Magazine article The American Organist

Interlochen Center for the Arts Dendrinos Chapel/recital Hall Interlochen, Michigan Reuter Organ Company

Magazine article The American Organist

Interlochen Center for the Arts Dendrinos Chapel/recital Hall Interlochen, Michigan Reuter Organ Company

Article excerpt

From the President of Interlochen Center for the Arts

The world of arts education and performance these days is one of building partnerships and sustaining collaborations that enrich and extend the vitality of programs to new and larger audiences. Certainly that has been the case in the creation of the magnificent Upton-Murphy Organ (Reuter Opus 2227), a symbol of a remarkable collaboration between all who love and support organ education and performance at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and around the globe.

Organ instruction was offered at Interlochen Arts Camp nearly 60 years ago, and added as a major at Interlochen Arts Academy in 1971. Since that time, this program has become a national leader in the education and preparation of young organists. Our graduates have formed a distinguished group of teacher/performers who have consistently gone on to this country's best collegiate and conservatory programs, great churches, and recital halls around the world.

When it became evident in 2004 that our organ was in extremis, a truly remarkable series of partnerships created the beautiful result that you see in these pages. Motivated by the memory of founding organ faculty member Robert Murphy and energized by his successor, alumnus and artist teacher/performer Tom Bara, Interlochen organ alumni, faculty, family, students, trustees, friends, organ lovers, and Interlochen came forward with funding to make this possible. The selection of the Reuter Organ Company formed the last partnership, as these talented craftsmen and musicians took our instrument and gave it a new life. Perhaps most important, Reuter worked carefully within our budget with a level of respect for our program and engagement with our community that created deep personal and professional partnerships.

In November 2006, President Bush presented the National Medal of Arts to the Interlochen Center for the Arts, citing our distinguished heritage as a center for arts education and performance, and our efforts to energize our mission for the future. Certainly that is what has happened in the restoration of the Upton-Murphy Organ. As we celebrate this wonderful instrument, the partnerships continue to grow. Great alumni organists are returning for special recitals, inspiring the next generation of organ students who will continue this distinguished heritage and unique program. Interlochen has been privileged to support such a program in the past, and we are proud of this installation, so that it can serve as a model to the nation to support and encourage this rich musical tradition.


From the Organ Instructor

Interlochen Center for the Arts, though originally known for its Arts Camp, is also acclaimed for its 475-student fine arts boarding high school with college preparatory academics, as well as two public radio stations, a K-8th-grade day school, an arts festival, and adult and professional education programs. Interlochen has a distinguished history as a training ground for organists, with successful graduates at all parts of the professional spectrum, including many alumni who have won major competitions and hold prominent music positions. Interlochen's organ department has a threefold mission: to provide an environment and education that attracts talented and dedicated organ students from around the country; to expose talented musicians to the organ and encourage them to pursue it, either as a primary or secondary instrument; and to model and champion leadership qualities such as optimism, responsibility, and entrepreneurial creativity that graduates need to positively affect the organ world.

The new Upton-Murphy organ is the centerpiece of our program. Running almost literally around the clock as a performing, teaching, and practice instrument, it is an inspiration to our students, their teacher, and enthusiastic audiences. This organ complements our 14-rank Gabriel Kney tracker organ, a harpsichord, a fortepiano, and modern grand pianos, giving our students a range of experience with different actions and touches. …

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