Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school is recognized as one of the finest pre-professional schools for young musicians around the world.
Music students benefit from personal attention, classes in music theory, numerous performance opportunities with large and small ensembles and an exceptional peer group. A combination of private lessons, studio classes and ensemble experience prepares students for future study in music.
The music division offers the following major areas of study:
- Instrumental music: brass, woodwinds, strings, keyboards, percussion
- Vocal music
- Music composition
We also offer a jazz emphasis within the instrumental music major.
The faculty consists of more than 30 accomplished musician-instructors who are dedicated to teaching in their area of expertise. Equally skilled as performers and educators, they challenge students to develop their musical skills in solo, chamber and large ensemble performance. The faculty also includes dedicated music theory and composition teachers. The faculty have years of experience and knowledge that help them serve as role models and career advisors during a student-musician’s most formative years.
Percussion, wind and orchestral string musicians participate in either the Academy Orchestra or Wind Ensemble. Students may also audition for other ensembles including: jazz band, jazz combos, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble or chamber groups. Chamber and large ensemble experiences provide a wide range of challenging professional repertoire.
Voice students participate in the Academy choir and may also audition for the opera workshop and chamber singers. Academic coursework in French or Spanish can provide additional benefits to vocalists, and a diction coach is available at various times during the year.
Piano, organ, harp and guitar students have a full range of experiences for them, including individual lessons and studio classes that focus on individual skill and musicianship development, literature, pedagogy and history, with participation in chamber ensembles and performance in large ensembles as needed.
An Academy education provides excellent preparation for continued studies at top universities and conservatories. Academy students regularly enroll in top music programs including:
- Berklee College of Music
- Cleveland Institute of Music
- Colburn School
- Curtis Institute of Music
- Eastman School of Music
- University of Illinois
- Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- The Juilliard School
- Manhattan School of Music
- Mannes College, The New School for Music
- Miami University
- University of Michigan School of Music
- New England Conservatory of Music
- Northwestern University School of Music
- Oberlin Conservatory
- Peabody Conservatory
- San Francisco Conservatory
- University of Southern California
- Oklahoma City University
Thousands of alumni have gone on to become successful professional musicians, working in all genres from classical to jazz to pop music. Academy alumni can be found in major orchestras around the world. A small sampling of high-performing Academy alumni includes:
- Liz Koch '04 - principal oboe with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Matt Duvall - percussionist for Eighth Blackbird
- Carol Jantsch '02 - principal tuba with Philadelphia Orchestra
- Anthony McGill '96 - principal clarinet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (performed at the Presidential Inauguration in January 2009 alongside Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.)
- Lance Horne '96 - Emmy Award-winning composer
- Jessica Zhou ’95 - principal harp with Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Jewel '92 - singer-songwriter
- Aaron Dworkin '88 - founder of Sphinx Organization and MacArthur Genius grant recipient
- Joel McNeely ’77 - film composer
- Peter Erskine '71 - jazz drummer and recording artist
- Bob Mintzer, ’69 - composer, recording artist and founder of The Yellowjackets
- Chris Brubeck, ’68 - composer and performer
- John Whitener - tuba with Royal Scottish National Symphony
Course of Study by Instrument / Specialty
- Double Bass
How to Apply
- Prepare the materials listed here: audition requirements
- Complete the online application
- Submit your audition online at http://academy.interlochen.org/submit -or- schedule a live, on-campus audition by calling 800.681.5912.
Though not required, a campus visit is recommended. You can tour the campus, visit classes, and possibly take in a performance. You can meet and talk with students who are living the Academy experience.
Our enrollment officers are here to help you in any way they can. If you wish to talk with someone about Academy programs, the application process, a campus visit, auditions, or other topics, they will be happy to work with you. Simply call 800.681.5912 or 231.276.7472 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.