Music Ensembles

Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra

Interlochen Arts Academy's musical ensembles provide students with a variety of opportunities to perform publicly and collaborate with their peers. The diversity of ensembles enables students to discover new genres, master standard repertoire, and build the skills they need for success at the college and professional level.

Classical Music Ensembles


A recipient of the American Prize, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra is globally renowned as one of the world's finest high school orchestras. Under the direction of Dr. Leslie B. Dunner, the orchestra performs an advanced repertoire that includes symphonies, concerti, contemporary works, and original compositions. The orchestra has recently appeared at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, and the New World Center and has premiered works by Ash Fure, Hannah Lash, and Nico Muhly, among others. The orchestra collaborates regularly with other arts divisions and is the resident orchestra for the Arts Academy's annual ballet and musical theatre productions. All string musicians are automatically enrolled in orchestra. Woodwind, brass, and percussion students are placed into either orchestra or wind symphony based on preliminary auditions, ensemble needs, and instructor discretion.

Wind Symphony

The American Prize-winning Interlochen Arts Academy Wind Symphony is renowned as one of the nation's finest high school wind and percussion ensembles. Under the direction of Dr. Matthew Schlomer, the ensemble presents a diverse and challenging repertoire in regular live, prerecorded, and public radio performances. The Wind Symphony regularly collaborates with acclaimed musicians, such as conductor Allan McMurray, saxophonist Otis Murphy, and cellist Patrick Owen. The Wind Symphony made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2019, presenting the world premiere performance of Clint Needham's ballet Resolve. Woodwind, brass, and percussion students are placed into either orchestra or wind symphony based on preliminary auditions, ensemble needs, and instructor discretion.

Brass Choir

Led by Instructor of Low Brass Tom Riccobono, 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.

Chamber Ensembles

Chamber music ensembles are offered as electives within the Music Division and are assembled at the faculty's discretion. Depending on the number of students participating, instrumentation of these ensembles may include piano trios, string quartets, woodwind quintets, brass quintets, and other configurations. Each ensemble is coached by one of the Arts Academy's acclaimed instrumental faculty.

Chamber Singers*

Composed of Interlochen Arts Academy's most advanced vocal artists, the Chamber Singers are an intimate ensemble that performs a diverse and challenging repertoire.


As Interlochen Arts Academy's largest vocal ensemble, the Choir welcomes students of all majors who are passionate about singing. The Choir presents works from a variety of genres, musical eras, and geographic origins and performs regularly at events both on and off campus.

Opera Workshop*

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.

Percussion Ensemble

The Interlochen Arts Academy Percussion Ensemble is an advanced group composed entirely of percussion majors. Under the leadership of renowned percussionist and educator Keith Aleo, the ensemble performs a challenging, college-level repertoire that encompasses all instruments, eras, and genres. The Percussion Ensemble places a special emphasis on both world music and contemporary avant-garde works.

Contemporary Music Ensembles

Jazz Combos*

Interlochen Arts Academy's jazz combos are select groups of five to eight of the jazz program's most experienced improvisers. Through regular rehearsals and performance opportunities, members apply their skills as improvisers and practice collaboration and ensemble communication.

Jazz Orchestra*

The Interlochen Arts Academy Jazz Orchestra boasts a storied history as one of the nation's most elite high school ensembles. Members develop skills as soloists and ensemble performers as they rehearse and perform jazz standards and contemporary charts. Notable alumni of the ensemble include percussionist Peter Erskine, trombonist Chris Brubeck, and pianist Xavier Davis.

Popular Music Ensemble

Named for iconic backing bands of the 21st century, the Popular Music Ensembles provide hands-on learning opportunities for aspiring contemporary musicians. In addition to performing covers of popular songs, members of the Popular Music Ensembles serve as studio and stage musicians for students in the Singer-Songwriter program.

*Requires additional auditions or instructor approval