Interlochen Arts Academy Celebrates 50 Years of Arts Education with National Tour

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The nation's first fine arts boarding high school is celebrating its 50th anniversary with six performances in six U.S. cities. The tour will begin on the campus of Interlochen Center for the Arts and will continue to Grand Rapids, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C. and New York City.

The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, Band and Choir

The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, Band and Choir

The 50th tour is a way for us to reach out and thank the many people and communities who have been so supportive of our mission through the years.

One of the country’s unparalleled educational and artistic treasures is celebrating a milestone. The wellspring of countless influential actors, musicians, authors and artists, Interlochen Arts Academy is celebrating 50 years of providing a singular educational environment to nurture artistic excellence.

The leader in arts education will mark the occasion with a 50th Anniversary national concert tour featuring the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, Band and Choir with performances in Interlochen, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and New York City. The events are free and open to the public and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The New York City performance is sold out but ample seating is available at the other venues. Complete details are available on the Interlochen website.    

The tour program features bold selections including "Asphalt Cocktail" by composer John Mackey, an orchestral ode to Detroit techno titled "Warehouse Medicine," and the a cappella choral work “Past Life Melodies” by Sarah Hopkins.

Each tour performance will feature two prominent classical musicians and Academy alumni. Joining the orchestra for the first four performances of the tour, in Interlochen, Grand Rapids, Chicago and Detroit, will be violinist Jorja Fleezanis and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein. Fleezanis is professor of violin and Henry A. Upper Chair in Orchestral Studies at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and former Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. She will perform the Dvorak Romance, Op. 11 with the Academy Orchestra. Alexander Fiterstein, an Avery Fisher Career prizewinner and professor of clarinet at the University of Minnesota, will perform the Recitative and Polacca from the Von Weber concerto for clarinet with the Academy Band.

In Washington D.C. and New York City the ensembles will be joined by violinist Ida Kavafian and clarinetist David Shifrin. Kavafian is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and member of the faculty at Bard College Conservatory of Music. Shifrin is a recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize and an artist-member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is on the faculty of the Yale School of Music and regularly performs as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator.

Founded in 1962, the Arts Academy was the first fine arts boarding high school in the United States. At the time, it was a revolutionary idea that the arts could play such a central role in education. Today, the school has produced dozens of Grammy-winners, "MacArthur Geniuses," best-selling authors and more Presidential Scholars than any other school in the country: 41. The school has been recognized as a national leader in the arts, receiving the National Medal of Arts in 2006, the nation’s highest honor for an arts organization.

"The 50th anniversary of our fine arts boarding high school is a special occasion for us," says Interlochen President Jeffrey Kimpton. "In those five decades, some of our alumni, like Jewel or Felicity Huffman, have gone on to high profile performing careers, but many more have strengthened the cultural and economic fabric of the country as teachers, writers, scientists, doctors or entrepreneurs."

"The 50th tour is a way for us to reach out and thank the many people and communities who have been so supportive of our mission through the years. It is also a way for us to reconnect with our alumni who contribute to the cultural vitality of the cities we are visiting. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to look forward to our next fifty years of training exceptional artists and innovators.”    

Interlochen 50th Anniversary National Concert Tour Schedule
March 18 – Interlochen, Mich., Corson Auditorium – and Live Webcast (3 p.m.)
March 19 – Grand Rapids, Mich., DeVos Hall (7 p.m.)
March 21 – Chicago, Ill., Harris Theater (7 p.m.)
March 22 – Detroit, Mich., Orchestra Hall at Max Fisher Music Center (7 p.m.)
March 24 – Washington, D.C., Constitution Hall (7 p.m.)
March 26 – New York, N.Y., Alice Tully Hall (7 p.m.) SOLD OUT

Interlochen 50th Anniversary National Concert Tour Program
The Interlochen Arts Academy Band
    Asphalt Cocktail, John Mackey
    Recitative and Polacca from the Second Concerto in Eb, Carl Maria von Weber
    Millennium Canons, Kevin Puts

Arts Academy Choir
    Past Life Melodies, Sarah Hopkins
    Kyrie and Petite Solemn Mass, Gioachino Rossini
    Come to Me My Love, Dello Joio
    A Boy and a Girl, Eric Whitacre
    Daemon, Gyorgy Orban

Arts Academy Orchestra
    Warehouse Medicine, Mason Bates
    Romance, Op. 11., Antonin Dvorak
    Daphnis et Chloe, Maurice Ravel

Interlochen Arts Academy is part of the nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts, recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together: a 2,500-student summer camp program; a 500-student fine arts boarding high school; opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio stations (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; a global alumni base spanning eight decades, including leaders in the arts and all other endeavors. For information, visit Interlochen online at http://www.interlochen.org.

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