Our mission is to inspire love and appreciation for classical music among young people by providing history, context, and insights into composers and their work. Every week, we ask our young listeners a trivia question related to the current theme. Those who answer correctly receive a Kids Commute Prize Pack. We also encourage them to participate in the Kids Commute Story Challenge to create artwork or a story inspired by a specific piece of music. We then pick our favorites and bring them to life in a dramatic reading voiced by Interlochen Arts Academy theatre students.
Kids Commute educates and inspires our audience by not only connecting them to the mainstays of classical music, but also introducing them to what’s new and relevant in classical music. Our “Pop! Goes the Classical Week” highlighted classical arrangements of pop songs by modern classical ensembles and interviews with renowned musicians and composers.
Many of our young listeners are learning to play a musical instrument themselves, and we encourage them to record their version of our show’s theme song and send it in. To date, dozens of students have submitted their greetings, artwork, and stories, and the program features them regularly. Through these efforts, we are creating a generation of listeners who have the capacity to appreciate music and hear with a more sophisticated ear.
In addition to its weekly broadcast, Kids Commute has hosted popular live concerts in cooperation with Interlochen Arts Academy faculty. For example, the Circus Extravaganza concert featured students from the IAA Theatre Department who, in collaboration with the IAA Wind Ensemble’s performances, depicted clowns portraying how various emotions can be expressed musically.