Interlochen Music Summer Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Interlochen Music Summer Program

Do you ever dream of a place where the melodies of a hundred instruments harmonize with the whispers of pine trees? Where every corner you turn, there’s an echo of a sonata, a rhythmic beat, or a vocal scale? Welcome to the world of the Interlochen Music Summer Program!

Interlochen Arts Camp: A Symphony of Creativity and Passion

Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Northern Michigan, Interlochen Arts Camp stands as a beacon for young artists from around the globe. More than just a summer camp, Interlochen is a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing creativity, passion, and excellence in the arts.

Established in 1928, the camp brings together students from diverse backgrounds to learn, create, and perform in an environment that values artistic integrity and personal growth.

At its core, Interlochen’s mission is to ignite a lifelong passion for the arts, guiding its campers not only in mastering their craft but also in understanding the profound impact of art on humanity.

Through intensive programs in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative writing, and film, Interlochen aims to inspire the next generation of artists, audience members, and advocates, enriching the world with boundless imagination and artistic vision.

What is The Interlochen Music Summer Program?

The Interlochen Music Summer Program is renowned worldwide for its intensive training and wide range of musical disciplines. This music summer camp offers a blend of tailored programs for budding artists, ranging from a quick week to an immersive six-week journey.

At Interlochen, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush forests and serene lakes, making every practice session feel like a concert with nature itself. And the learning experience? It’s unparalleled!

You’ll be mentored by some of the best in the business, getting opportunities to interact with top-tier guest artists and conductors. But the magic doesn’t stop there! You’ll forge friendships with fellow young artists from all corners of the world, making it feel like a worldwide music festival where you’re in the spotlight.

And, of course, in between those musical sessions, you’ll indulge in the timeless joys of classic camp activities. So, if you’re ready for a summer that challenges, inspires, and entertains, Interlochen awaits you.

a student writing on the sheet of paper

The Interlochen Music Summer Program Areas of Focus


Fancy the timeless symphonies? At Interlochen, dive into the profound world of classical music. Challenge your skills with masterpieces, harmonize in diverse ensembles, and be mentored by international musical gurus. Some Classical Music Programs offered by Interlochen are Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, Advanced String Quartet, Music Composition, Harp, Organ, Piano, Voice & Opera, and more!


Ever dreamt of rocking the stage or dropping the next big hit? Here’s your chance! Delve into the energetic realms of rock and pop. Create, collaborate, and even discover the magic behind studio production.


Immerse yourself in the groovy beats of jazz at Interlochen Music Summer Program. Master the art of improvisation, relish tales of jazz legends, and sync with fellow jazz enthusiasts in eclectic sessions. It’s all about that jazz magic!

Voice & Opera

Voice enthusiasts, step right up! Perfect your vocal prowess, delve into the grand world of opera, and resonate in harmonious ensembles.

zoomed in picture of people playing the cello and violins

Which Camp Bracket Fits You?

  • High School & One-Week Showcases: Aimed at high school heroes (grades 9-12).
  • Intermediate Adventures: Tailored for the middle-school champs (grades 6-8).
  • Junior Explorers: Designed for the budding virtuosos (grades 3-6) or those who will be 8 years old before the summer camp starts.

Where is the The Interlochen Music Summer Program Located?

Interlochen is situated in the upper part of Michigan’s lower peninsula, close to Traverse City. If you’re driving, it’s roughly a four-hour journey from Detroit and about six hours from Chicago.

If you’re traveling by air, you can use Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City (TVC), which is approximately 15 miles away from Interlochen Center for the Arts.

When Does The Interlochen Music Summer Program take place?

Interlochen Music Summer programs have durations of one, two, three, four, and six weeks, which means the dates can be different for each program. In the summer of 2024, most programs will take place from June 23 to August 4.

However, the one-week “Intensive” programs will be held from June 15 to June 21. If you have already signed up for a program, you can check your specific start and end dates by logging into the Education Community.

View of a person composing music

How to Apply to The Interlochen Music Summer Program

Ready to dive into the Interlochen experience? Get started with their hassle-free online application. Here’s your checklist and the application steps:

Step 1: Join the Education Community

Start by creating an account at application.interlochen.org using your email. And let’s get your parents/guardians on board, too – they should have their accounts. The best part? You can pause, save, and return to your application whenever!

Already tried joining the Interlochen Arts Camp before? You probably have an account tucked away in the Education Community. If you can’t recall those login details, no sweat! Just hit up the Office of Admission & Financial Aid at Interlochen for a quick assist.

Step 2: Dive into the Application

Here’s a sneak peek into the application journey:

  • Share your and your family’s contact information.
  • Decide on your primary and alternate application choices for your artistic adventure at Interlochen Music Summer Program.

Step 3: Showcase Your Artistic Flair

Certain Interlochen Arts Camp tracks want a glimpse of your talent, be it through an audition or a portfolio. This is your moment to shine, and let them see your artistic prowess. The faculty experts will be taking a peek!

Before you hit that upload button, make sure to double-check the specifics listed on your program’s page. Get ready to impress!

Step 4: Apply for Financial Aid

Make sure to check the ‘Financial Aid’ box in your application at the Education Community.

  • US applicants: Just upload your latest Form 1040 from your Federal Income Tax Return.
  • International applicants: You will need an Official Salary Verification for each of your parents. The documents should be in English.

The Financial Aid Committee will then scout your documents and figure out if you’re eligible. Any aid you score will show up on your enrollment agreement post-acceptance.

Worried financial aid will mess with your chances? Don’t worry! Just make sure you shoot it in alongside your application to avoid any hold-ups. And, if you’re planning on applying for aid, it’s a good idea to have your tax documents in a digital format ahead of time.

Before hitting the submit button, give your application a once-over to ensure it’s all good. Once you feel confident about it, seal the deal with a $65 application fee.

Interlochen Music Summer Program 2024 Tuition Details

Your camp costs depend on how long you’ll be jamming with them during the summer. Here are the tuition costs for each session:

  • 1-week Power Session – $1,830*.
  • 2-week Session – $4,510.
  • 3-week Session – $6,765.
  • 4-week Session- $7,775.
  • 6-week Session- $10,080.

*Not eligible for financial aid.

a student playing violin

How to Get Into The Interlochen Music Summer Program?

Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Audition Guidelines

Submission Requirements

  • A video recording of one movement from a composition available on the Interlochen’s suggested audition repertoire or a piece of equivalent difficulty.
  • One movement from a secondary piece.
  • Performances of one major and one minor scale.

Helpful Tips

  • Position your microphone roughly six feet away from your musical instrument.
  • Interlochen suggests pieces that contrast in style and, where apt, have a piano accompaniment.

Upon Your Arrival at Camp

Initial Audition: At camp registration, all participants will undergo another round of auditions, determining their ensemble placements.

Strings: Based on the auditions, students might find a spot in either the World Youth Symphony Orchestra or the Interlochen Philharmonic.

Winds and Percussion: Your primary audition will guide your placement into an orchestra or wind ensemble. However, once camp kicks off, another audition will set your seating arrangement within the chosen group.

Advanced String Quartet Audition Guidelines

Submission Requirements

  • A video recording of one movement either from the camp’s recommended audition repertoire or a piece of a similar challenge.
  • One movement from another composition.
  • Performances of both a major and minor scale.
  • A concise resume highlighting your history with string quartets.

Helpful Tips

  • Ensure your microphone is positioned approximately six feet from your instrument.
  • For optimal results, opt for selections that contrast in style. If suitable, having a piano accompaniment is encouraged.

Music sheet, headset, a guitar and a pen on a table

Music Composition Application Guidelines

Submission Details

  • Present three compositions that best reflect your prowess and technical mastery. Kindly forward both .mp3 recordings and the corresponding PDF scores.
  • If you’re inclined towards composing for larger ensembles, such as a band, choir, or orchestra, ensure at least one of your submitted pieces is tailored for these groups.

Professional Overview

Don’t forget to provide a résumé in PDF format detailing:

  • Your primary musical instrument.
  • Duration of your studies.
  • A catalog of compositions you’ve crafted and performed.
  • An overview of any structured training in composition you’ve undergone. Note: Prior composition lessons aren’t mandatory.

Harp Audition Guidelines

Submission Requirements

  • A video recording of one movement either from one of the pieces the Interlochen Music Summer Program suggested or another piece of a similar level. If you prefer, you can accompany your piece with a piano.
  • An additional piece that offers a different style, showcasing your adaptability on the harp.
  • Performance of both a major and minor scale spanning four octaves, with both hands in tandem.

Recommended Repertoire

  • Debussy: Choices include First Arabesque, Claire de Lune, or Danses Sacrée et Profane.
  • Dussek: Sonata in C minor.
  • Grandjany: Fantasie based on a Haydn theme.
  • Pierne: Impromptu Caprice.
  • Pescetti: Sonata in C minor.
  • Salzedo: Either the Suite of Eight Dances or Chanson dans la Nuit.
  • Haydn/Salzedo: Variations based on a Haydn theme.
  • Lucile Lawrence’s Compilation, “Solos for the Harp”: Options such as Tambourin, Giga, Rigaudon, and Flagello Berceuse.
  • Handel: Harmonious Blacksmith or the Concerto in B Flat Major’s Andante Allegro.
  • David Watkins: Petite Suite.

Feel free to showcase your skills using these suggestions, or opt for a piece that you believe best reflects your abilities!

Piano and music sheet

Organ Audition Guidelines

Submission Requirements

  • Share video recordings of two distinctively styled pieces that best highlight your proficiency and skill.
  • While organ pieces are central, feel free to include piano compositions as well if they more effectively showcase your capabilities and potential.

Piano Audition Guidelines

Submission Instructions

  • Share two video recordings of solo classical piano pieces you’ve committed to memory.
  • Ensure that these selections come from two distinct style periods out of the following: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, or 20th/21st Century.

Upon Arrival at Camp

Prepare for a short placement audition. You’ll be asked to perform a solo piece of your choice and sight-read a piece for our piano instructors. Additionally, you’ll undergo a theory test to determine your placement among three available levels.

Voice & Opera Audition Guidelines

Submission Details

  • Share video recordings of two classical music pieces you’ve committed to memory. Please refrain from using musical theatre pieces.
  • While they favor live accompaniments, they aren’t mandatory. If you opt for a pre-recorded accompaniment, ensure your voice remains the focal point in terms of volume.

Upon Arrival at Camp

Ensure you’re prepared with three classical pieces that you’ve memorized and can confidently perform. At least one of these pieces should be in a non-English language. Once at camp, your performance will help them determine the best choral and opera fit for you.

Contemporary Music Programs Audition Guidelines

Jazz Mastery & Creativity

Participants in this program will delve into both scored music and chord charts. While you don’t need prior experience in reading these notations, they suggest you acquaint yourself with them before joining us at Camp.

Instrumental Showcase

Share between one to three video recordings that truly capture your current artistic prowess. If your performance involves a group, ensure that you stand out prominently.

Voice Showcase

For your audition, please provide video recordings that include:

  • A single chorus of a soulful ballad.
  • A melody of your choice is sung a cappella, with only an initiating pitch for guidance.
  • Optionally, a jazz tune and an improvised solo accompanied either live or via recording.

Music Production & Engineering

Submit a collection of 1-3 pieces that best represent your artistic identity. Alongside this, provide a written piece detailing your aspirations in grasping music technology, production, and engineering as you journey towards achieving your musical objectives.

Popular Music Performance

Participants in this course will utilize chord charts. Even if you’re not acquainted with reading music or these charts, don’t hesitate to apply. However, it is recommended that you have a grasp on chord charts before joining the camp.

Kindly share one to three video clips that best capture your current artistic prowess. Whether you’re playing or singing to a background tune, ensure your musical output stands out. If you’re part of a group performance, ensure your contribution is visible.


Kindly provide one to three video clips that accurately depict your current artistic abilities. Submit these recordings of you performing an original piece where you accompany yourself, along with the written lyrics, in PDF format.

An African American female student inside a campus looking happy

When is the deadline to apply to the The Interlochen Music Summer Program?

If you want to join programs without needing an audition or portfolio, you can sign up anytime. But if you’re applying for programs that do require an audition or portfolio, the best time to apply is before January 15th. However, they will still accept applications after that date if there are slots available. Applying early is a good idea!

When do I find out about my application to the The Interlochen Music Summer Program?

If you applied to programs without auditions or portfolios, you’ll start hearing about your admission decision from the Interlochen Arts Camp in December.

If you applied to programs with auditions or portfolios, you’ll get your decision from the Interlochen Arts Camp by March 1st.

Why Should You Go to The Interlochen Music Summer Program?

World-Class Faculty: Learn from the best in the business. The instructors and mentors at Interlochen come from esteemed institutions, bringing with them vast reservoirs of knowledge and expertise.

Diverse Programs: Whether you’re into classical, jazz, rock, orchestral, or anything in between, there’s something for everyone. From piano to percussion, voice to viola, you’re in for a musical treat.

Performance Opportunities: It’s not just about practice; it’s about showcasing your talent. Participate in numerous recitals, ensemble performances, and concerts. The Kresge Auditorium, which regularly hosts performances, could see you on its stage, mesmerizing hundreds with your music.

male college student with a backpack and headphones ready for school

Beyond the Music: Interlochen isn’t just about rigorous musical training. It’s also about making lifelong friends, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, and canoeing on the serene waters of Green Lake. It’s a holistic experience that balances the ardor of training with the joy of summer.

Alumni Magic: Need a dash of inspiration? Interlochen alumni have won a plethora of awards, including Grammys, Oscars, and even Pulitzer Prizes! Musicians such as Norah Jones, Peter Yarrow, and Jewel are all part of the illustrious Interlochen family.

Final Thoughts

Picture yourself immersed in an environment pulsating with creativity, where every chord played, and every melody sung is a step towards mastering your artistry. Interlochen is more than a summer camp; it’s a sanctuary for young musicians to ignite their passion, challenge their skills, and connect with like-minded souls from around the world.

Don’t just stand at the threshold of greatness; step into your power, embrace the challenge, and let the magic of Interlochen guide you. The stage is set, and the audience is waiting—this is your moment. Unleash your potential, and let your musical journey begin. The world is ready to hear your song.

Looking for advice on pre-college program applications? Think about partnering with expert college consultants like AdmissionSight. With a history of success, we’ve guided many students into top global universities. Embark on your educational journey – schedule a session with us today!


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