After Mort Achter won a boxing competition at a sports camp in the summer of 1947, his parents were worried.
They told him he'd have to go to music camp at Interlochen the next summer. If he didn't like it, he could return to sports camp the following year.
Starting in 1948, Achter would spend every summer for over a decade at Interlochen's National Music Camp.
Plus, he recalls, at Interlochen, the girls far outnumbered the boys and the concerts outnumbered the free hours in the day. Sports camp paled in comparison.
Achter's boxing career never went anywhere, much to his parents' relief.
And although he enrolled at M.I.T. to study chemical engineering, Achter soon transferred to the University of Michigan and changed his major to music.
His parents weren't suprised.
After earning a Ph.D. in musicology, Achter chaired the music department at Otterbein University for a quarter of a century. He has also directed dozens of plays, musicals and operas.
In a recent conversation with Classical IPR, Achter reflected on his time at Interlochen and how it shaped his personal and professional career.
Listen to the entire conversation below.
Thanks to Eileen Ganter, Cathy Dodge-Miller and Carolyn Purcell.