One Magical Summer

Update: It is with a heavy heart that we share that on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 June Horowitz passed away. Her legacy will live on through her family, friends, peers and loved ones. Thank you to June’s family for introducing us to June and for allowing us the opportunity to share the story of her summer at Interlochen.

There’s magic in music. But when June Horowitz (IAC/NMC 29) is involved, the magic is a little more tangible.

Horowitz (nee Warsaw), age 104, is an alumna of one of Interlochen Arts Camp’s first seasons: she spent the summer of 1929 studying violin and viola at the then-two-year-old National Music Camp. During her summer at Interlochen, Horowitz distinguished herself as one of the Camp’s best swimmers and relished the opportunity to wear knickers: in an era when girls wore dresses in public, the Camp’s progressive uniform empowered the young ladies and enabled them to more easily partake in outdoor activities.

The summer at Interlochen also left Horowitz empowered to continue her study of music. But while music remained an important part of Horowitz’s life over the years, she’s best known for another hobby: magic.

The daughter of magician Abe Warsaw, Horowitz learned magic at an early age. Horowitz was able to earn enough through her magic to fund her studies at the University of Michigan.

After graduating, Horowitz pursued a career as a math teacher—but she remained an active magician. In the classroom, she used magic to teach and reinforce mathematical concepts. She was named the Best Female Magician in United States and England by the Magigals, and in 1987, she became the first female president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. In 2013, she became the first woman to receive a marker on Colon’s Magicians Walk of Fame.

Horowitz also remained involved in music throughout her career, although to a lesser extent than she was involved in magic. She even joined the Grand Rapids Symphony during World War II when many of the Symphony’s musicians enlisted or were drafted into service.

This summer, we visited June to learn more about her magic and get a first-hand account of the National Music Camp’s earliest days.