Classical Performance at Arts Academy
Why Study Classical Performance
Do you dream of playing in the greatest symphonies and orchestras alongside today's most talented instrumentalists? Within Interlochen's world-renowned program, you’ll hone your skills and prepare for your future as a musician and performer.
What You’ll Learn
Interlochen Arts Academy is the top-rated boarding arts high school for young classical musicians. You’ll take a combination of studio classes and private lessons, play in small and large ensembles, and study music theory while refining your musicianship.
You'll learn from accomplished instructors, with extensive teaching and performance experience. They’ll serve as your mentors, role models, and career coaches, too. While offering you personalized attention to master your instrument, your faculty will also guide you toward next steps: helping you find the college and career path that is right for you. As alumni and faculty for many of the most prestigious conservatories and undergraduate music programs in the country, your instructors will help you grow your professional networks and ensure your audition material represents your very best.
As a student at our boarding school for classical performance, you will:
- Synthesize and integrate the technical foundation, musicianship, and ensemble skills needed to matriculate to competitive conservatory and university programs
- Incorporate posture, breathing, and instrumental technique into daily practice routines
- Develop technical proficiency through performance on your principal instrument
- Sight read and interpret music from various styles and time periods
For more information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, visit Academy Academics.
A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions.
The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances.
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.
The Brass Choir emphasizes the techniques unique to brass instruments through regular rehearsal and performance opportunities. The ensemble presents a diverse repertoire that ranges from renaissance works to contemporary arrangements.
The Interlochen Arts Academy Percussion Ensemble is an advanced group composed entirely of percussion majors. The ensemble performs challenging, college-level repertoire that encompasses all instruments and genres.
The Choir welcomes students of all majors who are passionate about singing—presenting works from a variety of genres, musical eras, and geographic origins and performs regularly at events both on and off campus.
The Opera Workshop offers singing actors opportunities to study, rehearse, and perform selections from classical and contemporary operas. The company performs at least one showcase each semester with support from the Arts Academy's resident costume, lighting, and scenic designers.
Chair of Music Fundamentals; Instructor of Music Theory231.276.7818 231.276.7818 Send Email
Interlochen Arts Academy is home to the today's leading music educators for high school students. Scroll through to learn more about our instrumentalist faculty.
Assoc. Director of Music for Classical Performance
Instructor of Clarinet, Instructor of Alexander Technique
Instructor of Voice & Opera
Instructor of Guitar
Nelson Family Harp Chair
Instructor of Piano
Linda VanSickle Smith French Horn Chair and Director of Brass Studies
Instructor of Clarinet
Instructor of Trumpet
Instructor of Piano
Instructor of Cello
Instructor of Violin
Instructor of Violin
Conductor of Choral Music
Instructor of Flute
Director of Music; Instructor of Bassoon
Instructor of Music Composition and Theory
Instructor of Double Bass
In addition to working extensively on your instrument, all music majors at the Academy take Music Theory courses. In these courses you’ll receive thorough training in all basic musicianship skills; you’ll preview advanced, college-level theory; and you’ll explore the creative process through composition of concert music.
Awards & Honors
Classical instrument performance students regularly compete and excel in national competitions and award programs. Recent honors include recognition at: the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Bolz Young Artist Competition, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts competition.
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—multiple ensemble and practice rooms, and individual faculty teaching studios. Learn more about The Music Center.
I love Interlochen for the challenges that it presents to its students. All of the classes are demanding and the music is hard, but at the end of the concert cycle or at the end of the semester, you are left with a sense of accomplishment and pride at how far you have come, how much you have learned, and how the experience has changed you.
In the past year, classical performance students have learned from and collaborated with the following artists:
MaryClare Brzytwa, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Salvatore Champagne, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Tim Church, Black Swamp Percussion
Amir Eldan, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Nicholas Goluses, Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester
Jason Hainsworth, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Richie Hawley, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
Mark Holloway, Pacifica Quartet
Guy Johnston, Royal Academy of Music
Alexander Korsantia, New England Conservatory
Timothy McAllister, Soprano Saxophone, PRISM Quartet; Instructor of Saxophone, University of Michigan
Otis Murphy, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
Patricia Rogers Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (ret.)
Sharon Sparrow, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Richard White, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
Advice from an Alum: Keith Buncke (IAA 09-11)
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) principal bassoonist and Academy graduate shares his eight tips for preparing a piece.
Classical performance students regularly enroll in top music programs and conservatories including:
Berklee College of Music
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
California Institute of the Arts
Carnegie Mellon University
Cleveland Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music
The Juilliard School
Johns Hopkins University
Manhattan School of Music
New England Conservatory
New York University
Oberlin College and Conservatory
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Rochester
University of Southern California