New programs offer opportunities for exploration and discovery

Returning Interlochen Arts Camp students might notice a few changes in this year’s course catalog.

For Arts Camp 2019, eight new programs and three updated existing majors will be made available for incoming young artists. The new programs span five artistic disciplines and expand several popular electives.The additions are part of Interlochen’s continuing commitment to provide exceptional value to our current and prospective students.

“Interlochen Arts Camp has so many wonderful opportunities for students from age 8 to 18,” said Interlochen Provost Camille Colatosti. “Each year, we ask campers what more they want to hear, see, and do, and we create new programs accordingly. Our new programs—from Slam Poetry to Animation to Music Production—join art and technology, cross multiple art forms, and provide young people a chance to explore and create in one of the most beautiful places on earth—Interlochen. Shakespeare said, ‘The earth has music for those who listen.’ We say, Interlochen has art for those who want to create. We hope to see you this summer!”

Music programs

The Music Department’s updates include the expansion of Junior Choir from an elective to a major; the addition of Music Production and Engineering programs for both high school and intermediate students; and the revitalization of the existing Jazz, Rock, and Singer-Songwriter majors.

Music production has been an important part of Interlochen Arts Camp since its earliest days, when founder Joseph Maddy used the emerging recording industry to promote the Camp. This summer, with the opening of Interlochen’s new music building and its state-of-the-art recording studios, the Music Production and Engineering Program returns to our course catalogue. Berklee College of Music Professor Jeanine Cowen, a producer, engineer, and film composer, will lead the major, which is available for both high school and intermediate students. Students will simulate a real-world engineering and producing experience, recording the music of their counterparts in the Singer-Songwriter program. The collaboration between the two programs will enable everyone to experience what it is like to be a real part of the music industry today.

“I am very excited about the addition and updates of programs such as Rock/Pop, Music Production and Engineering, and the expansion of our Jazz offerings,” said Kedrik Merwin, Director of the Music Division. “We are expanding our focus on contemporary and popular music styles, as well as recruiting college faculty leaders in these field to teach our Camp students. These programs will provide student experiences that are relevant, immersive, and demonstrate Interlochen's commitment to leadership in arts education.”

Elementary-age students will now be able to focus their study on the vocal arts in the new Junior Choir Program. Previously offered only as an elective, Junior Choir will focus on basic singing skills, sight reading, and overall musicianship. Students who enroll in two or more sessions are also eligible to take private instrumental lessons.

A pillar of Interlochen’s music offerings since 1972, the Jazz Program has received a 21st century update. The high school and intermediate programs now welcome students of any instrumental or vocal specialty, and add master class-style jazz forums and open mic sessions to the existing schedule of rehearsals and performances. The revamped program will be led by a team of talented jazz artists from the Berklee College of Music and the Peabody Institute of Music.

The Rock Program will also receive a facelift for summer 2019. Now Rock/Pop, it will focus on the skills needed for life as a professional touring musician, such as ear training, transcription, song composition, rehearsal etiquette, and performance. Rock/Pop students will also perform and write music with a band of their peers. And students in the Singer Songwriting program, in addition to developing their skills in songwriting and performance, will also have a chance to have their songs recorded and produced.

Theatre programs

The Theatre Department will offer three new programs for high school students in 2019: Theatre Improvisation, Contemporary Musical Theatre Showcase, and Musical Theatre Golden Age Revue.

"It is important that young musical theatre performers have the opportunity to explore both the contemporary world of musical theatre and the standards that have made it into the popular art form that it is today," said Director of Theatre Bill Church. "These two programs encompass both aspects of musical theatre, and we are excited to offer our students such a dynamic choice of material to study. As for improvisation, it remains an extremely popular art form and is a vital tool in actor training."

The Contemporary Musical Theatre Showcase and Musical Theatre Golden Age Revue will replace and expand the existing the Musical Theatre Workshops. The two programs will give young actors the opportunity to develop their acting, singing, and dancing skills while exploring repertoire from either classic or contemporary musical theatre productions.

For the creative acting student, the Theatre Department will also offer a major in Theatre Improvisation. The program will provide core training in acting technique alongside short-and-long-form improvisation exercises. The session will conclude in an “improv night” performance for friends and family.

Other programs

Creative Writing, Motion Picture Arts, and Visual Arts will each offer one new program in 2019.

The new creative writing program, the Slam Poetry Institute, will introduce students to the emerging, competitive genre of slam poetry. The institute will focus equally on written and spoken word, as students learn write and perform their own original poems.

Junior high filmmakers will explore moving pictures in the Intermediate Animation Program. Previously offered as an elective, the three-week major will provide an in-depth study of several animation styles, including stop motion, hand-drawn, paper cut-out, and digital.

Following the success of the Preparing a Portfolio for College Institute, Visual Arts will offer a three-week Pre-College Portfolio Intensive. The intensive will teach students how to photograph work, write an artist statement, conduct research on schools, and apply for financial aid. Students will also have the opportunity to speak to representatives from top arts schools from across the nation.

If you know a student who would be interested in one of these programs, help us spread the word! You can learn more about all eight new programs at