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Composition Summer Program for High School Students

Why Take Composition 

Composing a new piece of music feels like writing a story, painting a picture, and taking a photograph all at the same time. During this program, world-renowned composers and instructors will guide you through rigorous study of compositional techniques and theoretical training, while helping develop your initial composition idea all the way to performance and professional recordings.

What You'll Learn

This immersive program will help you define and expand your skills. Students take private composition lessons and work in groups and one-on-one with faculty and professional composers. Our curriculum includes:

  • Seminars in compositional techniques
  • Music theory (waived for qualified students)
  • Orchestration
  • Concert music since 1900
  • Training in Finale and/or Sibelius 
  • Use of our Technology lab
  • Master classes with renowned guest composers

Portfolio Requirements


Program Snapshot
Program Length
6 weeks
Program Dates
  • June 23, 2024 to August 4, 2024
Age Range
High School (Grades 9-12)
  • Accepting applications

Meet the Faculty

Our summer faculty are conductors, composers, and musicians who teach and perform all over the world.  Students also have the opportunity to work with distinguished guest artists.

Please note the gallery may showcase previous instructors.

All Faculty

Amanda Harberg

Amanda Harberg, Ph.D.

Instructor of Music Composition

Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley, D.M.A.

Instructor of Music Composition

Carrie Magin

Carrie Magin, D.M.A.

Instructor of Music Composition

Andrew Martin Smith

Andrew Martin Smith, D.M.A.

Instructor of Music Composition & Theory

Guest Artists

Our students have the opportunity to work with award-winning contemporary composers. Recent guests include:

  • Tan Dun Composer, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"; 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • Libby Larsen Grammy-award winning producer and composer
  • John Mackey composer

Program Highlights

Performance Opportunities

You will have the opportunity to have your music performed and recorded by the following advanced Interlochen ensembles:

  • String quartet
  • Woodwind quintet
  • Brass quintet
  • Saxophone quartet
  • World Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Interlochen Philharmonic
  • World Youth Honors Choir
  • World Youth Wind Symphony

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.

Additional Opportunities

Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a Composition program for students in grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.

Technology Lab

Students have ample time to work in our state-of-the-art technology lab. It includes Mac computers with MOTU Digital Performer running Native Instruments synthesis software, Finale, and Sibelius. 

A girl writes music on a manuscript page

This summer at Interlochen has been filled with memories I am sure will never be forgotten, friendships that have brought me to new heights of understanding, and mentors that have encouraged me to keep pushing forward to reach the boundaries of my talents and break the barriers that previously held me back.

Emily, Composition