Arts Academy Boarding High School: Music Performance Major

Interlochen Arts Academy is the nation’s premier boarding arts high school, where emerging artists transform passion and potential into purpose. Music students play in an incredible band and orchestra, participate in chamber music, and have weekly lessons and studio classes with master teachers.

One of the biggest jobs of the teaching faculty is helping students get to their next station in life; choosing a college, pairing with the best teacher, and launching their career.  Interlochen Arts Academy alumni are attending all of the major music schools as well as top academic institutions.  


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.

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.

Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum 

Course Number


Grade Level(s)

Course Title


Fall & Spring


Private Lesson


Fall & Spring


Music Theory


Fall & Spring


Musicianship Skills


Fall & Spring




Fall & Spring


Large Ensemble




Brass Ensemble


Fall & Spring


Percussion Ensemble


Fall & Spring


Chamber Music


Fall & Spring


Woodwind Seminar


Fall & Spring


String Seminar

div style="margin-left: 0pt;" dir="ltr">For information on graduation requirements and academic curriculum, please visit Academy Academics.

Recent guest artists


  • MaryClaire Brzytwa, composer, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Salvatore Champagne, voice, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • Tim Church, percussion, Black Swamp Percussion
  • Amir Eldan, cello, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • Nicholas Goluses, guitar, Eastman School of Music
  • Jason Hainsworth, saxophone, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Richie Hawley, clarinet, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
  • Mark Holloway, viola, Pacifica Quartet
  • Guy Johnston, cello, Royal Academy of Music
  • Alexander Korsantia, piano, New England Conservatory
  • Timothy McAllister, saxophone, University of Texas
  • Otis Murphy, saxophone, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
  • Patricia Rogers, bassoon, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
  • Sharon Sparrow, flute, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Richard White, tuba, Indiana University


  • Keith Buncke, bassoon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Nicholas Canellakis, cello, soloist
  • Viet Cuong, composer
  • Matthew Duvall, percussion, Eighth Blackbird
  • Ji Hye Jung, percussion, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University
  • Paul Kantor, violin, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
  • John Marcellus, trombone, soloist and pedagogue
  • Gene Pokorny, tuba, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Lora Schaefer, oboe, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Alexander Sitkovetsky, cello, Royal Academy of Music
  • Scott Stevens, percussion, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  • Conrad Tao, piano


Keith A. Aleo

Instructor of Percussion, Interlochen Arts Academy; Director and Instructor of Orchestral Percussion, Interlochen Percussion Institute; Adult Band Camp Percussion Faculty, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

M.M. Percussion Performance, University of Miami; B.M. Percussion Performance, Eastman School of Music

Dr. Bryan Conger

Instructor of Clarinet, Interlochen Arts Academy; Instructor of Clarinet, Interlochen Arts Camp

Bachelors of Music, University of Houston; Masters of Music, The Juilliard School; DMA in Clarinet Performance, The Juilliard School

Dr. Leslie B. Dunner

Conductor, Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra; Conductor, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Camp

D.M.A., Orchestral Conducting, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati; M.A., Music Theory and Musicology, Queen College, City University of New York; B.M., Clarinet Performance, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester


Joan Raeburn Holland

Instructor of Harp, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp

B.M., Cleveland Institute of Music. Harp student and assistant of Alice Chalifoux.

Ken Larson

Instructor of Trumpet, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp

M.F.A., Trumpet Performance, California Institute of the Arts; B.F.A., Trumpet Performance, California Institute of the Arts

Dr. Patrick Owen

Instructor of Cello, Interlochen Arts Academy; Faculty, Interlochen Cello Institute

Dane Philipsen

Instructor of Oboe, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Woodwind Coordinator, Interlochen Arts Camp; Adult Band Camp Double-Reeds Faculty, Adult Chamber Music Camp Oboe Faculty, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

B.M., University of Northern Iowa; M.M., Arizona State University; D.M.A. Candidate, Oboe Performance, Northwestern University

Thomas Riccobono

Instructor of Low Brass, Interlochen Arts Academy; Faculty, Interlochen Trombone, Tuba and Euphonium InstituteArtistic Director, Adult Band Camp; Low Brass Faculty, Interlochen College of Creative Arts

M.M., Music, Penn State University; B.M., Music, Eastman School of Music; Performance Certificate, Music, Cleveland Institute of Music

Ara Sarkissian

Instructor of Violin, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Violin Institute 

M.M., Violin Performance, New England Conservatory of Music; B.M., Violin Performance, New England Conservatory of Music

Dr. Matthew Schlomer

Conductor, Wind Symphony, Interlochen Arts Academy; Instructor of Classical Saxophone, Interlochen Arts Academy; Instructor of Saxophone, Interlochen Arts Camp; Conductor, Interlochen Symphony Orchestra; Guest Director, World Youth Wind Symphony

D.M.A., Instrumental Conducting, University of Wisconsin; M.M., Instrumental Conducting, University of Wisconsin; B.M., Music Education, University of Colorado

Bill Sears

Director of Jazz Studies, Instructor of Saxophone, Interlochen Center for the Arts

M.M., Saxophone/Jazz Studies, Indiana University; B.M., Saxophone, Indiana University

Renee Skerik

Instructor of Viola, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Viola Institute

M.M., Viola Performance, University of Michigan; B.M., Viola Performance, Eastman School of Music

Paul Sonner

Instructor of Violin, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Faculty, Interlochen Violin Institute

B.M., Violin Performance, Northwestern University

Nancy Stagnitta

Instructor of Flute, Interlochen Arts Academy; Faculty, Interlochen Flute Institute; Faculty, Adult Chamber Music Camp

M.M., B.M., Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Eric Stomberg

Director of Music, Interlochen Arts Camp; Instructor of Bassoon, Interlochen Arts Academy

D.M.A. and M.M., Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music; B.M., University of Kansas

Corbin Wagner

Instructor of Horn, Interlochen Arts Academy; Faculty, Interlochen Horn Institute 

M.M. and B.M., University of Michigan

Derek Weller

Instructor of Double Bass, Interlochen Arts Academy; Faculty, Interlochen Double Bass Institute

M.M., B.M., Performance, University of Michigan; Interlochen Arts Academy graduate