From the Archives with Byron Hanson: March/April 2017

April: A month of beginnings and endings.

Originally published in the April 2010 edition of Crescendo.

APRIL 18, 1966 - Joseph E. Maddy died in Traverse City. The Academy was still in its infancy and anxiety ran high as the Interlochen community wondered who could guide the legacy of a man who consistently seemed to accomplish the impossible. Those of us who knew him are in our golden years or beyond; now would be a good time to reflect on what we remember of this extraordinary man.

APRIL 7, 1924 and APRIL 3, 1940 are the respective birthdates of Roger E. Jacobi and Bruce W. Galbraith. These gentlemen’s tenures as our longest-serving president and academy director brought new confidence and growth to Interlochen through the challenging period following the death of Interlochen founder, Dr. Maddy. Mr. Jacobi was president from 1971 to 1989, and Mr. Galbraith led the Academy 1977-87.

APRIL 16, 1926 - the first National High School Orchestra made its debut in a concert for the Music Supervisors National Conference at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. This date, 84 years ago, could rightly be considered as the birthday of Interlochen because the performance of these 200 plus students from 25 states led directly to the first season of Camp two years later. Their program was a modest one by Dr. Maddy’s standards, but it did include a movement of Beethoven’s Eroica, led by Detroit Symphony conductor Ossip Gabrilowitsch. Among the orchestra members were Keith Stein, later to become a distinguished clarinet teacher at Michigan State University and Waldemar Linder, later principal horn with the Minneapolis Symphony.

APRIL 25, 1968 - Theo Alcantara conducted Academy dancers and percussionists in the first U.S. performance of “Ballet Fantastiques” by the Armenian composer, Loris Tjeknavorian with choreography by William Hug, who headed the dance department from 1962 to 1969.

APRIL 21 and 22, 1969 - The Academy orchestra played at Symphony Hall in Atlanta, Georgia. Interlochen performers made no further ventures into the southern states until we returned to Atlanta for the 1996 World Youth Symphony Orchestra concert during the summer Olympic Games.

APRIL 21-25, 1970 - This week’s creative events covered a wide range. Indiana University composer Bernhard Heiden and his colleague, the eminent cellist Janos Starker, visited and performed chamber music with our students on Tuesday. The next day, Mr. Starker gave the U.S. premiere of Heiden’s Concerto for Violoncello (1967) with the orchestra. And we all celebrated the very first Earth Day with a panel of visiting experts. We marked the occasion with a band and choir concert featuring selections from Joseph Haydn’s The Creation (1798).