Music Composition Summer Program for High School Students

As a part of our Music Composition program, you will be guided by world-renowned composers, teachers, and guest artists as you expand your knowledge of composition and grow as an artist. You will work in our state-of-the-art technology lab, have your new pieces performed, and receive professional recordings of your work. 

Program length: 6 weeks
Program dates:
June 26, 2021 to August 8, 2021
Tuition: $9,750
Age range: Students currently in grades 9-12
Priority deadline: 
January 14, 2021

The six-week composition program is an intensive experience designed for serious student composers. You will have private composition lessons twice a week with our faculty of professional working composers. Recent guests of the program include Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Grammy Award winner Libby Larsen, and orchestra, band, and dance composer John Mackey. The curriculum also includes daily courses that cover the following topics:

  • Seminar in compositional techniques and issues
  • Music theory class (waived for qualified students)
  • Orchestration class, in which students will learn how to score music for orchestra and band instruments
  • Survey of Concert Music Since 1900 will cover important works and composers

You will also have ample time to work in our state-of-the-art technology lab, with a focus on Finale and Sibelius notation software and skills. The lab also features Mac computers with MOTU Digital Performer running Native Instruments synthesis software. Students should also bring a laptop.

Use your elective class option to study another art form, or choose from a variety of classes in the music department.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the artistic diversity at Interlochen, and enjoy presentations in theatre, dance, music, visual art, creative writing, and film. And each summer, Interlochen presents an impressive lineup of world-renowned classical, jazz and popular guest artists.


Performance Opportunities

You will compose for and have your music read and recorded by outstanding student musicians in the following advanced chamber groups:

  • string quartet
  • woodwind quintet
  • brass quintet
  • sax quartet

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

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

Audition Requirements

Three compositions that demonstrate the applicant's skill and technical abilities. Please submit .mp3 recordings and .pdf scores of your compositions. If you are interested in composing for a large ensemble (band, choir, orchestra), at least one of the required compositions submitted must be a work for band, choir, or orchestra.

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.


Photo Gallery


Dr. Jennifer Jolley

Instructor of Music Composition, Interlochen Arts Camp

Assistant Professor of Composition, Texas Tech University

Dr. Carrie Magin

Instructor of Music Composition, Interlochen Arts Camp

Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory, Houghton College

Dr. Andrew Smith

Instructor of Music Theory and Composition, Interlochen Arts Camp