Singer-songwriters to perform at SXSW, tour the Midwest

  • The group of students that will travel with Courtney Kaiser Sandler to perform at SXSW EDU.

  • The five singer-songwriter students who will tour the Midwest in mid-March.

Interlochen Arts Academy singer-songwriters will participate in two off-campus performance tours in March.

On March 5, Singer-Songwriter Instructor Courtney Kaiser-Sandler will present at the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival. Arts Academy singer-songwriters Andy Min, Logan Macaulay and Sofia Valdes-Herrera and Arts Academy House Band members Jade Hall and Quinn Lesjack-Randall will perform during the presentation.

SXSW EDU is a component of the globally-renowned South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1987, South by Southwest unites professionals from the film, music and other creative industries for a variety of sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions and networking opportunities. The SXSW EDU conference was added in 2011.

Kaiser-Sandler will speak on how she built the singer-songwriter program at Interlochen and the educational benefit of real-world performance opportunities.

“One of the greatest ways for our students to learn is to get off-campus into different communities and perform,” Kaiser-Sandler said. “They get a glimpse of what road life feels like, the exhaustion and the excitement. We have found, with three tours under our belt, that as educators it is a beneficial way to assess where they are and add to our curriculum.”

Another group of five singer-songwriter students—Jessica Harper, Serena Rutledge, Summer Green, Leah Dunn and Karissa Bone—will tour the Midwest from March 11-16. The students will present public performances at Rocketown in Nashville on March 12; Square Cat Vinyl and the Hi-Fi in Indianapolis on March 13 (opening for Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers); and Uncommon Ground in Chicago on March 14 and 15. The quintet will also perform for ticket-holders prior to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert on March 16 (venue TBD), play at the Outer Limits Lounge and finish the tour with a visit to the Motown Museum.

Arts Academy singer-songwriter students have regular opportunities to perform both on and off campus. Over the past several years, singer-songwriter students have toured in Southern California, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Boston, Baltimore and New York City. Their opportunities vary from prestigious music venues, elementary and middle schools, soup kitchens and house concerts. Last April, Arts Academy singer-songwriters opened for Bon Jovi in Pittsburgh.