Arts at Interlochen

Interlochen Center for the Arts has arts education programs for students in grades 3-12 and adults. Interlochen also hosts hundreds of concerts and events in northern Michigan and is the parent organization of our two public radio stations.

Find the stories and sounds of Interlochen below, or click here for recordings of Interlochen student performances. 

Jeremy Laureta, Interlochen Senior and Viola major, dropped by Studio A to perform a selection from his recent Senior Recital.  Jeremy performed the balcony scene from Prokofiev's, "Romeo and Juliet." Susan Snyder provided piano accompaniment as Viola professor Renee Skerik listened proudly in the wings. We wish Jeremy all the best as he moves on to his next phase at the Manhattan School of Music!  


Young playwrights from high schools across northern Michigan had the chance to have their work juried by professionals from East Lansing. The six top plays will be performed at a free event this weekend in Traverse City.

This year, five of the six students are from the Interlochen Arts Academy. A student from the Grand Traverse Academy was also selected. 

The Third Annual Young Playwrights Festival will be held on Sunday at the City Opera House.  Curtain rises at 1:30.

The Way Back To Interlochen

May 15, 2014

It’s not unusual for students of Interlochen to come back in the roles of professional, adult artists. Two of these returning students have been working on the Interlochen Dance Company’s current production of “Peter and the Wolf.” And IPR recently caught up with them. 

The Art Of Anatomy

May 14, 2014

The organs of the body become the stuff of art in the hands of Madison Brownson. Madison is a senior in Interlochen's Visual Arts Program. Her work can be seen in an exhibition in Interlochen's Dow Center for Visual Arts. Last month, she became a Portfolio Gold Medalist in the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Madison says some anatomical artwork can be a little off-putting.   

Chopin's Music Fills Studio A

May 5, 2014
Interlochen Arts Academy senior Grace (Jiyuan) Zhang
Tim Burke

Interlochen Arts Academy senior Grace (Jiyuan) Zhang recently visited IPR's Studio A to perform the third and fourth movements of Frederick Chopin's Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, Opus 35.   The third movement (known as the Funeral March) was written as Chopin's native Poland was being invaded.  Grace says "it was written for generations - for a country." Grace will continue her studies at the University of Michigan beginning this fall.

Sara Hoover

Near the shores of the Lake Michigan sits a grove of sequoias. They stand on the site of a former Morton Salt factory, where men once mined salt brine out of the Great Lakes. Sequoia trees are not native to Michigan, but this grove has grown in Manistee for more than 65 years, ever since Mrs. Morton brought the saplings with her from the West Coast. Since then, the giant trees have grown accustomed to tough Michigan winters.

Those trees are going to take another trip. Or their clones will.

Composers in Context at Interlochen: Ned Rorem

Apr 19, 2014

Interlochen Arts Academy is featuring a series of concert performances built around music of American composer, Ned Rorem, who is celebrating his 90th year.    The IAA Band, Choir, and Orchestra perform a trio of concerts offering context for Mr. Rorem's music.  Band director Matthew Schlomer, Choral director John Bragle, and Orchestra conductor Carolyn Watson talk with IPR host Kate Botello about their approach to the Composer in Context series of concerts at Interlochen, April 23-25.

Uppin' Adam, That's What I'm Talking About

Apr 18, 2014

This month on Radio Collage,  an excerpt from the short story  What I'm Talking About by creative writer Ashanti Davis, the Interlochen Arts Academy band performs Uppin' Adam and the Theatre Department  takes a fresh look at Cinderella.  The Academy Orchestra performs Elgar's Nimrod, pianist Grace Zhang plays Ondine by Ravel and we'll hear the opening of a Radio Drama based loosely, very loosely, on Shakespeare's Two Gentleman of Verona.  ( listen to the full drama here )

From Verona Hills to Vegas

Apr 18, 2014

Students from the Interlochen Arts Academy English as a Second Language (ESL) class take a Shakespeare classic - Two Gentleman of Verona -  and refashions it as a modern work...with a few twists!

A Song Of Blessing: Tibetan Monks Perform Live

Apr 17, 2014

Several members of the Mystical Arts of Tibet stopped by Interlochen Public Radio for a conversation and performance live in Studio A today.  These Tibetan Buddhist monks are in Traverse City this week, constructing an elaborate sand painting at the Dennos Museum.

The spirit of collaboration is alive and well with Interlochen's upcoming New Opera Project.  Interlochen composing students worked in tandem with faculty and performers to create scenes for new operas.  The Parallel45 Production company came on board to produce, and the operas will make their world premieres at the Inside Out Gallery in Traverse City.

There are so many terrific shows coming up for the 2014 Interlochen Arts Festival; it's hard to keep track!  We like to think there's something for everyone. Chris Gruits, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, dropped by Studio B to chat with Classical IPR's Kate Botello to talk about upcoming highlights from the Festival for classical music fans.

IPR talks with Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, Christopher Gruits, about the coming summer season of performances for the 2014 Interlochen Arts Festival.   

The full line up was announced today.

Motionhouse Dance Makes A Splash

Mar 27, 2014

On April 1st at Interlochen, dancers will appear to climb up the stream of a giant water faucet. They’ll also leap up and touch a screen causing big splashes. The ensemble is England’s Motionhouse which integrates dance, film and acrobatics. The co-founder and Artistic Director of Motionhouse is Kevin Finnan. He says the company’s special effects were achieved by trying many different techniques. 

Where is serious music going?

Mar 26, 2014

Where is 'classical' music headed in the future?  Interlochen Arts Academy alumni Theo VanDyke, a trumpeter now at Juilliard, and Kens Lui, a trombonist at New England Conservatory, talk with two leaders at Interlochen Center for the Arts:  President Jeffrey Kimpton and Director of Music Kedrik Merwin, about their thoughts on music innovation, musical assignments to avoid, and the exhilarating life that music offers.  

From Jupiter To Coriolanus (and beyond!)

Mar 17, 2014
Tim Burke

In this edition of Radio Collage: the Interlochen Arts Academy Band brings us Jupiter from The Planets, the Percussion Ensemble tackles a piece by David Gillingham, and the Orchestra takes us to the opera with the Overture and some Ballet Music from Mozart's Idomeneo.  We'll also hear a scene from Shakespeare's Coriolanus, an original work from the Singer-Songwriter program, and a "jazzy" piece based on a Paganini Caprice.


Radio Collage, February 15, 2014

Feb 26, 2014

  Interlochen Arts Academy students perform Bernstein's Divertimento for Orchestra, a scene from Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and the Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and Band are featured.   Hear a student's thoughts on this northern Michigan winter, and a startling performance by a student wind ensemble.

The Timeless Art Of Political Backstabbing

Feb 26, 2014

Shakepeare’s “Coriolanus” is a play that can easily be set in modern times. Its themes of political ambition and social struggle are timeless. The Interlochen Arts Academy Theater Company stages its up-to-date production of “Coriolanus” Friday and Saturday. The director is David Montee. He says “Coriolanus” reminds him of the TV show “House of Cards.” 

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Children’s books might be fun to read, but they’re hard to write. That’s what Interlochen Arts Academy students recently learned. The students wrote and illustrated children’s books in January during a two-week class.

To help students brainstorm ideas, teacher Karen Libby took the class to an elementary school in Traverse City, The Children’s House.

“We asked them, ‘What would you put in a children’s book if you could?’” says Derek Brockington, a junior. “One of the kids said, ‘I’d put in a wizard lizard.’”


Feb 19, 2014

Interlochen Arts Academy is offering a way to beat the mid-winter blues on Saturday, February 22. It’s an Open House called Winterlochen and it features art, music, dance and outdoor fun. IPR’s Brad Aspey talks with the Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, Christopher Gruits. 


Jade Fung - Live from Studio A

Feb 7, 2014

Interlochen Arts Academy Sophomore Jade Fung paid a musical visit to IPR's Studio A.  She performed a pair of delightful contrasts, flowing powerfully through a Liszt Concert Etude before jazzing it up with a Fazil Say arrangement of a Paganini Caprice.


Wanzhen Li - Live from Studio A

Jan 29, 2014

Interlochen Alumna Wanzhen Li returned to the area and paid a visit to Interlochen Public Radio, where she played Eugene Ysaye's " Violin Sonata No. 4."

Pianist Michel Dalberto: musician and judge

Jan 22, 2014

Pianist Michel Dalberto visited Interlochen and performed on Classical IPR live in Studio A.  Dalberto tells of his choosing to become a musician in a non-musical family, about the musician's responsibility to act as judge, interpreting the composer's intention, sometimes using significant performances by other artists as a precedent....or not.  He also performs music of Faure and Scriabin in this January 22, 2014 performance at IPR Studio A.

Radio Collage, January - 2014

Jan 21, 2014

Interlochen arts Academy Students perform original music, creative writing along with works by Bach, Leo Brouwer, John Barnes Chance, Ravel and something sweet from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"!

Jonathan Biss Comes To Interlochen

Jan 13, 2014

Acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss will perform in concert Tuesday, January 14th in Interlochen's Dendrinos Chapel. Music by Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin will be featured. Biss will perform the same program at Carnegie Hall soon.