INTERLOCHEN, MI: For over 90 years, the Interlochen Center for the Arts has provided students from third grade through high school from around the world with a unique artistic education. Nestled on 1,200 pastoral acres in scenic Northern Michigan, the campus has now introduced a cutting-edge, $24-million Music Center to serve as the focal point for its substantively enhanced music programs. A key component of the new complex is a state-of-the-art recording/teaching studio complex developed by WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group.
Planning for the new facility began in 1990, when Sasaki Associates submitted an ambitious set of designs. Successful donor outreach provided the requisite $24 million to fully fund the project. Interlochen’s Music Division previously utilized various buildings across Interlochen Center for the Arts’ 1,200 acres. The new Music Center now links Corson Auditorium with the Edward P. and Jessie Frohlich Piano and Percussion Building and brings together programs in classical, contemporary, and jazz under one roof, along with a new program in music production and engineering. Welcoming students to the new facility this fall, Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey remarked, “Music has a new home at Interlochen. “With its world-class spaces for music instruction, collaboration, and recording, the Music Center will nurture and empower any musician that seeks artistic and personal enlightenment at Interlochen. For students from the third grade through high school, there’s nothing else like it.”
Encompassing two double-height, 3,200-sq. ft. rehearsal halls, 26 teaching studios, 11 ensemble rooms, 10 practice rooms, 2 professional recording studios, support areas ranging from administrative offices to student lounges and an instrument repair shop, the Music Center optimizes every square foot of the new building. A recently inaugurated Music Production and Engineering program is being developed by Marc Lacuesta, an accomplished recording engineer, producer, composer and arranger, and will be launched in Fall 2020.
WSDG Partners/Project Managers, Romina Larregina and Matthew Ballos report that two world-class, WSDG recording studios are linked to virtually every creative room in the complex and to the stage of the Corson Auditorium. Observation balconies enable guests to watch ensembles perform; a double-layered ‘floating’ roof system was deployed to minimize rain noise. A highly sophisticated systems integration program was custom-designed by long-time WSDG associate Judy Elliot-Brown of Rocket Science. The program facilitates live recording from all of the Music Center’s production, rehearsal and performance spaces, each of which features floating floors and room-within-room construction to assure the required Sound isolation between all production and performance zones.
Both C.R.’s are equipped with intuitive, Dante user-interface and network management programs as key systems integration elements. The ground level studio features a 250 sq. ft. Control room bookended by two dedicated Iso Booths. Adjacent to the left of the C.R. is a 900 sq. ft. Ensemble Room for orchestras. An 800 sq. ft. Singer/Songwriter Room is situated on the right side of the C.R., which also features windows into both spaces. A second (300 sq. ft.) C.R. built on the 2nd level is outfitted with 7.1 Surround Sound Neumann Speakers and is also fully linked to all performance spaces to facilitate simultaneous live recording and/or mixing sessions.
Commenting on the studio complex, Rory Baker, Executive Director of Interlochen Presents, remarked, “We chose WSDG because of their proven track record in control room design. They are trusted by many professionals in the industry and are highly recommended. In addition, WSDG designed the studios and control rooms at Interlochen Public Radio, and we felt that familiarity and consistency would be an advantage.”
WSDG Founding Partner, John Storyk concludes, “It is always gratifying to be invited back to contribute new ideas to a previous client. Interlochen Center for the Arts’ on-going commitment to education has earned an exemplary reputation. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to bring our studio design, acoustics and systems integration expertise to meaningful projects of this nature. The Interlochen team was knowledgeable, resourceful and a pleasure to collaborate with, and we are confident that their graduates will acquire invaluable skills as foundations to their careers.
For a tour of the Interlochen Center for the Arts please click on this link.