Personal note from Glenn
Boys of AS Cabin #1, 1977
Hello again everyone,
A lot has happened since we started hosting this event at Interlochen in 2009. In
2019 we celebrated 10 years at Interlochen and 50 years of "Free Hands" with a huge
event featuring instuction from Steve Adelson, Greg Howard, and Bob Culbertson. We
even added a video session with Emmett Chapman himself on Saturday. The attendance
for that event was a record for us.
As a biennial event, we were fortunately spared the 2020 season that saw all Interlochen
events cancelled and the campus shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. There is still
some uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season but we're staying optimistic and moving
forward assuming we'll be able to meet.
With that, let me present my customary background letter.
The Interlochen Center for the Arts serves as both an accredited high school for
performing arts as well as a summer arts camp for young arts students. Founded in
1928, Interlochen has been home to visitors from all over the world for nearly 100
years. As a young music student in Michigan, the opportunity to attend the summer
arts camp was something we spent the school year striving for. The school music
program in my home town offered partial scholarships for students who qualified to
attend the camp. In my freshman year of high school, I was fortunate enough to be
one of those students and in 1977, I made my first of three summer visits 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 partnered up with Steve Osburn at Oz's Music to organize Stick
Seminars in Ann Arbor and we made these an almost annual event from 1998 through
2008. During a visit to the Interlochen campus in 2008, I approached the then
director of the Interlochen College of Creative Arts Matt Wiliford about holding
a seminar on campus. Matt suggested we make the workshop part of their official
curriculum and we kicked off the first one in 2009. The inaugural event featured
Emmett Chapman and Greg Howard.
In order to keep the event fresh, Matt and I made the decision to make the Stick
workshop a biennial event holding additional workshops in 2011, 2013, and 2015,
2017, and 2019, with instruction from Greg Howard, Bob Culbertson, Steve Adelson,
Tom Griesgraber, Steve Osburn, Art Durkee, and myself. Each event was a unique
experience in and of itself and each was a great success. During the course of the
long weekend, attending Stick players get to share the Interlochen campus with
around 2500 top music students from all over the world ages 8 to 18. At all times
of the day, there are students practicing in the woods, ensembles rehearsing in the
various performance spaces, and performances happening all over campus. There is
literally music everywhere. After the 2009 event, Emmett Chapman described Interlochen
as "a Brigadoon"
. In 2011, Bob Culbertson described it as "Hogwartz for
Now in 2021, Gary Gatzke is the director of the College of Creative Arts. The
Stick event is still a biennial event and the next workshop will feature classes
from Larry Tuttle, Greg Howard, Steve Osburn, and myself. The workshop will once
again be held in the heart of the summer arts camp season and if the weather
cooperates, we'll be able to take our meals on the shore of Green Lake.
So please come join us in July. You might not want to go home afterward.