Interlochen Center for the Arts

Head to a place where high notes and nature blend in sweet harmony.

By Patty LaNoue Stearns, Photography by Patrick Wellever

Feel the artistic vibe at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ 1,200-acre campus, where summertime signals the start of its renowned arts camp and music festival. Look around and observe a mini United Nations’ 2,000 students from 50 states and 40 countries, all dressed in powder-blue shirts and navy pants.

Take in an open-air concert at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium on a breezy summer night and look out at a pink-and-purple sunset over Green Lake. You might even be lucky enough to catch a performance by one of the academy’s celebrated former students, such as vocalists Norah Jones, Josh Groban or Jessye Norman.

From the log-cabin structures that pepper the campus, you can hear sweet sounds of violins and concert pianos filtering through a thick canopy of trees. More than 400 student presentations in dance, theater, creative writing, visual arts, motion picture arts and music can be seen and heard throughout the season (June 24’August 7, 2006), along with 25 guest performances by luminaries like Van Cliburn, B.B. King and Lee Ann Womack. (For tickets, visit or call 800-681-5920.)

And if you want to rub elbows with some of these stars, head over to the Hofbrau (2784 M-137, Interlochen, 231-276-6979), where they’re known to congregate after the show for a burger, ribs or just-like-mom’s meat loaf.