Community Outreach

Over 30 free concerts off campus and 10 free concerts on campus were held in summer 2019 with audiences of more than 6,000, meaning that over 50% of the total number served by Birch Creek performances did not have to buy a ticket. Outreach concerts enhance our mission. The concerts meet our performance-based mission, broadening the number of performance opportunities and venues for Birch Creek students. Outreach concerts enhance our commitment to community and accessibility. The civic associations of nearby Door County towns and villages host Birch Creek’s free concerts and promote them as cultural events that support area tourism and expose local residents, without cost, to enriching musical experiences. In addition to larger concerts in town parks, a small jazz combo performs for local businesses, senior centers, farmers markets and area non-profit organizations up and down the Door County peninsula.

Artists in the Schools

Birch Creek independently sustains an outreach program that reaches Door County public school music students each year. Birch Creek faculty members conduct seminars, perform, and demonstrate techniques based on the students’ learning levels. The willingness of our summer faculty members and public school music teachers to partner together for student learning has made this educational outreach program a success.

Since 2002, Birch Creek’s Artists in the Schools outreach program (AIS) has brought nationally acclaimed Birch Creek faculty members back to Door County after the summer performances have concluded to serve as clinicians for local public school music students. Faculty members offer powerful insights into music practice and performance, and through hands-on teaching demonstrate techniques that are immediately applied in the classroom.

Artists in the Schools was launched in 2002 with the support of a grant from the Peninsula Arts Association and has continued as a Birch Creek outreach program each year since then. Artists in the Schools is now underwritten by a grant from The Skinner Family Fund of the Door County Community Foundation. The program continues to bring nationally-recognized musicians into Door County schools for hands-on workshops.

Faculty Members in the Schools

Since 2002, the following Birch Creek faculty members have participated in Artists in the Schools:

2019 (October)
Jazz Combo
Jeff Campbell (Jazz I & Jazz II Program Director and Bass Faculty), Rick Haydon (Jazz II Guitar Faculty) and Reggie Thomas (Jazz II Faculty-at-Large)

2019 (February)
A Tribute to Jazz
Katie Ernst (Jazz, Vocalist & Bass Performer), Tom Vaitsas (piano) and Dustin Laurenzi (tenor saxophone)

2018
Classical, Contemporary and Broadway Musicals
Jodie DeSalvo (Symphony Faculty, Piano) and Jonathan Zeng (Guest Artist, Tenor)

2017
The Language of Jazz
Birch Creek faculty members Jeff Campbell, Ben Wahlund and Ricardo Castaneda
Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (Jazz Faculty)

2016
Jeff Campbell Returns to Door County
Jeff Campbell, Jazz Program Director

2014
World Percussion
Ben Wahlund, Jeff Stitley & Mike Mixtacki (Percussion & Steel Band Faculty)

2013
The Sounds of Music
Jeff Campbell (jazz faculty), Ben Wahlund (Percussion & Steel Band faculty) & Ricardo CastaƱeda (Symphony faculty)

2011
Jazz Grooves
Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (jazz faculty)

2010
Jazz in Juniper
Jeff Campbell, Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (jazz faculty)

2009
Building Jazz Timing
Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (jazz faculty)

2008
The Rhythm of Jazz
Jeff Campbell, Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (jazz faculty)

2007
Time/Feel and Groove
Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon
(jazz faculty)

2006 (November)
Life Beyond the Blue Scales
Reggie Thomas & Rick Haydon (jazz faculty)

2006 (February)
Afro-Cuban & Brazilian Drum Circles and the Three Rs of Musicianship
Vicki Peterson Jenks (percussion & steelpan faculty)

2005
Jazz Bands and Flute Ensembles
Jeff Campbell & Kaye Wagner (jazz faculty and executive director)

2004
Brass Clinics and the Art of Productive Performance
Greg Flint (symphony faculty)

2003
Brass Ensembles and Marimbas
Fred Strum & Dane Richeson (percussion & steelpan faculty)

2002
World Music and Steelpan
Liam Teague & Robert Chappell (percussion & Stella faculty)