Two Interlochen alumnae to appear in 2018 Miss America pageant

Two Interlochen alumnae have been selected as contestants in the 2018 Miss America pageant.

Miss Michigan Heather Kendrick (IAA 08-11) and Miss Utah JessiKate Riley (IAC 13), both violinists, have been selected to represent their states at the nationwide competition. Both contestants perform violin solos in the talent portion of the competition.

Riley, 20, studies violin performance at Brigham Young University. Her platform, “Find ValYOU Within,” is designed to help others realize their own potential and is rooted in her own struggles with insecurity as a teenager.

Kendrick, 23, holds degrees in Instrumental Music Education and Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan. Kendrick currently works as the director of the University of Michigan’s prestigious M-PRIZE chamber music competition. She has previously appeared on television on America’s Got Talent as a member of the electro-pop violin band, NUCLASSICA. Her platform is “Keeping the Arts in Education: Advocating STEAM.”

“I spent three years at Interlochen Arts Academy, and my experiences there influenced my trajectory completely,” Kendrick said. “Going to boarding school requires you to grow up early and I was surrounded by a supportive community of peers, teachers, and administrators that helped me grow both personally and musically.

“The Interlochen community provided an environment in which I learned how to work hard and pursue visionary goals. Both as Miss Michigan and the Program Director of M-Prize at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, I reference the skills that I developed a decade ago at Interlochen.”

Tune in to the Miss America Pageant on Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Best of luck to both of our alumnae!