Chamber Music Retreat

August 22 – 25, 2022 For Strings, Woodwinds and Piano

Registration for the 2022 Chamber Music Retreat is now open!

Experience the joy of meeting new people and playing chamber music in the peaceful environment of Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin. Birch Creek Music Performance Center is located in the heart of Door County, about an hour north of Green Bay, WI, in the ‘thumb’ of Wisconsin. The campus is situated on a 40-acre refurbished farm. Performances are held in a century-old performance barn as well as the modern Juniper Hall.

Known nationally and internationally for its summer music academy for aspiring young musicians, the Chamber Music Retreat at Birch Creek branches out to serve the adult chamber music enthusiast. This non-competitive program includes coached rehearsals and performance opportunities for all participants.

Health and safety modifications for 2022 adult programs will be determined closer to the program dates and will include the use of outdoor and larger well-ventilated rehearsal spaces, shorter and more frequent rehearsals and practice sessions, social and performance distancing, possible use of masks/face coverings and potentially the use of performance masks and bell covers. At this time, participants must be fully vaccinated (as described by the CDC) at the start of the session. A negative test is required within 48 hours of arrival. Stay tuned to the COVID page at BirchCreek.org/Covid-19.

Tuition: $400

Register Online

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility Adult musicians, 18 and older, of intermediate skill level or higher are eligible. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Community band/orchestra members, music teachers, as well as college students looking for chamber music opportunities are encouraged to apply.

Please note that an informal playing assessment will take place for ensemble placement. Please prepare one or two short selections (etudes or solo pieces) to play on the first day of the retreat.

SCHEDULE & INFO

Schedule Birch Creek Music Performance Center is located in Egg Harbor, WI, about an hour north of Green Bay, WI, in the tourist destination of Door County. The campus is situated on 40 acres of property, where performances will be held in a century-old performance barn.

Check-in begins at 9:00 AM on Monday, August 22, 2022, followed by placement assessment, orientation and lunch. The first music reading session will take place on Monday afternoon. Activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. each day, and will generally end around 4:00 p.m. This will allow participants time to relax and enjoy all that Door County has to offer. The retreat concludes with a final performance on Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Participants may depart on the final day after the concert, or may choose to stay one additional night, if staying onsite.

Tuition $400 (which includes all scheduled music activities, breakfast and lunch for duration of session). All applications must be accompanied by a $75 non-refundable registration fee, which will be applied towards the tuition fee once accepted on a first come, first served basis. If opting for housing on campus, payment for housing is due at the time of registration. On campus housing can be added after registration if rooms are available. Balance of the fee must be paid by August 1. Any cancellations must be received by July 22, 2022 in order to receive a refund (minus the $75 deposit). Early registration is encouraged.

Policies Birch Creek is a 501 c(3) organization. Academy policies are in place to protect the health and well-being of all stakeholders, including all participants and the public, and to protect Birch Creek property. Birch Creek is a smoke-free, alcohol-free, drug-free environment. Weapons are not allowed.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations Limited housing is available on campus in hotel-style rooms located in our faculty dorm building and in student dorms. Rates for faculty housing rooms with private bed/bath are $80 per night. Overflow will be assigned to bunk-style beds with distanced sleeping pods that are available for $40 per night. All rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Spouses are allowed to stay with participants in faculty housing if they are both fully vaccinated as stated by the CDC.

OUR CAMPUS

Meals Continental breakfasts and lunches are included in the fee and will be served in the campus dining areas. Dinners are on your own, off-site. Door County is known for its multiple and varied dining options, including carryout and distanced on-premises seating, from very affordable to high-end culinary experiences, within a short driving distance from the campus.

FACULTY

2022 Chamber Music Retreat Faculty – subject to change

Click for bios.

Carol Dylan
Violin

Crystal Lake, IL

Carol Dylan comes from a family of professional musicians and has played violin most of her life. She received her Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from North Park University in Chicago where she was a pupil of Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and where she was elected by the faculty to receive the University’s Lincoln Medallion award. She was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for six seasons, spending two years as its co-concertmaster and winning the coveted Louis Sudler Award. She received her Master’s degree in Violin Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York as a scholarship pupil of Charles Castleman and attended the Aspen Music Festival as the recipient of a three-year fellowship to study with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. Carol has been the assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 1994 and has participated in its numerous European and American tours, as well as in recordings with that group on the Fanfare and Cedille record labels. Carol is a member of the first violin section of the Elgin Symphony and performs frequently as part of that orchestra’s educational chamber concert series, serving as the first violinist of the orchestra’s string quartet, ESQ. Carol is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the Midwest Mozart Festival Orchestra and can be heard on WFMT’s broadcasts of that group’s performances. A sought-after chamber musician and coach, Carol was first violinist of the Lyra String Quartet for 14 years, performing throughout the Midwest and also serving as quartet-in-residence at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was a member of the adjunct music faculty at North Park University in Chicago for 20 years and currently teaches violin at Elgin Community College in Elgin, along with coaching many area youth orchestra ensembles and chamber groups.  Carol performs frequently with jazz and society bands in Chicago and also enjoys playing in theater orchestras, appearing with Chicago Opera Theater and ballet companies such as the Joffrey Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater and the Bolshoi Ballet, as well as in many Broadway musicals and shows. As a freelancer, Carol performs with several orchestras in the Chicago area including the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and, in the past, the Woodstock Mozart Festival; she also plays in ensembles accompanying such stars as Luciano Pavarotti, Il Divo, and The Eagles.

Janice MacDonald
Flute

Chicago, IL

Performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player, Chicago native Janice MacDonald has appeared on national and international stages, including Mexico, Ethiopia, Mali, and throughout Europe. She is principal flute of the Chicago Sinfonietta, a member of the Chicago Philharmonic, and former solo piccolo of the Lake Forest Symphony. She was a longtime member of the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra and has performed with Music of the Baroque, the Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, Concertante di Chicago, and Ars Viva.

Janice is on the faculty of Loyola University Chicago, and has been a guest artist/clinician at Northwesten University, DePaul University, Cal State Sacramento, Bowling Green University, Columbia College, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Wheaton College, and Roosevelt University.

An alumna of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she holds a BM from DePaul University and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her teachers include Donald Peck, William Bennett, David Shostakovich, and Keith Underwood.

Susan Tang
Piano

Chicago, IL

Susan Tang is Associate Professor of Piano at Northeastern Illinois University, artistic director of the Chicago Chamber Music Festival (an intensive summer workshop for young artists) and a founding member of Keys to Inclusion (an multi-institutional initiative to explore the piano repertoire of Black American composers).

An active professional performer, Susan enjoyed a successful New York solo piano debut at Carnegie-Weill Hall.  New York Concert Review has described her playing as having “well-grounded technique…fluid, elegant readings…highly effective interpretations” a pianist “with an assured playing that sparkled” by the Baltimore Sun and a “fluent pianist” by the Chicago Tribune. In a recent piano duo performance the Chicago Classical Review noted, “The piano four hands team of Louise Chan and Susan Tang literally threw themselves into their amplified instruments, making the dislocated rhythms, explosive roars, glistening high notes and low rumbles speak with acute beauty and concentration.”

Susan Tang received her BM and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music studying with Nelita True and DMA from Manhattan School of Music with Nina Svetlanova.  

Ricardo Castañeda
Symphony Program Director | Oboe & Chamber Music Retreat Program Director

Oak Park, IL

2022 marks Ricardo Castañeda’s 25th year at Birch Creek and his 22nd year as Symphony Session Program Director. Castañeda received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance from Northwestern University. He is a winner of the Northwestern University Concerto Competition and a recipient of the Wade Fetzer award for excellence in performance. He has appeared as a soloist in Latin America, Europe, the United States and more recently Japan. Castañeda is currently Principal Oboist with The Chicago Sinfonietta, and solo English Horn with The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a member of the Chicago Ensemble and Barossa Woodwind Quintet. An active freelance musician, Castañeda enjoys performing all genres of music. He has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater and has been principal oboist for orchestras for The Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Joffrey Ballet as well as numerous Broadway in Chicago shows. Castañeda is on the faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University. Ricardo is integral to the development and oversight of Symphony session programming.

Website: Chicago Sinfonietta – Ricardo Castañeda

John Gaudette
Bassoon

Chicago, IL

John Gaudette studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA. He played in the Dallas Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, and was assistant principal in the Vancouver Symphony. Gaudette freelances in the Chicago area with the Chicago Symphony and Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and Fulcrum Point. He currently teaches at Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. John has been a Birch Creek faculty member for 16 years.

Amanda Grimm
Viola

Chicago, IL

Amanda Grimm enjoys a versatile career as a freelance artist in the greater Chicago area. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University, she has performed as a soloist, recitalist, and concertmaster in both the United States and abroad. Grimm is an active orchestral musician and is Principal Viola of both the Elgin Symphony and Orchestra Iowa and is Assistant Principal of the Illinois Philharmonic. A passionate chamber musician, she is also a member of the KAIA String Quartet, a Chicago-based ensemble that advocates for the music of Latin America.

Katherine Kohler
Clarinet

Nashville, TN

Katherine Kohler joined the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2018 as Assistant Principal and E-flat Clarinet. From 2016-2018 Katherine was the second clarinetist of the Phoenix Symphony, and previous to that she spent three years with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, and since 2011, the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra.

During the summer of 2015, Katherine participated in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, performing under Alan Gilbert as a clarinetist on Mozart’s Gran Partita and E-flat clarinetist on Messiaen’s Des Canyons Aux Étoiles, the latter of which was released in 2016 on the Koch Label. As a chamber musician, Katherine has also performed with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Downtown Chamber Series, Chamber Music Milwaukee, and with the Roma Trio.

She started her orchestral training in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Encore Chamber Orchestra. At the age of seven, Katherine began her clarinet studies with David Boyd, followed by studies with Todd Levy from 2005-13. She graduated from the Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. Katherine is a Selmer Artist, performing on Selmer Signature Clarinets.

Emily Mantell
Cello

Orland Park, IL

Emily Lewis Mantell is a busy freelance cellist in and around Chicago. She is a member of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. She teaches adjunctly at local colleges and from her home studio in Orland Park, IL. Mantell has been a Birch Creek faculty member for 27 years, and she is delighted that her daughter, Sonia, a Birch Creek alumna and now a cellist in the Minnesota Orchestra, will be returning as cello TA at Birch Creek this summer.

Dan O'Connell
French Horn

Chicago, IL

Dan O’Connell is the horn instructor at North Central College and maintains a private studio. As a performer, he has played with most of the Chicago area’s great orchestras and ensembles. O’Connell received a BM from The New England Conservatory and an MM from DePaul University. 2022 is Dan’s eighth year on the Birch Creek Symphony faculty.

Elizabeth York
Violin

Saint Paul, MN

Violinist Elizabeth York is Associate Concertmaster and Personnel Manager of South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and performs on baroque violin with Lyra Baroque Orchestra. She teaches at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and St. Cloud State University. York holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in violin and viola performance from Stony Brook University in New York. 2021 is her eighth year at Birch Creek.

Carol Dylan
Violin
Janice MacDonald
Flute
Susan Tang
Piano
Ricardo Castañeda
Symphony Program Director | Oboe & Chamber Music Retreat Program Director
John Gaudette
Bassoon
Amanda Grimm
Viola
Katherine Kohler
Clarinet
Emily Mantell
Cello
Dan O'Connell
French Horn
Elizabeth York
Violin

String Quartet

Elizabeth York, Violin, Saint Paul, MN Amanda Grimm, Viola, Chicago, IL Emily Mantell, Cello, Orland Park, IL

Woodwind Quintet

Janice MacDonald, Flute, Chicago, IL Ricardo Castañeda, Oboe, Oak Park, IL Katherine Kohler, Clarinet, Nashville, TN John Gaudette, Bassoon, Chicago, IL Dan O’Connell, French Horn, Chicago, IL

Piano

Susan Tang, Piano, Chicago, IL

Faculty subject to change.