Chamber Music Retreat

August 18 – 21, 2021
For Strings, Woodwinds and Piano

Tuition $325

Registration for the 2021 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.

In this 2021 season, modifications to the schedule will be made with your health and safety in mind. Modifications will include the use of outdoor and/or larger well-ventilated rehearsal spaces, shorter rehearsals with frequent breaks, social and performance distancing, and as of now, masks/face coverings and potentially the use of performance masks and bell covers. Stay tuned to the COVID page at birchcreek.org/covid-19.

PRINTABLE PDF APPLICATION

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
Check-in begins at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, followed by placement assessment, orientation and lunch. The first music reading session will take place on Wednesday 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 Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. Participants may depart on the final day after the concert, or may choose to stay one additional night, if staying onsite.

Tuition
$325 (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. Balance of the fee must be paid by August 1. Any cancellations must be received by August 1, 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 if they are both vaccinated.

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

2021 Chamber Music Retreat Faculty – subject to change

Click for bios.

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

Oak Park, IL

2021 marks Ricardo Castañeda’s 24th year at Birch Creek and his 21st 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

Jennifer Clippert
Flute

Chicago, IL

Jennifer Clippert is Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Clippert is a member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Present Music (Milwaukee) and a founding member of Quintet Attacca, one of only two wind quintets to receive the Fischoff National Competition Grand Prize. An enthusiastic supporter of contemporary music, she can frequently be heard playing throughout the greater Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Clippert received both her Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees at Northwestern University with Walfrid Kujala.

Jeremiah Frederick
French Horn

Chicago, IL

Jeremiah Frederick holds the positions of Associate Principal Horn of the South Bend Symphony and Second Horn of the Lake Forest Symphony and plays regularly with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis. In addition, Frederick has played with many Chicago-area ensembles including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Philharmonic, the Grant Park, Elgin, and Rockford Symphonies, the Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Elizandro Garcia-Montoya
Clarinet

Chicago, IL

Elizandro Garcia-Montoya is principal clarinet of the Elmhurst Symphony and Fifth House Ensemble. He performs regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic and Chicago Sinfonietta; and during the summers at the New Hampshire Music Festival and Fresh Inc Festival specializing in new music. Garcia-Montoya has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, Jacksonville Symphony, and was Principal Clarinet of the State of Mexico Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra in Mexico City.

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 15 years.

Kay Kim
Piano

Chicago, IL

As an active chamber musician, pianist Kay Kim enjoys concertizing domestically and internationally each season. She has performed in recitals with members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Pittsburg Orchestra and Paris Opera Orchestra, the recipients of Stradivari Society award, as well as with the faculties of the Juilliard School, Northwestern University and Indiana University among others. She has been one of the conductor/soloist rehearsal pianists at Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2005 where she is privileged to work with the conductors and the soloists in an intimate setting.

Kim has presented recitals in venues such as Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, Carnegie Weill Hall, Bennett Gordon Hall Series at Ravinia Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at Chicago Cultural Center and participated in Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center and Grant Park Music Festival. As a former member of a musical ambassador group Trio Chicago and Friends, she traveled to over 20 countries presenting a comprehensive array of American music from 2006-2013.

Kim currently teaches accompanying at Northeastern Illinois University where she also serves as a full-time staff pianist. She holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from Northwestern University.

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 26 years, and she is delighted that her daughter Sonia, a Birch Creek alumna and now a cellist in the Minnesota Orchestra, will be soloing at Birch Creek this summer.

Vannia Phillips
Viola

Chicago, IL

Vannia Philips has been a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 1998. She has performed with the Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Ars Viva, Lake Forest Symphony, Fulcrum Point, New Black Repertory Ensemble, Joffrey Ballet, and Elgin Symphony. She is in her third season as violist with the Evanston Chamber Opera company. Passionate about teaching, Phillips has taken Suzuki training with Edward Kreitman, Nancy Jackson, and Tom Wermuth at the Western Springs School for Talent Education, Michelle George at the Music Institute of Chicago, and Ann Montzka Smelser. She currently teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago and Music for Youth of Arlington Heights.

Kamen Vatchev
Violin

Valparaiso, IN

Kamen Vatchev is a native of Bulgaria. He did his undergraduate studies at the Music Academy of Bulgaria, during which time he won First Prize and Special Diploma from the Bulgarian National Competition for Chamber Music and performed for four seasons with the first violin section of Sofia Philharmonic. After relocating to the United States, he attended Northwestern University and graduated with a Master’s in Music Performance. He has performed with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet and the Woodstock Mozart Festival. Currently Vachev is a member of the Northwest Indiana Symphony and Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He was appointed Concertmaster of Whiting Festival Orchestra in 2003 and South Shore Orchestra, Valparaiso, Indiana, in 2010.

Vatchev is also a very active teacher. He has taught violin for more than thirty years at Valparaiso University, Hinsdale Center for the Arts, Birch Creek Music Festival and currently teaches at Merrillville and Portage High Schools and First Conservatory of La Grange, Illinois. In addition, he has a large private studio. Many of his students have won competitions and awards. Some of his students have graduated from or are studying music at such prestigious schools as Interlochen Arts Academy and De Paul, Northwestern, Indiana, Boston, Valparaiso, Illinois and Butler Universities.

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.

Ricardo Castañeda
Symphony Program Director | Oboe & Chamber Music Retreat Program Director
Jennifer Clippert
Flute
Jeremiah Frederick
French Horn
Elizandro Garcia-Montoya
Clarinet
John Gaudette
Bassoon
Kay Kim
Piano
Emily Mantell
Cello
Vannia Phillips
Viola
Kamen Vatchev
Violin
Elizabeth York
Violin

String Quartet

Kamen Vatchev, Violin, Valparaiso, IN
Elizabeth York, Violin, Saint Paul, MN
Vannia Phillips, Viola, Chicago, IL
Emily Mantell, Cello, Orland Park, IL

Woodwind Quintet

Jennifer Clippert, Flute, Chicago, IL
Ricardo Castañeda, Oboe, Oak Park, IL
Elizandro Garcia-Montoya, Clarinet, Chicago, IL
John Gaudette, Bassoon, Chicago, IL
Jeremiah Frederick, French Horn, Chicago, IL

Piano

Kay Kim, Piano, Chicago, IL

Faculty subject to change.