Birch Creek Online: Studio Sessions

Whether you are a music student preparing for a musical career, an amateur musician wanting to learn more, or a professional musician wanting to glean from cohorts in the trenches, Birch Creek’s studio sessions will provide current, relevant and important information for you! These one-hour instructional Zoom sessions are tailored for today’s student and adult musicians and are taught by Birch Creek’s nationally and internationally known professional musicians. You will take away valuable insights and practical tips regardless of your musical genres.

 

2021 Studio Sessions – Percussion Series


Drummifying the Rudiments with Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy

Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy ♦ Drummer, Composer, Educator
Taught drumset courses, clinics and workshops in Mexico, Peru, Korea, Japan and the U.S. ♦ Professor of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University ♦ Performs regularly with the Eddie Gomez Trio, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, Daniel Wong Trio and Anders Svanoe Trio ♦ Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Faculty

Learn good practice habits and ideas to develop control of the sticks and feet on the drumset.

Saturday, January 30, 2021 ♦ 11:00 AM (CST)

Register Now

Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

January 30 - Drummifying the Rudiments with Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy

Presenter:  Rodrigo Villanueva-Conroy, drummer, composer, educator

Class Description:  Rodrigo will demonstrate different approaches to practice snare drum rudiments and how to incorporate them into the Drumset. He will demonstrate various cool grooves, patterns and fills derived from the snare drum rudiments. In addition, Rodrigo will share useful practice tips, and stick/feet control techniques: Moeller, Hinger, Level System, Open-Close, Front/Mid/Back Fulcrums, and finger control, heel-down, heel-up, rocking motion.

Rodrigo Villanueva-Conroy is a Professor of Jazz Studies at NIU. He teaches jazz drumset, jazz arranging and directs the NIU Jazz Ensemble. Villanueva-Conroy has played and/or recorded with several jazz, classical and pop artists from Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the U.S. Among them are Eddie Gomez, Stefan Karlsson, Fareed Haque, Ed Saindon, Ben Sidran, Liam Teague, Rodolfo Sanchez, Frank Caruso, Hiro Morozumi, Takayoshi Yoshioka, Jon Nelson, Jangeun Bae, Julio Caliman Smarçaro, Craig Butterfield, Anders Svanoe, Alex Mercado and Latin Pop singers: Lucero, Shaila Durcal and Alejandro Fernandez.

Villanueva-Conroy has presented master classes and concerts at many institutions of higher learning, jazz venues and international jazz festivals in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and the U.S. In addition, he has been featured at the Jazz Education Network, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and the Midwest Clinic. He is a winner of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar program (Brazil 2020-2021). Villanueva-Conroy performs regularly with the Eddie Gomez Trio, Alex Mercado Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group Nucleus, the Anders Svanoe Trio, and his own jazz trio. He endorses Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth drumsticks and Latin Percussion. At Birch Creek, he is a faculty ensemble performer, and teaches drumset and percussion.   www.rodrigovillanueva.com

Register Now:  Drummifying the Rudiments – January 30, 2021

$10 per session

Limited to 100 people on Zoom. High Speed internet is required and, for the best experience, at least an 11″ tablet or laptop. If you use a tablet or phone, download the free Zoom app. A Zoom link will be provided after registering for the class(es). Classes are live at 11:00 AM (CST). The link will be live 10 minutes prior to the start time to allow for timely class admittance. Be sure to mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom site.

Tuna Can Pans: The Making of Steelpans with Yuko Asada

Yuko Asada ♦ Musical Instrument Technician ♦ Composer/Arranger ♦ Adjudicator for Steelpan Festivals and Competitions
Director of Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts Steelband and Steelband Director of NIU Percussion Camp ♦ Conducted workshops in Japan, Australia and Thailand ♦ Co-Founder of Pastiche Steel Ensemble ♦ Birch Creek Assistant Steel Band Director

Learn how steelpans are made and tuned; create three can pans and play a song.

Saturday, February 6, 2021 ♦ 11:00 AM (CST)

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February 6 - Tuna Can Pans: The Making of Steelpans with Yuko Asada

Presenter:  Yuko Asada, technician, composer, arranger, adjudicator, steelband director

Class Description: Students will learn how steelpans are made traditionally. In the first half, Yuko will explain the process of steelpan building with videos and demonstrate how steelpans are tuned. In the second half of the session, students will learn to create pitches on tuna cans using a regular household hammer. The goal is to create three can pans and play a song that only requires three pitches such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Students will need three tuna cans, a pencil with an eraser, a regular hammer, and a phone with a tuning app.

Yuko Asada is a musical instrument technician at Northern Illinois University (NIU) where she directs the NIU Community School of the Arts Steelband and contributes to the daily operations of the NIU Steelband. She also serves as assistant steelband director at Birch Creek Music Performance Center, and steelband director at NIU Percussion Camp. Asada attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University (WVU), where she was first introduced to the art of steelpan building and tuning by Dr. Ellie Mannette. She later pursued and earned a Master of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate in steelpan from NIU, where she gained many years of steelpan building and tuning experience as an apprentice and intern to Trinidadian steelpan builder Dr. Cliff Alexis. Asada has presented her work at multiple conferences including at the Young Women’s Conference in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Princeton University and International Conference and Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago. She conducted several workshops at various locations including Japan, Australia and Thailand. In 2009, Asada co-founded the Pastiche Steel Ensemble, a group of musicians who perform new music for steelpan and advocate for culturally-attuned steelpan education. She also co-founded the Virtual Steelband (virtualsteelband.com) and Pan in Unity (paninunity.com), online performance projects that brought together pannists from around the world. She not only builds, tunes, conducts workshops, and performs, but she also transcribes panorama arrangements, serves as clinician/adjudicator for steelpan festivals and competitions, and composes/arranges for steelbands and chamber groups at all levels. For her many years of work, Asada was the feature of a Japanese documentary show entitled Gutto Chikyubin  (Earth Mail) in 2017 and again in 2020. She was invited to perform her original composition, “Opposite Attraction: 3 Short Pieces for Tenor and Bass Steelpans” at the 2019 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and again in 2021 to present a memorial concert for Dr. Alexis. Her website is yukoasada.com and her works are published by maumaumusic.com and ramajay.com.

Register Now:  Tuna Can Pans: The Making of Steelpans – February 6, 2021

$10 per session

Limited to 100 people on Zoom. High Speed internet is required and, for the best experience, at least an 11″ tablet or laptop. If you use a tablet or phone, download the free Zoom app. A Zoom link will be provided after registering for the class(es). Classes are live at 11:00 AM (CST). The link will be live 10 minutes prior to the start time to allow for timely class admittance. Be sure to mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom site.

More Than Dots on a Page: Beginning Composition with Brian Nozny

Brian Nozny ♦ Composer ♦ Performer ♦ Educator
Compositions regularly programmed and recorded in the U.S. and internationally ♦ Performs in BRN Duo with wife, flutist Rachel Nozny ♦ Assistant Professor of Percussion, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana ♦ Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Faculty

Participants will understand the basics of how to create a musical piece, from developing the musical material to putting down the final double bar line.

Saturday, February 13, 2021 ♦ 11:00 AM (CST)

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Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

February 13 - More Than Dots on a Page: Beginning Composition with Brian Nozny

Presenter:  Brian Nozny, composer, performer, educator

Class Description: This session will walk participants through the basics of composing music. We will briefly discuss the different elements of music, followed by examining how to come up with initial musical material. The course will continue with discussing how to develop your musical ideas, before finally establishing ways to finish your compositions.

Brian Nozny is in demand as a composer, performer, and educator throughout the United States. His compositions are regularly programmed throughout the world and have been featured on multiple international recordings. As a performer, he has worked in a diverse number of settings throughout the US. Currently he performs in the BRN Duo with his wife, flutist Rachel Nozny, as a member of the percussion group JP3, and regularly freelances throughout the Southeast. Brian presently resides in Lake Charles, LA where he is an Assistant Professor of Percussion at McNeese State University.

Register Now:  More Than Dots on a Page: Beginning Composition – February 13, 2021

$10 per session

Limited to 100 people on Zoom. High Speed internet is required and, for the best experience, at least an 11″ tablet or laptop. If you use a tablet or phone, download the free Zoom app. A Zoom link will be provided after registering for the class(es). Classes are live at 11:00 AM (CST). The link will be live 10 minutes prior to the start time to allow for timely class admittance. Be sure to mute yourself upon entry to the Zoom site.

2020 Studio Sessions

September 19, 2020
Audition Preparation for the Advancing Student and Adult Musician
with Katherine Kohler – Clarinetist, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Birch Creek Symphony Faculty and Alumna

September 26, 2020
Technology for Today’s Musician: Tips and Tricks to Submitting High Quality Videos and Recordings
with Michael Thurber – Bassist, Creative Engineer, Composer, Songwriter, Actor, Birch Creek Alumnus

October 17, 2020
Performance Ready in Time for Juries!: Strategies to Get You into an Optimal Performing State
with Renée-Paule Gauthier – Violinist, Educator, High Performance Coach, Birch Creek Symphony Session Concertmaster and Faculty

October 24, 2020
From Artifacts to Artistry in Jazz
with Todd Williams – Tenor Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Flautist, Clinician, Composer, Professor, Birch Creek Jazz II Faculty

October 31, 2020
From Practice Room to the Stage: How to Play a Solo Like a Pro
with Doug Stone – Saxophonist, Teacher, Composer, Arranger, Professor, Birch Creek Jazz I Faculty

November 7, 2020
Getting a Grip on Harmony for the Improvisor
with David Bixler – Saxophonist, Composer, Educator, Birch Creek Jazz II Faculty

November 14, 2020
The Blues and Other Compositional Elements in Improvisation
with Clay Jenkins – Trumpeter, Educator, Birch Creek Jazz II Faculty