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. 

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!

Brooklyn Rider takes the idea of the string quartet to a new level.  Already champions of new music and fresh approaches, the Brooklyn, NY-based group stretch the boundaries of the classic quartet, adding unusual instruments and other forms of art to the mix.  In their Studio A session, they treated us to terrific, high-energy performances of, "Doina Oltului," a Roma-inspired piece, and, "Ascending Bird," originally arranged for quartet and Persian Fiddle (kamancheh).
 


Chris Gruits, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, is dropping by Classical IPR twice a week to give updates on upcoming events at the Interlochen Festival.

In today's chat, he fills us in about the upcoming WYSO concert featuring Guest Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Pianist Alessio Bax, and a visit from The Capitol Steps.

For information about all Interlochen Festival Events, visit: tickets. interlochen.org.
 


Class of 2014: Walk of "Fame"

Jun 25, 2014

  This month, the focus is on Interlochen Arts Academy's class of 2014.  Among the works we'll hear: Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" performed by the Academy Orchestra, an excerpt from Ned Rorem's opera "Our Town" sung by soprano Sage DeAgro-Ruopp, and poet Sojourner Ahebee reads one of her own works.  We'll aslo hear some Durufle courtesy of organist Bryan Dunnewald, and cellist Daniel Blumhard performs a work written for him by classmate Tevan Goldberg.


Carol Jantsch is known for elevating tuba playing to performance art (she's performed Flight of the Bumblebee in full bee suit and advertised her first tuba CD with a rap video). She is also the first woman to hold a Principal Tuba Chair among major orchestras in the United States (in this case, the Philadelphia Orchestra). Jantsch is at Interlochen this week, teaching the Tuba and Trombone Institute.

Jantsch says she thinks of herself as a musician first, and a tuba player second, and she's interested in playing pieces not originally intended for the tuba.  She visited Studio A with accompanist Ellen Sommer-Bottorf and performed a wonderful rendition of Debussy's, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.  If you think the tuba is nothing more than a background instrument that goes oom-pa-pa - you're in for an elegant surprise.


William VerMeulen has had a life full of connections to Interlochen.  His mother came here to attend Music Camp and play the cello in the 1940's, and later, was a participant in our Adult Chamber Music Camp.  He attended Interlochen as a Camper, and then later, as an Academy Student.  He even worked in food service in the cafeteria, and eventually spent three years as an Academy Horn Instructor.  "I've done," he says, " everything you could do at Interlochen, and now to be back is a thrill."


Michigan's Increasing Ties To China

Jun 3, 2014

China is quickly becoming a key export market for Michigan businesses, and not just for large manufacturers.

“They are looking for supplies of cherries, blueberries and wine. And they are even interested in buying vineyards,” says Jack Segal.

The retired diplomat is co-chair of the International Affairs Forum. The group is hosting a business and education conference this Thursday and Friday in Traverse City.

Students from all over the world flock to Interlochen Arts Academy to study the arts in the northern Michigan woods.  Some of them are old hands at music or their chosen field, but new to the English language.

That's where Marvine Stamatakis comes in.  Marvine is the instructor of English as a Second Language at Interlochen, and uses all sorts of creative resources to help students feel comfortable speaking naturally in English.

A young northern Michigan singer/songwriter duo just got a big nod from a Grammy-nominated blogger. 

On his culture blog, "Dull Tool Dim Bulb," writer Jim Linderman says The Accidentals may very well be "the best unsigned band in America."

Franco-American: Music From Ravel To Nestico

May 21, 2014

  Radio Collage has a significant French influence this time around.  We'll hear two works by Ravel, a suite by Milhaud, and an ancient tale written down in the 17th century by  Frenchman Charles Perrault - we know it today  as "Little Red Riding Hood".  To balance things a bit, there are two works written by Interlochen Arts Academy students Kendra Prat and Christopher Bell, along with a performance of  Sammy Nestico's "Freckle Face"  by the Arts Academy Jazz Ensemble.


Jeremy Laureta, Interlochen Senior and Viola major, dropped by Studio A to perform a selection from his recent Senior Recital.  Jeremy performed the balcony scene from Prokofiev's, "Romeo and Juliet." Susan Snyder provided piano accompaniment as Viola professor Renee Skerik listened proudly in the wings. We wish Jeremy all the best as he moves on to his next phase at the Manhattan School of Music!  

 

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