In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Interlochen Arts Academy is one of many schools nationwide that has pivoted to virtual learning.

This new direction for the academy includes an array of programs and happenings—from weekly Zoom seminars and virtual senior recitals to a filmmaking challenge on Instagram.

Weekly Zoom Seminar with World-Renowned Conductors
Conducting Business: Insights on the What, Why and How of Making Music
Interlochen Board of Trustees member Tom Morris—former CEO of the Boston Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra, and recently retired artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival—is hosting a weekly seminar for Arts Academy students featuring master conductors from around the world. The inaugural seminar on April 16 featured acclaimed conductor Franz Welser-Möst, music director of The Cleveland Orch­estra. Upcoming guests include conductors Robert Spano (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) and Barbara Hannigan (Gothenburg Symphony).

Real-Life Wednesdays: Commercial Audio and Music Industry Seminar
Hosted by Interlochen’s Director of Music Production and Engineering, Marc Lacuesta, these one-hour moderated virtual discussions for Interlochen students feature active working professionals in the commercial audio and music industry. This kicked off April 15 with Audie-winning audiobook mixer, editor and singer/songwriter Timothy Franklin, founder of Ant Bear Audio. Franklin is also the founder of the Seattle Chamber Rock group Pillow Army, as well as a founder of the Christmas Band The X-Misses, whose album “Christmas Reminiscences” was recognized by Rolling Stone as one of the best Christmas Albums of 2018.

Virtual Community Meetings
Traditionally, Interlochen Arts Academy students of all ages and majors gather in Corson Auditorium for community meetings. These meetings are opportunities for students to celebrate their peers, hear from experts in a variety of artistic and academic fields and experience performances by fellow students, faculty and guest artists. These weekly meetings are now being conducted virtually via special-edition videos featuring performances by Interlochen students, faculty and alumni—plus messages from Interlochen Center for the Arts leadership. The first virtual community meeting concluded with Emmy-winning composer and Interlochen Arts Academy graduate Lance Horne performing a song he composed especially for students. New videos will be posted every Wednesday at 12 p.m. EDT. 

Distinguished Alumni Serving as Virtual Guests in Arts Academy Classes
Alumni from across disciplines have volunteered to take part in virtual Q&A’s and presentations in Academy classes this spring. For example, many esteemed bassoonists will participate in a virtual bassoon studio, including Keith Buncke (IAA 09-11), principal bassoon with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Evan Kuhlman (IAA 00-02), contra bassoonist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and William Short (IAC 04, 07, IAC Fac 16-17, 19), principal bassoon with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Residence Life Virtual Lounge
On Friday nights, Interlochen’s Residence Life staff hosts a virtual lounge on Zoom—a low-pressure virtual room for questions, resources, hangouts, crafts, game nights, socializing and general conversation.

Separate Together: Archival Performances from Interlochen
Interlochen is sharing video and audio from past concerts and recitals every Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook. Archival materials include performances from the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Ensemble and Interlochen Choirs. Find upcoming programs here.

Senior Recitals and Virtual Student Performances
This spring, Interlochen will invite seniors to share their music with the world through Virtual Senior Recitals. Each week, a video will be posted featuring five of the academy’s seniors. Students’ work will also be showcased through the academy’s springtime Virtual Performances and Artworks Series.

Coming This May: Pre-Recorded Audio Performance of “As You Like It”
This spring, the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Company will present an audio performance of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” More details to come soon.

Film Challenge for All Aspiring Filmmakers: Social Distance Shorts
To channel restless artistic energy, Interlochen is launching a film shorts challenge fit for the times. Taking part in the challenge is very simple:

  1. Follow the academy on Instagram @InterlochenAdmission
  2. Create your film (adhere to the following criteria):
    • 6 feet distance between characters
    • Single location
    • 60 seconds (or less)
  3. Post your film and tag @InterlochenAdmission and #InterlochenInterludes