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From the Desk of Trey Devey: New beginnings
Anticipation and excitement for myriad new beginnings invigorate our community this fall.
There’s a palpable undercurrent of potential that permeates Interlochen each fall. This year in particular, anticipation and excitement for myriad new beginnings invigorates our community.
Against a backdrop of blue sky and green leaves primed to light up our campus with fall colors, 559 young artists from 24 countries recently kicked off our fall semester. Returning international students, many of whom took part in Academy classes virtually last year due to the pandemic, inspire joy and gratitude for our global community and the diverse perspectives that define the Interlochen experience.
We begin this Academy year on the heels of a glorious 94th season of Interlochen Arts Camp, where our students, staff, and faculty proved once again that COVID-era health-and-safety protocols are no match for creativity and connection. Among countless highlights, Interlochen was officially inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and the New York Times showcased our students in an interactive feature.
Our Arts Camp community saw zero cases of COVID-19, and this fall, more than 95% of our population is fully vaccinated against the virus—a remarkable public health feat that sets us apart from most educational institutions. We continue to monitor the Delta-driven COVID surge closely and to update our policies to prioritize the health and safety of our community.
New beginnings abound across our institution, from Interlochen Online’s newly announced fall programs to the return of Interlochen Public Radio’s award-winning program Kids Commute, now introducing even more young people to classical music with weekday broadcasts at both 7:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. (or online on demand). Additionally, the fourth season of The Interlochen Collection returns with stories from our history, updates from notable alumni and, of course, beautiful music by Arts Camp and Academy students and faculty.
Among many exciting events and performances this fall, a major institutional milestone will signal Interlochen’s bright future. Seventy-two of our Academy students now reside in the newly opened Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow House, a convertible residence hall with visiting artist suites and sweeping views of Green Lake—marking the completion of a campus master plan that began over 30 years ago.
The 1990 Sasaki Associates Campus Master Plan ultimately guided 16 major facility projects, playing a transformative role in our evolution from a national summer music camp founded in 1928 to the global, year-round, and multidisciplinary arts and educational institution we are today.
On Oct. 22 we will celebrate this monumental achievement with a special dedication ceremony and multiple performances and exhibitions by Arts Academy students. These artistic events will be presented in the state-of-the-art “homes” of our seven arts disciplines, such as our recently opened 64,000-square-foot Music Center and the 26,000-square-foot lakeside Dance Center. Please mark your calendars for this important date and stay tuned for more information about our community-wide celebration.
This moment also marks a significant inflection point for us as we shift from an emphasis on “place” to a broader focus on our “people and programs.” Already underway, these efforts encompass retaining and recruiting world-class educators who have a passion for teaching young artists, such as Broadway veteran Justin Lee Miller, our inaugural program director of musical theatre; acclaimed violinists and distinguished teachers Tina Chang Qu and Jorja Fleezanis, new members of our string faculty; award-winning trumpeter Josh Lawrence, who joined us in August as our director of jazz studies; and many others.
Finally, this fall we will honor Interlochen’s own beginnings: On Friday, Sept. 24, members of our community will join leaders of Green Lake Township to dedicate the newly named J. Maddy Parkway, the 2.5-mile stretch of M-137 that borders our campus. We are deeply honored that the Green Lake Township Board of Trustees voted to name the road for Interlochen founder Joseph E. Maddy.
It will be a meaningful tribute to a visionary leader, and a fitting start to this remarkable fall at Interlochen.
With best wishes,