"Collage" Hits The Air Waves

Crescendo issue: December 2013
"The students' voices are the program."

So says Interlochen Public Radio's Tim Burke, the mastermind behind the newly launched "Radio Collage."

While Burke is the workhorse behind putting this program on air, he goes to great lengths to ensure that his presence is never felt, choosing instead to allow the students to introduce the program, discuss their various pieces, and wrap up each piece, as well as the program itself. Burke relies heavily on Interlochen faculty and students with whom he has worked in the past to bring him student performances and student performers who have a very good chance of fascinating the audience.

The concept of the program is simple. Almost everyone involved in some way with Interlochen knows and loves Collage, the bi-annual event that showcases, in a quick, rapid-fire way, the various art forms that students practice here on campus during both the Camp and the Academy years. Radio Collage is much the same. It will travel from art form to art form - orchestra to jazz, creative writing to singer/songwriter and much more.

"Students get hands-on experience putting the show together, announcing the show, doing voice work, speaking on their pieces, and more. It's really expanding their horizons. It's sparked a lot of interest in production, to be sure," says Burke.

"Dance and Visual Arts are proving to be a challenge for the radio medium, but I have an idea on how to work them in as well," Burke said.

"The real beauty of this is that the kids are doing this," continued Burke. "I was so impressed with their explanations of their pieces. All of these conversations and such that you hear are off the cuff, the students don't prepare remarks or have notes. Their ability to be so engaging off the cuff is quite remarkable."

The program is set to run once per month on the third weekend. The initial broadcast will happen at 8 a.m. on each third Saturday and then be re-run every third Sunday at 7 p.m. The schedule of every third weekend will officially begin in January. However, the first installment of Radio Collage has already been aired and has garnered some incredibly positive feedback.

At its base, Radio Collage allows a wide audience to experience Interlochen and all of the art that it has to offer. Not only will this program be available to IPR Classical's regional listening audience, it is also available for streaming online, either live streaming as it happens every third weekend of the month or through IPR's archiving service, available here.

"If someone has never heard of Interlochen or is not able to experience Interlochen, how better than this?" asks Burke. "Straight from our student artists themselves."