Zildjian Finds Many Ways to Support Interlochen Percussionists

For many summers, the Avedis Zildjian company has helped provide opportunities for young percussionists through contributions of talent and resources.

Zildjian, a maker of cymbals since 1623, is well-known for its generous support of young musicians. Each year, the company works with 20 of the top educational music programs in three different countries to provide scholarships to promising young musicians. Interlochen students regularly benefit from this program.

At Interlochen, however, Zildjian's contributions extend beyond scholarship support. Every summer, Zildjian kindly grants a hiatus to its director of education and orchestral activities, Keith Aleo (IAC 80, 81 IAA 80-81, Staff 87), so he can serve as the director of percussion at Interlochen Arts Camp. Aleo works closely with percussion students, developing fundamental skills, helping them prepare their orchestra repertoire and coaching them in percussion ensemble.

“As an alumnus, I have a special connection with Interlochen and have been associated with both the Camp and the Academy for much of my life,” explained Aleo. “So it’s great to be part of a company that shares Interlochen’s strong commitment to music education and training a new generation of musicians.” 

Additionally, Zildjian donates thousands of dollars worth of cymbals and specialty percussion instruments to Interlochen. The gifts give Interlochen students access to a world-class collection of cymbals. At this summer’s performance of Collage, the students showcased this collection and their skills on a piece written exclusively for cymbals, “Crash Course” by James Campbell.

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