Megan Matthews, a senior from Mobile Ala., recently attended Interlochen’s six-week Summer and Vocal Artist Program in Interlochen, Michigan.
“With the program being 6 weeks, we had a performance every other week,” says Matthews. “You also don’t see the music until you get there, so you could learn anywhere from four to six pieces in 6 weeks. I got a lot better at sight singing, and I was able to just see something and be able to sing it really well.”
Interlochen’s Summer Vocal Artist Program is a highly competitive program where students from all over the world apply to attend specialized classes during the summer.
“We were also able to sing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which is one of the best orchestras in the world,” says Matthews. “I also had the opportunity to sing opera, which is really uncommon and special for people my age. This helped to show me what the future would be like. We also had solo recitals and master classes. Master Classes are like voice lessons, but in front of all your peers, so it helped further build our skills.”
The importance of branching out to new programs is highly encouraged in the arts. Matthews also attended Juilliard’s Summer Performing Arts Program in Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 2017.
“The crazy thing is that during the Juilliard program, the teacher I had there went to Interlochen, and they told me to definitely try and attend Interlochen to follow my passion,” says Matthews. “You love Interlochen so much that you keep coming back and helping the community. I met people there in their sixties and eighties who kept coming back to support the younger generations.”
Matthews’ favorite part was gaining friends and making unbreakable bonds with other motivated students.
“I made life-long friends with these people,” says Matthews. “I talk to them every single day. The cool thing is that even if you go one summer in your entire life, you will keep going back to witness the younger generation’s accomplishments.”
ASMS has helped Matthews shape her future and grow her passions. Matthews plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and major in Vocal Performance.
“I had a craving to learn, and I knew that I wasn’t applying myself in a way that would be productive at my old school. I really wanted that extra stimuli and branch out to learn as much as I could. Even though this is a school of math and science, I feel like it’s important for people to know that you can still pursue your dream in the arts. I knew ASMS was the only place I could do that and still be prepared for college.”
The above article was written by ASMS junior Laura Van Winkle, who serves on the 2018-2019 Student Marketing Team.