2013 Chapman Stick Workshop

Personal note from Glenn

Boys of AS Cabin #1, 1977
Hello again everyone,

The 3rd Interlochen Stick Workshop is upon us. For those of you who attended in 2009 and/or 2011, hopefully the experience left you looking forward to the next one and that will mean a return trip in 2013. For those who haven't attended before, let me give you a little background.

Interlochen serves as both an accredited high school for performing arts as well as a summer arts camp for young music students. The school is well known all over the world but especially to music students in the state of Michigan. When I was a young student, the opportunity to attend the summer arts camp was something we spent the school year striving for. As a freshman in high school, our local music program offered partial scholarships for students who qualified to attend the camp. I was fortunate enough to be one of those students and in 1977, I made my first of three summer trips north to the Interlochen campus.

The environment was like no other place I had been or have been to since. The student body was made up of kids from all over the world. We immersed in music. The buglers blew reveille at the crack of dawn every day and after our breakfast on the beautiful shores of Duck Lake, we were off to rehearsals. We had two full ensemble rehearsals a day as well as sectional rehearsals and private lessons. We took breaks from the schedule in the afternoon for rest and physical activities (usually soccer) and also for our own practice time. In the evening, we either attended concerts or social gatherings. The concerts ranged from campus ensembles to national touring acts.

In all of my years since then, I have always looked back at my summers at Interlochen as some of the greatest musical experiences of my life. As an adult, I've frequently stopped by the campus when I've traveled to northern Michigan just to visit and to this day, I still get goosebumps as soon as I get out of my car.

In more recent years, Interlochen started their summer adult programs and as an alumnus, I started receiving the mailers every year. I kept threatening to dust off my guitar or horn and attend when, during a visit in 2008, it hit me like a ton of bricks ... "we should have a Stick seminar HERE!"

My original intention was to look into renting campus space and holding our usual event. Then I met Matt Wiliford who heads up the College of Creative Arts. Matt was very enthusiastic about the Stick and suggested that we add a Stick workshop to their official adult curriculum. The result of that chance meeting was the 2009 Interlochen Stick Workshop. That event featured Emmett Chapman and Greg Howard as teachers and took place in parallel with the annual Guitar Festival and Workshop. For three days, 23 Stick players shared the campus with about 50 guitar players and the result was an event like nothing we'd ever had before. Emmett described the campus as "a Brigadoon". At the conclusion of the successful 2009 event, Matt and I decided to make it a biennial event.

In 2011, we held the second workshop. This one featured teachers Greg Howard and Bob Culbertson. By this time, the College of Creative Arts had managed to get their own building for their weekend workshops. This meant they could hold workshops during the summer arts camp. So unlike 2009, the students of the 2011 workshop shared the campus with 2500 of the finest young music students in the world. No matter where you went, music was playing. Ensembles rehearsed all day. Individuals practiced indoors and out all over campus. The whole scene was incredibly inspirational. During his live performance, Bob Culbertson referred to Interlochen as "Hogwartz for musicians".

Now in 2013, the latest event will feature classes from Bob Culbertson, Steve Adelson and myself. The workshop will again be held in the heart of the summer arts camp season which means music of all genres everywhere at all times of the day. Weather permitting, we might even fit in that beach fire I've been promising since 2009.

To the Stick players, students and enthusiasts I've come to know over the years. I realize that the Interlochen events ask for a little more money and committment than the events we've held in Ann Arbor. But there has always been an incredible vibe just walking around the Interlochen Campus and, as previous attendees can attest, that vibe is still alive and well today. These workshops are one of a kind events and I'm convinced that once you get settled, spend time on the campus and soak up the environment, you'll love it and will want to come back and do it again.

So please come join us in July. You might not want to go home afterward.

Glenn Poorman