President Devey speaks at a First Gatheirng event.
The students of Interlochen Online 2020 present a virtual performance of "Les Préludes."
A few weeks ago, we celebrated the conclusion of Interlochen Online with the perennial performance of “Les Préludes,” this time presented virtually. It was a touching moment, made all the more magical by challenging times in which it occurred.
First-time Camp parent Melissa summed up the experience of Interlochen Online perfectly in a letter she wrote to me shortly after the performance:
I just finished watching Les Preludes 2020 with my two children. We really enjoyed watching all the performances, including those in the First Gathering, and were reflecting on the past three weeks. They had the best time (I can't stress this enough) and have asked to return already.
Thank you to the wonderful team at Interlochen who have put together an amazing three weeks of Interlochen Online for them. This was their first time at camp and they both loved every minute. They enjoyed their classes with energetic, caring and passionate teachers, meeting like-minded people, being a part of an incredible arts community and making new friends.
As Melissa so eloquently stated, Interlochen Online succeeded on every level. While much of that success is a tribute to the enterprising spirit of our students—who inspired us day after day with their positive attitude and outstanding talent—Interlochen Online would not have been possible without a faculty as committed to fostering growth in their students as themselves.
Since the Academy transitioned to online learning in April, I have seen our academic, arts, and residential life faculty rise to the occasion in remarkable ways. From leading virtual ensemble performances to facilitating “real life” master classes on Zoom, they have been committed to finding new and exciting ways to provide world-class educational experiences to their students. As they taught, they too were learning, discovering new ways to talk about their skill and craft over a digital interface.
Their ingenuity opened our eyes to what is possible and gave us the confidence to pioneer a digital Camp experience. Thanks to their creativity, more than 1,400 students from 21 countries and five continents were able to experience Interlochen from the safety of their own homes. Interlochen Online students enjoyed biweekly master classes with phenomenal guest artists, performed for each other in virtual studios, and got a taste of Camp life through virtual cabins and “Camp in a Box.” I encourage you to experience the culmination of our students’ and faculty’s hard work by watching the final performances of Interlochen Online, “Collage” and “Les Préludes.” (Alumni may even spot a few familiar faces during the first few minutes of the performance, thanks to some wonderful historical images from our photo archivists!)
As we look forward to the return of the Academy in just a few short weeks, I am excited to see how our faculty will continue to inspire in a socially distant on-campus community. Although we are returning to a semblance of “normal,” educational innovation does not and should not end. We will continue to challenge ourselves to think beyond the tried and true to create the most valuable educational experience possible—whatever the future may hold.
Thank you for reading this edition of Crescendo. I’ll see you again in September.