Clarinet at Arts Academy

Why Study Clarinet at Interlochen

The clarinet possesses a remarkable range of expression, easily transitioning from dark and mysterious to bright and joyous. Here, you'll develop the skills to command every shade of the clarinet's tonal palette, explore a diverse solo and ensemble repertoire, and unlock your instrument's full potential.

What You’ll Learn

Regardless of what your goals are or where your interests lie, you will find a warm welcome at our boarding school for clarinet, Interlochen Arts Academy. You'll become part of a rich clarinet tradition and experience the necessary preparation for a bright future in music.

You can choose from six music programs that fit your interests. All our students enjoy private lessons and studio classes, as well as large and small ensemble work, with assignments made for your skills and needs. Our exceptional instructors will work with you on instrumental control and musical expression. You'll develop awareness of your technical gaps and find the best approach to address them.

How to Apply

Audition Requirements

Meet the Faculty

Interlochen Arts Academy's clarinet faculty hail from world-class performance venues and educational institutions.

All Faculty

Karen Benda

Karen Benda, D.M.A.

Instructor of Clarinet, Instructor of Alexander Technique

Black and white image of clarinetist Emil Khudyev

Emil Khudyev

Instructor of Clarinet

Guest Artists

  • Alexander Fiterstein, Johns Hopkins University and Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus
  • Richie Hawley, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
  • Ramon Wodkowski, renowned mouthpiece craftsman and Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus
  • Gabi Campos-Zamora, Minnesota Orchestra and Interlochen Arts Academy alumna

Program Highlights

Performance Opportunities

Clarinet students will have multiple performance opportunities with our orchestra, wind symphony, and chamber ensembles, including reed trios, clarinet quartets, and woodwind quintets. Please see our Explore Ensembles section below.

Woodwind Seminar Class

Our clarinet students experience a one-of-a-kind woodwind seminar class where they're instructed by other leading instrumental educators. This is a course most arts high schools and even higher-education institutions do not provide. 

The Music Center

Our state-of-the-art 60,000 square-foot music facility has two 3,500 square-foot rehearsal halls, two recording studios which allow for rehearsal and performance recordings in multiple venues on campus with multiple ensemble and practice rooms, and individual faculty teaching studios. Learn more about The Music Center.

Explore Ensembles


Assembled at the faculty's discretion, chamber music ensembles are offered as electives in the Music division. Each ensemble is coached by one of the Arts Academy's acclaimed instrumental faculty.



A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions.


Wind Symphony

The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances.



Interlochen Arts Academy’s multiple contemporary music ensembles foster collaboration, musicianship, and stagecraft through regular rehearsal and performance opportunities.


A boy playing the clarinet

Not only did I hone my clarinet skills, I made friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life. I got to play in an orchestra of such high caliber, explore great orchestral repertoire, and meet amazing faculty, mentors, and idols. I was immersed in the best training I have ever had.

Johnny To '20, Arts Academy (Music)

Anthony McGill

Anthony McGill (IAA 96) 

Learn how, through hard work and practice, Anthony McGill became the New York Philharmonic's first Black principal player. 

Read story

College Matriculation

Recent Interlochen Arts Academy Music Division students have continued their education at the following institutions and beyond.

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Conservatory at Berklee
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Indiana University
  • The Juilliard School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College and Conservatory
  • Rice University
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanderbilt University

Dive deeper into Interlochen Arts Academy with a free digital viewbook

Arts Academy Viewbook Thumbnail

In our free informational booklet, you'll learn more about: 

  • Each of our seven arts areas 
  • Renowned faculty 
  • College-preparatory academics 
  • Student resources 
  • How to apply and financial aid information 
  • And more