Interlochen, Auditions, & Ice Cream with Haruno

Hello readers!

It’s only been two weeks since I started the Klarman fellowship but I feel like I’ve done so much already! Last week I went on a trip to Michigan where the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp is in session, where I actually spent my summers as a tiny fourth grader skipping around campus singing the Interlochen song and eating too much ice cream from Melody Freeze.

Cat Brain Freeze





Speaking of ice cream, have you guys seen “Cats getting a brain freeze”?? Hilarious.






My colleague Matt Dykeman (you might remember him from his appearance on Show 199 in El Paso, Texas) and I started our day at the horrible hour of 8:00 in the morning (I’m most certainly not an 8:00 AM kind of person). Wired on coffee, we stumbled into the World Symphony Youth Orchestra rehearsal and announced our auditions that were happening the NEXT day, which not surprisingly, shocked and scared the kids a bit. We also terrorized students on the main street of campus, begging them to play for us.

Some were very shy and hesitant. I don’t blame them: I wouldn’t like to play for scary people like me or Matt with a one-day warning. But the truth is that

  1. Matt and I are SUPER chill people (I believe this was actually one of our selling points)
  2. Works in progress are great, and there’s no shame in performing for people during that stage and lastly,

This last point is a huge part of the audition process and the general atmosphere here at From the Top. Whether you are a newcomer or an alum, we are always looking out for you, waiting to hear from you, happy to listen to you. Our audition process is quite different from a typical one that you would take at a school or for summer festivals. Rather than a yes or no, we select a pool of finalists, and the rest are applicants who we want to hear from again as they grow and mature.

To the musicians who are encouraged to try again in however many months: Please don’t be discouraged! This is not the end! I love hearing the progress and improvements you make. We truly mean it when we say we would love to keep hearing from you.

And, to the kids who bravely walked into the audition room with only a one-day notice: THANK YOU. I must apologize for barging in during your lunchtime to “force” you to sign up. But a total of over 60 kids auditioned that day leaving no blank spots on our sign up sheets, and we loved hearing each and every one of you.

Also, I will never forget listening to auditions for 13 straight hours with a colleague that spilled cream cheese on his leg.

To sum it up, applicants who have been encouraged to send us material again at a later date: DO SEND THOSE VIDEOS AND RECORDINGS. Don’t give up on us yet! We will be so happy to hear from you. Always.

Just keep swimming,



PS Baby Dory is the cutest thing ever.

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