- The Washington Times - Monday, July 15, 2002

A premier arts camp, which includes 502 alumni, from the Washington area celebrates its 75th anniversary of arts education this year.
The Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Mich., counts female vocalist Jewel, journalist Mike Wallace and Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among its graduates.
Interlochen's 75th birthday party at the camp was celebrated last week in combination with an annual exhibition of students' works. Two thousand students and 1,000 staffers ate 3,000 cupcakes and received birthday greetings from President Bush.
Then Interlochen's time capsule from 1982 a cello case covered in blue corduroy, the traditional material for student uniforms was opened by students. Its contents were combined with new additions for a time capsule and then housed in a double bass carrying case to be opened in 25 years.
This summer 161 students from the District, Maryland and Virginia are rising at 6:30 a.m. daily to play music, dance, mold sculpture, write fiction and sketch at the 1,200-acre campus in lower Michigan.
"We know from students that they learn the importance of self discipline, the challenge of setting a goal and seeing it through," Interlochen President Edward J. Downing said. "That carries through to the rest of their lives."
Daniel Zwerdling, a senior correspondent for National Public Radio, remembers his three summers at Interlochen Arts Camp fondly.
"Whenever I hear music, almost at some point I think of Interlochen," said Mr. Zwerdling, who attended camp in the early 1960s to improve his trumpet playing. But he said he also learned the kind of discipline that has helped his 10-year career as a freelance journalist.
Magenta Livingood, a 16-year-old D.C. resident, spends her mornings in drawing class and her afternoons studying other media.
"It has really helped me to realize that this is something that I want to do more than anything else," she said. "I will be more willing to spend my free time doing art than going to the movies or whatever."
Sophia Vastek, a 15-year-old D.C. resident, is perfecting her piano playing at Interlochen. The opportunity to be near students as dedicated to music as she is has been the best part, she said.
"I just really like playing the piano," said Miss Vastek. "It's a lot of practicing, but you get to hang out with people who are interested in the same thing as you."
Joseph Maddy, the founder of Interlochen, established the camp as a permanent training ground for artistic students in 1928. The Interlochen Academy, a fine arts boarding school, was founded in 1960.
Mary K. Gray, the associate dean of admissions for the Juilliard School in New York, said Interlochen's boarding school annually feeds Juilliard's freshman class more than any other school, comprising 14 to 20 percent of the matriculating students. Summer camp attendees of Interlochen raise that representation even more.


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