UMS Summers “Up North”
Ah, summer. For many Michiganders, that means packing up the car and heading to a place we lovingly call “Up North,” the land of fresh air, blue skies, and sandy shores that stretch on for miles. Head north of Cadillac and west of Houghton Lake this summer, and you’ll find a myriad of arts opportunities and UMS connections.
Twenty minutes southeast of Traverse City, Interlochen Center for the Arts is nestled between tall timbers and two inland lakes. Catch an encore performance of the Punch Brothers and Chris Thile on July 17 (they performed to a sizable crowd at the Power Center this past fall) or get a sneak peak of the Paul Taylor Dance Company on July 23 before their week-long residency in Ann Arbor this fall.
Interlochen is also home to a world-famous summer arts camp that draws young musicians, dancers, writers, visual artists, and more from around the globe for two to six weeks of intensive study, and a high school arts academy. Its list of high-performing alumni is astonishingly long, and includes musicians in the Berlin Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra; dancers and directors of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Company, and José Limón Dance Company; jazz musicians Regina Carter and Chris and Daniel Brubeck, and many more. In any given year, you’re bound to find at least a few alumni on the UMS schedule. In fact, UMS also used the Interlochen Academy Orchestra in the past for performances of Handel’s Messiah.
But that’s not the only place Interlochen alums appear. Several members of the UMS staff are also alumni. I myself have wonderful memories of six summers in the All-State piano, band, and orchestra programs and one summer on faculty as a flute instructor. UMS Choral Union conductor Jerry Blackstone led the University of Michigan All-State Choirs for 17 summers in addition to serving as Director of the All-State Program for several years. And UMS President Ken Fischer met his wife Penny there during summer camp in 1961 and now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Speaking of Ken, if you’re traveling to the Petoskey or Charlevoix areas, you may bump into him around town, as he often spends a few days each summer meeting with members of the UMS National Council, donors, and new friends of UMS who call this region home for part or all of the year. For members of the U-M Alumni Associations who travel to Camp Michigania, he also gives annual talks at the Education Center.
Whatever your summer plans, we’d love to hear how you are making the arts a part of them, whether in northern Michigan, here in Ann Arbor, or by traveling to Stratford, Aspen, Tanglewood or one of dozens of other summer festivals.