High School Music Composition Summer Program

Interlochen's music composition program is designed for motivated young composers. Participants will work in a state-of-the-art technology lab, hear their new pieces performed in a series of composition recitals and chamber music/large-ensemble readings, and receive professional recordings of their compositions performed during the summer. Students work with world-renowned composers, teachers and guest composers-in-residence in this six-week program that emphasizes quality and personal growth.

Recent guests include Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Grammy Award winner Libby Larsen, and orchestra, band and dance composer John Mackey.

Program length: 6 weeks
Program dates:
June 21, 2014 to August 4, 2014
Tuition: $8,115
Age range: Grades 9-12

Summer 2014 programs have concluded, but we'd love to have you join us next year! Join our mailing list, and you'll be among the first to know about summer 2015 programs.

Private composition lessons twice per week with an experienced composer.

Seminar in compositional techniques and issues will be held in classrooms equipped with electronic pianos for completing individual topic-based projects.

Music theory class (note: students with sufficient demonstrable skill may be excused from this requirement)

Orchestration class will cover scoring music for orchestra and band instruments.

A survey of concert music since 1900 will cover important works and composers.

Work in the technology lab will focus on Finale and Sibelius notation software and related skills. The state-of-the-art lab features Mac computers with MOTU Digital Performer software running Native Instruments synthesis software. Students should also bring a laptop.

One additional elective class is optional (view list).


Composition students will compose for and have their music read and recorded by outstanding musicians in the following chamber groups:

  • Advanced string quartet
  • Honor woodwind and brass quintets, sax quartet or percussion ensembles

Select students will also compose for and have their music read and recorded by the following ensembles:

  • World Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Interlochen Philharmonic
  • World Youth Honors Choir
  • World Youth Wind Symphony

Audition Requirements

  1. Prepare the materials listed below.
  2. Complete the online application.
  3. Submit your audition materials online.

Required Materials

  • Three compositions than demonstrate the applicant's skill and technical abilities. Please submit .mp3 recordings and .pdf scores of your compositions.
  • A résumé  in .pdf format that includes the following: your primary instrument, years of study, a list of compositions written and performed, and a description of any previous formal training in composition. Previous instruction in composition is not required.

Additional Opportunities

Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which also offers a major in music composition for grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.

Photo Gallery

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo