Melanie Ebanks, 13, of Cayman Prep and High School spent six weeks at the Interlochen Arts Camp, the world’s premier summer arts program for aspiring artists from Grades 3 through 12.
Melanie, the daughter of Davy and Sheree Ebanks, had the opportunity to study both theatre and viola at the camp this year, which celebrated its 79th summer of pioneering arts education.
Interlochen Arts Camp (www.interlochen.org) attracts students, faculty and staff from all 50 US states and more than 40 countries. These 3,000 kindred spirits fill Interlochen’s northwoods campus with an explosion of creativity and inspiration.
The world’s most talented and motivated students train intensively with world-class instructors, and produce more than 400 presentations each summer in dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts and music, stated a press release.
Melanie described her experiences at camp as ‘amazing.’ She shared a cabin with 13 others. While most came from the US, two of her new friends came from South Korea and China.
She said that she has now made life-long friends from around the world, and would like to see more students from the Cayman Islands attend the camp.
She said attending Interlochen gives students the chance to share their love for their art with other like-minded youth as well as improve their personal level of accomplishment.
Interlochen offers what is termed as ‘majors’ in visual arts, creative writing, motion picture arts, music, voice, musical theatre and theatre repertoire each summer.
While study in the chosen major is intense, campers also enjoy other activities which range from zip-lining to sailing, swimming and just having fun. Of course, camp wouldn’t be complete without the campfire and S’mores, a gooey combination of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.
Among the distinguished camp alumni are opera and concert soprano Jessye Norman, ‘Roseanne’ star Sara Gilbert, actor Tom Hulce, ‘Cathy’ creator Cathy Guisewite, vocalist Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace.
Former Interlochen campers also include five-time Grammy winner Norah Jones and singer Josh Groban, both of whom have performed as part of the Interlochen Arts Festival in recent summers.
Throughout the summer, Interlochen Arts Festival presents more than 450 events by students, faculty, staff and distinguished guest artists. This past summer Melanie was able to attend performances by Lee Ann Womack, the captivating group Guster, Van Cliburn, the legendry pianist who won the first Tchaikovsky Piano competition in Moscow, as well as the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and other fellow campers.
She also attended performances by the theatre groups.
The camp and festival are part of Interlochen Center for the Arts, the only community in the world that brings together a 2000-student summer camp program, a 450-student fine arts boarding high school with college-prep academics; a 155-student independent pre-K through 8th-grade day school and summer day camp; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio stations (classical music and news); 650 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; and 85,000 alumni worldwide, including a galaxy of arts luminaries.
Interlochen Center for the Arts is located on a scenic 1,200-acre campus 16 miles southwest of Traverse City, Mich. For admissions information call 231-276-7472 or visit Interlochen online at www.interlochen.org.