Arts Academy students bring art and advocacy to New York City with RESOLVE tour

Students from six majors presented original works and world premieres at National Sawdust and Carnegie Hall.

Students on stage at Carnegie Hall


The Factory Seconds Brass Trio (left) rehearses with the Arts Academy Band and dance students (foreground) at Carnegie Hall.

The RESOLVE performance at National Sawdust

Singer-songwriter, theatre, creative writing, and comparative arts students present RESOLVE at National Sawdust.

In February 2019, Interlochen Arts Academy students from six majors traveled to New York City for two groundbreaking interdisciplinary performances. The two performances, both titled RESOLVE, were responses to the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The first performance, presented on Feb. 8 at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, was an original interdisciplinary work comprised of songs, poems, monologues, visual art, and experimental fashion garments created by the students. Led by Director of Comparative Arts Clyde Sheets and produced by comparative arts students, the finished work featured the talents of Interlochen’s singer-songwriter, visual arts, theatre, and creative writing students. Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus Sydney James Harcourt—a Drama Desk Award-nominated stage and screen actor known for Hamilton, Girl from the North Country, and Blue Bloods—collaborated with the students on the development of the performance and joined them on stage at National Sawdust.

Three days later, the Arts Academy Band, Dance Company, and creative writer Darius Atefat-Peckham presented the second performance at Carnegie Hall. The Feb. 11 performance featured the world premiere of Clint Needham’s ballet, Resolve!, from which the tour took its name. Noted wind band conductor Allan McMurray led the Arts Academy students and the Factory Seconds brass trio in the performance. Five dancers from the Arts Academy Dance Company accompanied the work, performing original choreography by dancer and movement artist Loni Landon. The program also included three works by composer Frank Ticheli—Angels in the Architecture, “Columbine High School Alma Mater,” and “An American Elegy”—as well as an original poem by Atefat-Peckham.

During the tour, students had the opportunity to explore the city of New York. Excursions included: a tour of the HarperCollins Publishing House, an afternoon trip to the Whitney Museum of American Art, a visit to the Clive Davis Institute at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, a workshop with Broadway writer Hunter Bell, and a performance of Come From Away on Broadway.

The students also met with Interlochen Arts Camp and Arts Academy alumni currently working in creative fields during a special mentor luncheon.