BY GRETCHEN MURRAY
Special to the Record-Eagle
---- — INTERLOCHEN — The road to Carnegie Hall is paved with plenty of practice.
And performing alongside New York’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra doesn’t hurt a bit.
Some music students at Interlochen Arts Academy will have that opportunity — and make a bit of history, too — when they take the stage alongside the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for a Thursday performance at 7:30 p.m. in Corson Auditorium.
The concert marks the first time high school students will have performed with the orchestra.
They’ll be joined by the two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, as well as Interlochen Arts Academy students majoring in music and dance. The performance is based on Arnold Schoenberg’s masterwork “Verklarte Nacht.”
Maureen Michaels, media manager for IAA, said the upcoming performance culminates a collaboration between the school and the orchestra that began in 2011.
“In the fall of 2011, Interlochen President Jeffrey Kimpton and Orpheus president Ayden Adler began a conversation about how we can work together,” she said.
Since then, Orpheus musicians have conducted workshops on the Interlochen campus as well as with IAA students in New York as part of Interlochen’s 50th anniversary tour.
Orpheus is a conductorless orchestra known for its collaborative leadership style in which the musicians, not a conductor, interpret a score. Orpheus musicians spent time on the IAA campus as coaches, but technology also played an important role in the relationship. Student musicians at Interlochen also have been coached by Orpheus players who were watching from New York through video. Dancers rehearsed with Academy student musicians on campus while Orpheus played with them — linked from New York, Michaels said.
IAA’s dance faculty choreographed the dance segment. Visual art students designed the set and worked with head costume designer Candace Hughes. Design and Production students designed the lighting. Creative Writing students wrote a poem for the programs.
Students from Motion Picture Arts documented the process for a later project and worked closely with the visual artists on projections to be displayed during the performance, and Gabriel Kahane will spend the afternoon of the concert working with students in the singer-songwriter program.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Michaels said. “To be the first high school to perform with this orchestra says a lot about the programs we offer, and we’re happy to offer it to our students as an opportunity.”
Corson Auditorium is located on the campus of Interlochen Center for the Arts, Highway M-137 in Interlochen. Admission is $30 for adults, $27 for seniors and $9 for students. For tickets, call the Interlochen Box Office, 276-7800 or 800-681-5920 or online at www.interlochen.org.