From the Archives: Nov/Dec. 2017

  • Joseph Maddy addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking for the first academic building of Interlochen Arts Academy.

  • A National Music Camp medallion (left) and an early National High School Orchestra and Band Camp logo (right).

  • The original National High School Orchestra and Band Camp logo was based off of the Interlochen Bowl.

  • The groundbreaking ceremony for Interlochen Arts Academy (left) and the early Arts Academy logo.

This story was written by Archivist Leo Gillis. The Jan/Feb 2018 edition of "From the Archives" will feature a story by Byron Hanson with contributions from Gillis.

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Interlochen Center for the Arts. What’s that, you say? “Doesn’t the Camp date from 1928?”

Indeed, it does, but the name of the whole institution was officially changed to Interlochen Center for the Arts (ICA) on Dec. 12, 1977. “But wasn’t the name ICA used long before 1977?” True, it was, both formally and informally, since December of 1968, and therein lies a tale of the changing nomenclature of Interlochen.

There has sometimes been confusion about the name of our organization because the name of the non-profit has not always reflected its constituent parts. In July of 1927, Joe Maddy, T. P. Giddings and Willis Pennington formed the National High School Orchestra Association in order to establish a summer music camp. They soon thought better of this name, and at their second meeting the name was changed to the National High School Orchestra Camp Association, which was registered as a not-for-profit corporation on Dec. 15, 1927, making this month the 90th anniversary of the founding of our original organization.

The music camp began the following summer of 1928. For the first year, much ambiguity reigned: the title on the program books said “National High School Orchestra & Band,” while inside that same publication the campus itself was called the National High School Orchestra Camp and the name of the non-profit was correctly identified. In particular, the word “band” was included or excluded from the name of the Camp almost by whim or convenience. By the second season of 1929, the name of the Camp was dropped from the cover of the program books, but inside both the campus and the non-profit were referred to as the National High School Orchestra & Band Camp (NHSO&BC), even though that was not the official name of the corporation.

Things stayed this way for 1929 and 1930, while in 1931 the name of NHSO&BC featured on the cover of the program books. But in that year’s program we find the first appearance of the name the Camp would bear for decades, when John Philip Sousa dedicated the “Northern Pines March” to “Dr. Joseph E. Maddy and the National Music Camp.” Perhaps it was inevitable then, that in 1932 the campus name was changed to the National Music Camp (NMC). While the Camp kept this name for decades, it was not until 1944, after the Camp’s debts had been retired and the remainder of the campus purchased from the Pennington family, that the name of the non-profit corporation became the National Music Camp. Once again, the name of the campus and the corporation were the same.

Things might have stayed that way if not for Joe Maddy’s persistent dream to start a boarding high school, and an even bigger dream to found a junior college for the arts. The Board of Trustees of the National Music Camp was initially opposed to the idea of adding a year-round high school to complement the summer camp, but with the financial support of Clement Stone, the high school began its first academic year in the fall of 1962, as an arm of NMC. The following year, on Sept. 6, 1963 the Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA) was officially organized as a non-profit corporation by Joe Maddy, Clyde Vroman and Roscoe Bonisteel.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Maddy began formulating plans for a junior college once the Academy was up and running. After the Academy had been operating for three years, the same triumvirate of Maddy, Vroman and Bonisteel met on Dec. 7, 1965 to organize the Interlochen College of Creative Arts (ICCA). The appropriate papers were filed with the State of Michigan on Dec. 20, 1965, and then re-filed on March 28, 1966 with an amended charter to limit the college to granting an Associate’s Degree in Arts Studies. This would be the last major endeavor of Dr. Maddy, who passed away in April of 1966. It would be another full year before the Michigan Department of Treasury formally registered the Articles of Incorporation for ICCA on July 20, 1967.

Interlochen now consisted of three separate non-profit corporations, and in order to fund their operations, another non-profit was created. Thus on Dec. 9, 1968, the (first) Interlochen Center for the Arts was formed to disburse funds to NMC, IAA and ICCA. This was the state of affairs for nearly a decade, but no junior college was ever created due to unavailable funding, although the ICCA was maintained so as to keep the college charter in case it could be established in the future.

The last major reorganization took place in 1977. On Dec. 12 of that year, the State of Michigan approved the plans of the Board of Trustees, to wit: the non-profit IAA assumed the functions (and real estate) of NMC and ICA, which were then dissolved; concurrently the IAA non-profit changed its name to the (second) Interlochen Center for the Arts.

And thus the non-profit organization of ICA was officially recognized 40 years ago this month. In its current form, it is the umbrella organization with four main divisions: the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Public Radio and Interlochen Presents, as well as hosting the Interlochen College of Creative Arts, which continues as a separate non-profit corporation. Although the current ICCA is not the junior college that Maddy once envisioned 50 years ago, it remains a vital component of the work done at Interlochen, providing adult classes in many areas of the arts.