Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Interlochen is an intense place. It is a place of much thinking, dreaming, and creating. It is an extremely supportive community. The school shares a campus with the Interlochen Arts Camp, which is a summer program serving thousands of students from age 8-18. The campus is, therefore, huge and dotted with vacant buildings during the school year. It is in the forest of northern Michigan. It snows. It gets cold. And the students at IAA hunker down and CREATE. It is an amazing place. If you go, it will change you and you will carry it with you forever.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I became a real composer at IAA. I had written music before, but at IAA, I was allowed to collaborate with the theatre department. I was encouraged to tutor other students with their music theory. I was encouraged to put on a show. So I did. I put on a full composition recital my senior year which involved almost 40 performers and was about 1:20 long. When I say you can do ANYTHING at Interlochen, I mean it. If it's creative, you will be encouraged and promoted and supported.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Going to boarding school is a big step. Don't forget to call home. Do talk to people about big ideas. Wherever you decide to go to school, it has to match YOUR personality. Interlochen is not for everyone. A football player might HATE it there. Or a physics nerd might not find he had enough of the kind of classes she wanted to take. REALLY think about what you want from your school. Really think about what interests you. Then go looking for the school of your dreams, cause it probably exists!
I would also say, be careful of schools that have teachers that coach, or no dorm staff other than teachers or coaches. Dorm staff is a VERY DIFFICULT JOB. Someone who is teaching all day cannot be expected to also be responsible for enforcing the rules at night. In my opinion, schools that try to do this are cutting corners and in the end, they are shortchanging everyone involved.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked the supportiveness of Interlochen the best. Interlochen is like a big creative family.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I don't think it's called Brahms anymore, I think they changed it to Macwhorter. The BEST DORM EVER!!! But honestly, they have made major improvements to all the facilities since I was there. Just be prepared for the bad food in Stone. That will never change. Its an institution.