More than 1,400 students from 22 countries joined together for a virtual opening ceremony and will begin Camp programs in music, film, creative writing, dance, theatre, visual arts, and more.
For the first time in its 93-year history, Interlochen Center for the Arts kicked off its Camp season virtually, with more than 1,400 students from around the world joining together on Sunday evening to celebrate the start of Interlochen Online's camp programs.
The First Gathering of Interlochen's 93rd camp season was streamed live from Kresge Auditorium—the scenic lakeside venue that has hosted Interlochen Arts Camp's opening ceremony for over 70 years. The event featured performances by Camp faculty and Interlochen alumni as well as remarks by Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey, Provost Camille Colatosti, and Dean of Students Jennifer Wesling.
"From this day forward, you will hold a special place in the history of Interlochen," Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey told students. "Decades from now, our Camp students will hear of your pioneering class, a group of 1,440 individuals from 22 countries, who came together online, making art, working joyfully, and accomplishing great things."
"Our world needs creatives and artists more than ever, and you have stepped up to answer the call," Devey continued. "And despite the geographical distance, you are already united by a driving passion for the arts. Grow, connect with one another, and be joyful. Together you will accomplish great things."
In addition to musical performances, First Gathering featured a monologue from Shakespeare's Othello performed by Phil Darius Wallace, an actor, public speaker, and business coach who would have played the part of Othello in this summer's Interlochen Shakespeare Festival had it not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wallace first discovered his love for Shakespearean theatre at Interlochen Arts Academy, and when he auditioned for Interlochen Arts Camp in 1984, his monologue was from Othello.
The program concluded with a virtual singalong of "Sound the Call," a rousing march that has served as Interlochen Arts Camp's official song since 1934, with an opening line generations of Interlochen campers know by heart: "Oh, sound the call to dear old Interlochen! Land of the stately pine."
To nurture young artists during this unprecedented era of social distancing, while sustaining a cherished tradition, the 93rd season of Interlochen's renowned multidisciplinary summer arts program is taking place exclusively online, with programs in acting, musical theatre, theatre design and production, creative writing, visual arts, dance, filmmaking, classical music performance and composition, music production and engineering, songwriting, jazz performance and improvisation, and general arts for students in grades 2-12.
Like Interlochen's in-person Arts Camp, the online camp features one-of-a-kind master classes, seminars, and coachings led by world-class artists and arts leaders; private arts instruction as well as collaboration with peers; virtual performances, exhibitions, screenings, and readings by students and faculty; daily "virtual cabin" social activities; and synchronous camp-wide gatherings.
The Interlochen Online community will convene for two additional camp-wide gatherings this summer on July 18 and 19, respectively: "Collage," a showcase of student artwork and performances; and "Les Préludes," a performance of Franz Liszt's sweeping orchestral work that has marked the conclusion of the Interlochen Arts Camp season since 1928.
To watch a video of First Gathering, visit interlochen.org/watch.
About Interlochen Center for the Arts
A global destination for artists and arts enthusiasts, Interlochen Center for the Arts comprises Interlochen Arts Camp, a world-class multidisciplinary summer arts program; Interlochen Arts Academy, the nation's premier fine arts boarding high school; Interlochen Presents, a producer of more than 600 annual performances by celebrated guest artists, Interlochen students, and faculty; Interlochen Public Radio, two listener-supported, 24-hour public radio stations (classical music and news); and Interlochen College of Creative Arts, a convener for lifelong arts education. Since 1928, Interlochen has served a mission to ignite and propel a lifelong passion for the arts. For more information, visit interlochen.org.