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By Hanna Marszalek

The summer camp that I attended this year was at Interlochen Arts Camp. The program was Intermediate Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. The program lasted 3 weeks and was located in Interlochen, Michigan, near Traverse City. The main focus at camp was orchestral music; however, we did have private lessons and there was some solo work required. Some ways that I grew as a musician included learning to blend in better with an orchestra. I was so used to playing solo music (even in youth symphony orchestra I was a first violin) that I never really learned how to be a real part of an orchestra until Interlochen. There I was placed in the second violin section, third chair. I learned how to accompany a soloist in an orchestra too.

Hanna standingOne of the pieces that we performed was Gustav Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, which has many concertmaster solos. This meant that I, and the rest of the orchestra, had to help accompany the concertmaster during her solos. I also learned a lot of relaxation exercises, how to incorporate movement while sitting, and how to project better when playing with an ensemble. Interlochen also introduced me to many composers and pieces from around the world that I had never heard of.

Here are all the musical selections we performed while at camp.

  • Sonoralia Zacatecana by Emmanuel Arias y Luna
  • Little Suite by Carl Nielsen
  • Saint Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst
  • Minueto opus póstumo by Ricardo Castro

Hanna in orchestraA typical day at Interlochen would start with waking up at 7:10 in the morning, getting into uniform, and going outside for lineup. After lineup we would quickly clean the cabin and get ready for the day. We then went to breakfast and at 9:00 we would start classes. There were 6 classes, an hour each, three in the morning and another three in the afternoon. My morning classes consisted of music theory, practice/private lessons, and orchestra rehearsal. We then returned back to our age division for lunch and rest hour. After that, I would head off to the rest of my classes, starting with orchestra rehearsal, then sectionals, and ending with Eurythmics. After classes I would go to the dinning hall for dinner. After dinner we would have recreation time. There was an assortment of things to do including games, concerts, or (if you weren’t too tired yet) practice was always an option. The rec staff always had games planned, but sometimes we would set up our own small game of volleyball or knock out. Call to cabin was at 9:00 pm followed by silent flashlight time and then lights out at 10:00. Overall, our days were pretty packed with activities and learning.

Hanna playingI made many new friends and met many new people, but one of the most memorable people I met this summer was my music theory teacher Dr. Dunbar. She was very smart and she went to my dream school, Juilliard. She had also gone to both Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy. She was very funny and just a great teacher, and I learned a lot from her.

Another memorable moment was when I was chosen as the chief writer of the program notes for our second concert. I remember being so honored and spending hours at the library working on getting my information accurate. Another one of my favorite memories was going to get ice cream with my friends on the first and last day. It was so emotional on the last day and so fun on the first.

Overall, this experience was worth every cent and was so fun. I loved every moment of it and I would definitely recommend this program to any young musician willing to learn something during the summer. Interlochen helped me grow not only as an artist, but as a person, too, and I will really miss being there. I will never forget my experience at Interlochen Arts Camp.


Hanna Marszalek at Interlochen

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