Interlochen Music Director Byron Hanson has Died, Age 79

The music director of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Camp passed away due to an undisclosed cause on March 19


Mr. Hanson dedicated much of his life to Interlochen. He began as a euphonium high school student at the Academy and returned throughout his college career at the Eastman School of Music. Once he finished his Master's, the Interlochen Arts Academy did not shy away from hiring Mr. Hanson for his compassionate and dedicated nature.

His first position was the manager of a project created by Interlochen founder, Dr. Jospeh Maddy, called the Honors Musicianship Project — where he helped the Academy give full scholarships to students. Mr. Hanson assumed several more roles, such as the music literature teacher, the Arts Academy Orchestra conductor, and the Arts Academy band conductor.

Mr. Hanson held a 50-year tenure at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the longest time an individual has worked for the institution. He met his wife, Ann Herkelmann, at Interlochen, and she eventually assumed the position of the Vice President of the Academy. Their children, Meredith and Lindsay, both graduated from the Arts Academy, and worked for it, following the suit of their parents.

We offer our condolences to Mr. Hanson's family, friends, students, and colleagues.