," which she says she wrote about Traverse City.


Last December, the Mash-Up Rock and Roll Musical Parody group staged an unusual performance. The Grinch (who stole Christmas) was cast into the lead role of the 1969 rock opera “Tommy.”

The parody team is back this year weaving together fairy tales with 1980s rock.

The idea came to Lesley Tye more than a year ago when she was in her car listening to the song “Girlfriend in a Coma.” That was a hit from 1987 by The Smiths. The song got Tye thinking about Snow White and the prince who saves her.

Radio Collage: Variety is the Spice...

Nov 25, 2014

  Interlochen students have a little something for just about everyone in this edition of Radio Collage... a student clarinet quartet gives us its take on a Hungarian Dance, the Academy Percussion Ensemble performs a work by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, and a pianist from the Summer Piano Institute tells us the "back story" on a Rachmaninoff Etude.  We'll also hear some Spirituals, a Brass Sextet, and original works by students from the Creative Writing and Singer-Songwriter programs at Interlochen. 


Donald Dietz / Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra celebrates a first this weekend: It will perform an original piece by its very own music director, Grammy-winner Leonard Slatkin.  

"The subtitle is concertino grosso, so already one can sense that there's humor in this: a concertino usually being thought of as being a small concerto, and grosso meaning large," he says.

Familiar music with a twist

Nov 19, 2014

Radio Collage airs this weekend (Saturday at 8:06am, and Sunday at 7pm). Among the works on the program, this familiar Hungarian Dance by Brahms performed by the S.M.T.S clarinet quartet.

U-W Madison School of Music

A good meal can become a great meal if the restaurant has the right ambiance. That’s what chefs say at least. Good music, for example, can improve the experience of eating.

But what about the other way around? Can good food improve the experience of listening to good music?

An Interlochen conductor and a chef are teaming up in Traverse City to find out.

You've probably listened to some tunes while making dinner - but how often have you based the menu directly on the music? IAA Band Conductor Dr. Matthew Schlomer and Black Star Farms Chef Jonathan Dayton put their heads together for an innovative project that does just that.

"Tone to Table," a collaboration between Interlochen Arts Academy and Black Star Farms, is an upcoming event exploring the connections between food and music - compositional "ingredients" taking on new depth as they relate to one another.

Chef Dayton, along with Black Star's Stephanie Lee Wiitala, came together with Dr. Schlomer to create an event based on the interplay of music and food. On November 20th, diners can experience that exchange, with music provided by IAA, and food by Black Star Farms. The menu has a, "Landscapes," theme, and follows many layers of that idea - everything from outdoor landscapes to landscapes within - what Dr. Schlomer calls, "ideal urges," and, "primal urges."

We were treated to a performance and discussion of those, "primal urges," in Studio A. IAA Flute Instructor Nancy Stagnitta was the soloist, with a group of IAA percussion students (Joshua Pearlmutter, Stephen Karukas, Adriano Macciocchi and Miyu Morita), performing samples of Andre Jolivet's, "Suite en Concert." The piece is based on ancient sounds and ideas - flute and drum are the oldest musical instruments known to man. Chef Dayton discussed how the primal sound and differing textures influenced his dish, from ingredients to  plating.

It was a fun, interesting discussion (we even talked about how Chef Dayton changed a sauce because it was too, "creamy," for its accompanying composition), interspersed with fascinating music, but be warned: it might make you hungry!


Interlochen students honor veterans

Nov 11, 2014
Terri McCarthy

The Interlochen Center for the Arts marked Veterans Day with a special tribute.

Student trumpeters began playing taps across Interlochen’s campus at 11 a.m. exactly. It’s a tribute to veterans that began more than 10 years ago.

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

When leaders at the Interlochen Center for the Arts scheduled a visit by Poet Terrance Hayes, they had no idea he would be coming to campus as one of the latest winners of the MacArthur "Genius Grants." 

NPR featured Hayes on All Things Considered after winning the award last month. 

Ross Halfin

  Songwriter Loudon Wainwright III has been traveling the world with his brand of witty – and sometimes weird – music for over forty years.

Friday night, he brings his show to the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

If you don’t know Wainwright’s music, you may know him from his acting appearances as “the Singing Surgeon” on the TV show "M*A*S*H" or as a disappearing doctor from the hit film “Knocked Up.”

IPR's Aaron Selbig spoke with Wainwright about his side career as a comedic actor and his new album – “Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet).”

"What I Did this Summer"

Sep 26, 2014

  When many of us were younger, Fall meant back to school, and writing a theme about how we spent the summer.  This month on Radio Collage, we turn the tables:  it's the teachers who'll be "writing the theme", or in this case, performing. We'll hear music of Beethoven, Debussy and Mozart, along with lesser known composers like Bill Potts and Pierre-Max Duboix.  As an added treat, we'll be listening to some unusual arrangements and ensembles.


  This edition of Radio Collage features excerpts from the 2014 Interlochen Arts Camp "Collage" show, along with performances recorded at a few of the other concerts that take place during the Camp.  There's music by Mendelssohn, Duke Ellington and Brahms, a bit of Shakespeare, and original works by students from the Singer/Songwriter and Creative Writing programs.

  For this Radio Collage, we revisit performances from the recently completed Interlochen Arts Academy year.  There's lots of diversity, with music by Maurice Ravel, Sir Arthur Sullivan, and Dave Brubeck.  We'll also hear works by students from the Comparative Arts, Creative Writing and Singer-Songwriter programs.

  

Enso circles back!

Aug 16, 2014
Maureen Nelson, Richard Belcher, Melissa Reardon and John Marcus
Tim Burke

  The Enso String Quartet has returned to the Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp as guest artists-in-residence.  The ensemble’s name is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle, which represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void, the endless circle of life, and the fullness of the spirit. In addition to teaching during the  camp, Enso gives three recitals over the course of six days.  Still, they found time to drop by IPR's Studio A to perform excerpts from Five Pieces for String Quartet by Erwin Schulhoff.


Four guitars, one great sound!

Aug 14, 2014

  This summer, the Interlochen Arts Camp was once again filled with young artists, actors, writers, dancers, and, oh yes, musicians! Among them, a guitar quartet who paid a visit to IPR's Studio A.  Leonela Alejandro, Ria Modak, Grace Elmer and Luke Sunderland performed Kalimba by Jurg Kindle. For this performance, some of them put cloth under the strings near the guitar bridge to imitate the sound of the kalimba, also known as the "thumb piano".

Christopher Gruits, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, stopped by Studio B this morning to chat about the upcoming 2014-2015 season. Highlights include: singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, Aquila Theatre's Wuthering Heights,  Ailey II from the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, and the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, from the Nebraska Theatre Caravan.

To hear the interview, featuring a track by singer/songwriter Wainwright (appearing at ICA in October), click "Listen," below.

Tickets go on sale soon - keep your eye on tickets.interlochen.org.  

After the jump - more highlights of the upcoming season, including video from Ailey II and A Christmas Carol.

Jenie Altruda has found a happy balance between a professional life and an artsy upbringing here at Interlochen. After growing up surrounded by various artistes and theatre types, ICA gives her the opportunity to combine business expertise with a love of the arts.

We spent a terrific hour together listening to some of her favorite music.  This is a cool, eclectic mix, with everything from favorites you might know and love (Bach Cello Suite, anyone?) to pieces new to IPR that may become new favorites (Goat Rodeo! Giacchino! Duckworth!).

Jenie had so much great music that we couldn't fit it all into our hour together on-air.  Never fear! You can still hear it all - click, "Read more," to see a list and enjoy more than two hours of Jenie's choices. Listen to our full conversation and hear the music in context in the streaming link, below.


Les Miserables is one of those "dream" shows for actors in musical theatre.  If you've never done it, you pray you'll be in it, and if you've been in it, you'll never forget it. This summer, Interlochen Arts Camp students had a chance to do the dream show with a dream team - Rick and Lynne Church.  Rick was the show's Musical Director and Conductor, and Lynne served as Vocal Coach for the young singers.  The delightful Churches have had fascinating careers (so far - more to come!) and brought all their expertise to the actors.  To us, they brought terrific music from Les Mis and music that Victor Hugo might have been listening to when he was writing his epic about the French Revolution. BONUS for those listening to the stream - Lynne shared a recording of her own performance in Pagliacci! (We've substituted Maria Callas on our Spotify playlist; click, "Read more." )

  

The Cavani String Quartet came to the Interlochen Arts Camp this summer to work with the advanced string quartet program.  While they were on campus, they stopped by IPR's Studio A for a live performance. Here's an excerpt from Midnight Child by Charles G. Washington.  It's based on the spiritual Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child , and mixes some of the music that Washington heard as he grew up: Gospel, Blues and Swing.


The cast of Broadway's Next Hit Musical was on Interlochen's campus for a show, and brought us a real treat - our first ever entirely improvised Live from Studio A session! Cast members Rebecca Vigil, Rob Schiffman, Rob Grant and Eric March gave us a performance to remember.

Eric, Rebecca, Rob and Rob were great sports, and performed for us at what had to be an ungodly  hour of the morning for them. Since I was the only live person in the audience (a perk of hosting in Studio A!), I got to choose the song title (yay!).   At the end of the interview, please enjoy, "It's Early, and I'm In Love."

After the jump, learn more about BNHM and  hear a BONUS TRACK! - the cast dedicates an ode to IPR Studio A engineer, Brock Morman.
 


Violin Virtuosity: Stanislav Pronin

Jul 8, 2014

Violinist Stanislav Pronin paid a return visit to IPR's Studio A and gave a live performance of Nathan Milstein's challenging, "Paganiniana."  We asked Pronin what attracted him to Nathan Milstein's arrangement of works by Paganini. His answer? "It's just fun to play."

It's also a lot of fun to hear!

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