Academy Music Ensembles


Orchestra and Band - present challenging repertoire in approximately eight concerts each year and frequently collaborate with guest artists and conductors. Wind and percussion students are placed into either Orchestra or Band based on audition at the beginning of the semester.

Studio Music Program is a select group of electric guitarists, drummers, electric bass and keyboard players. The group will focus on commercial music in conjunction with other coursework offered within their individual instrument major. The program will provide students with the training and experiences to guide them to be successful commercial musicians. Students will participate in a variety of performances throughout the year, including both in-class and public performances, and masterclasses with guest artists and teachers. Studio music program participants will play in the House Band, which performs rock and roll, pop, and serves as the standing band for the singer-songwriter program.

Choir - performs around eight concerts during the year with repertoire that includes works from a diverse range of styles, time periods and composers. Academy Choir is a requirement for all voice majors. It is also open to all students with the permission of the instructor.

Chamber Singers* - The Chamber Singers perform a wide variety of choral repertoire requiring advanced understanding of complex rhythm and melody.

Interlochen Opera Workshop* is a performance ensemble of singing actors specializing in classical vocal repertoire. The Opera Workshop program, in conjunction with the other coursework offered in the voice major, is meant to provide students with the training and experiences that will guide them to be successful singers in the college music program and beyond. Students participate in a variety of performances throughout the year, including both in-class and public performances, and masterclasses with guest artists and teachers.

Jazz Ensemble* - The jazz ensemble performs concerts throughout the year. Repertoire is a combination of old and new music, teaching students how to perform in a variety of styles. Membership is determined through auditions that are held immediately before the semester begins.

Jazz Combo* - The jazz combo is a select group of five to eight of the most experienced improvisers in the jazz program. The combo performs on-campus five or six times each year and is occasionally invited to off-campus performances as well. Students learn to apply their skills as improvisers and experience the chamber music quality of jazz. Wind players in the group also play in the jazz ensemble. Membership in this group is determined through auditions.

Percussion Ensemble* - The ensemble performs music from the baroque period through the twentieth century. Melodic and non-melodic instruments are stressed equally.

Brass Ensemble* - The ensemble performs music from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Emphasis is on tone production and style concepts, as well as section playing.

Chamber Music* - Emphasis is on the basics of fine ensemble playing, intonation, phrasing and balance through regular rehearsals and frequent performances.

  • Woodwind and horn players will be formed into small ensembles such as wind quintet, clarinet quartet or flute quartet.
  • Brass players will be formed into a horn ensemble or brass quintets.
  • String majors will be formed in quartets and string trios, and are coached by string faculty through intensified reading, study, rehearsal and performance of chamber music with emphasis on the string quartet.
  • Pianists are selected by invitation only. Participation is determined by audition, sight-reading skills, overall musicianship, and the availability of other instrumentalists to form piano-based ensembles.

Blues ComboBlues Combo is a performance class in which students will perform a variety of traditional and contemporary repertoire in order to learn the standard blues forms, including slow, medium, and fast blues, minor blues, and 8-, 12-, and 16-bar blues, as well as blues-based rock. Students will develop their listening, improvisation, and band leadership skills. Out of class, students will transcribe, arrange, and compose in the various blues styles, as well as listen to the classic recordings by artists such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Albert King, Bo Diddley, and many others.  In addition, the Blues Combo will serve as a “house band” for new compositions by the singer-songwriters.


*Requires additional auditions or instructor approval