December 8, 2022
Leslie Dunner conducting Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra (photo: Chris Hintz)
(December 2022)—As a high point of the ongoing partnership between Michigan’s Interlochen Center for the Arts and the New York Philharmonic, the young musicians of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra will give a side-by-side performance with members of the New York Philharmonic at New York’s Lincoln Center on March 3, 2023, at 8pm. Celebrating international liberation movements throughout history with special focus on the Black experience, their program will feature the announcement of the inaugural class of NY Phil Interlochen Scholars: 30 New York youth who have been chosen to attend Interlochen Arts Camp on full-tuition scholarships next summer. The concert will be led by Interlochen’s Dr. Leslie B. Dunner at David Geffen Hall, where the Interlochen Arts Academy will become one of the first visiting institutions to appear since the renovated venue’s reopening in fall 2022.
Through the newly established NY Phil Interlochen Scholars program, Interlochen is awarding full-tuition scholarships to 30 young New York artists, chosen from 14 partner organizations in the city: the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Alvin Ailey, Bloomingdale School of Music, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Harlem School of the Arts, the Harmony Program, Juilliard Music Advancement Program, Kaufman Music Center, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, Martha Graham Dance Company, New York Youth Symphony, NYC Department of Education, Parsons Scholars Program, and Upbeat NYC. These recipients will be announced at the March 3 concert.
Interlochen President Trey Devey explains:
“Young artists’ development is enriched by the diversity of their experiences and the range and caliber of their artistic collaborations. Our partnership with the New York Philharmonic not only gives our students the opportunity to perform in a world-class concert hall alongside members of a preeminent orchestra, but also provides pathways for more young musicians from New York City to experience Interlochen Arts Camp. Through this initiative, Interlochen underscores its commitment to creating immersive and inclusive arts experiences to help cultivate the next generation of artists.”
Engaging with “Liberation,” one of the four themes of the Philharmonic’s 2022-23 season, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra’s March 3 program is titled मुक्ति (MUKTI), after the Hindi word for freedom, or emancipation. Its opening half is devoted to the world premiere performance of a collaboratively composed interdisciplinary piece of the same name. Students from all seven of Interlochen’s artistic disciplines – music, theatre, dance, visual arts, creative writing, film and new media, and interdisciplinary arts – worked together to create this project. Click here to watch a video about their creative process.
For the second half of their program, Dr. Dunner and the orchestra will be joined by New York Philharmonic musicians to interpret works by four living Black composers: Valerie Coleman, Mary Watkins, John Wineglass and Interlochen alumnus Jonathan Bailey Holland. Dr. Dunner, who also looks forward to guest conducting the New York Philharmonic in two further “Liberation”-themed programs at David Geffen Hall on March 2 and 4, says:
“We have an opportunity to expose our audiences to a wealth of compositional talent, all from the same demographic background, but from different personal perspectives. I’m hopeful that those who are not of color will learn about some of the people who are their neighbors and their friends, and that those people who are of color will learn more about their heritage. We’re talking about Black liberation, liberation in this country of people of color. That should represent the last half-century, and how we have moved from coming to this land as hostages to being empowered in this land as citizens.”
John Wineglass’s Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice explores the history of enslaved people in America, from their ocean voyages to their labors in the rice fields of the South. Mary Watkins’s Soul of Remembrance is a movement from her orchestral suite Five Movements in Color, and Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Equality is set to poetry by Maya Angelou. The concert concludes with Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, named for the Swahili word for “unity,” which also denotes the first day of Kwanzaa.
The March 3 performance takes place during the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra’s weeklong tour to New York City. Over the course of the week, all 140-plus young students will have the chance to visit the school’s partner organizations in the community and to tour organizations pertaining to their own majors, which include Creative Writing, Visual & Interdisciplinary Art, Dance, Film & New Media, Songwriting, Theater, Jazz and Music.
About Interlochen Center for the Arts
The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts is a 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 services (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; and a global alumni base spanning eight decades, including leaders in the arts and all other endeavors. For more information, visit www.interlochen.org.
Interlochen in New York City, March 2023
March 1 at 7:30pm
Jazz at Lincoln Center (Dizzy’s Club)
Josh Lawrence, Interlochen Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz students from Harlem School of the Arts and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
March 2 at 7:30pm; March 4 at 8pm
New York, NY
Lincoln Center (David Geffen Hall)
New York Philharmonic
Leslie B. Dunner, conductor
“The March to Liberation”
Adolphus HAILSTORK: Done Made My Vow, A Ceremony
Tazewell Thompson, director
Rasean Davonté Johnson, video artist
Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone
Janinah Burnett, soprano
Rodrick Dixon, tenor
New York Philharmonic Chorus / Malcolm J. Merriweather, chorus director
STILL: Symphony No. 2, “Song of a New Race”
Courtney BRYAN: new work (world premiere of New York Philharmonic commission)
March 3 at 8pm
Lincoln Center (David Geffen Hall)
Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra
New York Philharmonic musicians
Dr. Leslie B. Dunner, conductor
Interlochen Arts Academy students: मुक्ति: MUKTI (world premiere of interdisciplinary work)
John WINEGLASS: Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice
Mary WATKINS: Soul of Remembrance
Jonathan Bailey HOLLAND: Equality
Valerie COLEMAN: Umoja
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© 21C Media Group, December 2022