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.

Michael StrykerImprovising at the Piano with Dr. Michael Stryker

Michael Stryker ♦ Pianist ♦ Educator
Director of Jazz Studies and Clinical Professor at University of Illinois-Chicago ♦ Birch Creek Jazz I Faculty

Explore the piano as a triple-threat all rolled into one: a percussion instrument….a chordal instrument….and a melodic instrument.

Saturday, April 17, 2021 ♦ 11:00 AM (CST)

Register Now

Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

Improvising at the Piano with Dr. Michael Stryker

Presenter:  Michael Stryker, pianist, educator

Class Description:  Soloing as a jazz pianist is a killer blend of voicings played by the left hand, voicings played by both hands, and melodies played in the right hand. The left hand is also a rich melodic resource. Learn about harmony expressed vertically by the left hand, as well as by the right hand. We will explore these topics as well as the concept of the piano as a triple-threat: it’s a percussion instrument, chordal instrumental, and melodic instrument all rolled into one. All instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome.

Bio:  Michael Stryker is the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Jazz Studies Program as well as Clinical Professor of Music, where he directs the UIC Jazz Ensemble and teaches Jazz Piano and Improvisation. Dr. Stryker is also on the faculty of the Birch Creek Summer Music Performance Center located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, teaching Jazz Piano, coaching Jazz Combos, and performing with the resident faculty big band. His doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music were completed fall of 2009, with the degree awarded spring of 2010. Past degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University in 1985 and both the B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in 1996. He was also certified to teach Kundalini Yoga in 2017. Previous teaching positions include Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Stryker is co-leader of a jazz quintet called Condition Blue, whose first CD, Condition Blue Live, was released January of 2007. He can also be heard on Roots and Branches (Jazz Excursion Records, 2007) with the Shirantha Beddage Quartet. Led by drummer/composer Tom Marko, Dr. Stryker’s most recent recording is Into the Light (Summit Records, 2016), and features NYC veteran Scott Wenholdt on trumpet. He is fortunate to have worked with many masterful musicians, including Maria Schneider, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Dave Douglas, Freddie Hubbard, Jim Snidero, Robin Eubanks, James Moody, John Fedchock, Kim Richmond, Clay Jenkins, Gary Foster, Bob Mintzer, Joshua Breakstone, and Carl Allen.

Register Now:  Improvising at the Piano – April 17, 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.

The Jazz Ear: Making the Leap from Theory to Listening to Playing Your Instrument with Tom Garling

Tom Garling ♦ Trombonist ♦ Composer ♦ Teacher
Birch Creek Jazz I Faculty

Learn how to develop your ears and make the connection between what you know and what you hear in music. Suitable for all jazz players.

Saturday, April 24, 2021 ♦ 11:00 AM (CST)

Register Now

Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

The Jazz Ear: Making the Leap from Theory to Listening to Playing Your Instrument with Tom Garling

Presenter:  Tom Garling, trombonist, composer, teacher

Class Description:  During this session, we will explore ways to develop your ears and make the connection between what you know and what you hear in music. Jazz is primarily an art form of listening, communication, and imitation. However, the best jazz musicians are the ones who have a deep understanding of jazz theory, and music theory in general. This masterclass will try to take some of the mystery out of theory and show you how to listen to music for the purpose of learning it on your instrument. Suitable for all Jazz players.

Bio:  After attending the Berklee College of Music for two years, Tom Garling’s first break into the professional jazz scene was with Buddy Rich in 1986 at the age of twenty. After touring with Buddy for a year, he was offered a full scholarship to attend the University of Miami, where he received his Master’s degree in 1992, majoring in Jazz Composition and Arranging with an emphasis in studio jazz writing. Shortly thereafter, Maynard Ferguson hired him as Trombonist and Musical Director from 1992-1998.

His writing and playing can be heard on albums by Maynard, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente, Dianne Schuur, Michael Feinstein, Frank Mantooth, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Chicago Yestet, to name a few. He has been in high demand for the past 30 years as performer, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, teacher, director, clinician, and professional musician at any capacity.

He currently resides in the Chicago area and maintains a busy schedule consisting of teaching, writing, performing and recording, and touring. Recent appearances have been with Frank Sinatra Jr., the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Yestet, and numerous Clinician/Guest soloist performances throughout the country. He is teaching both privately and in numerous institutions around the Chicago area in the fields of jazz composition and arranging, jazz trombone, jazz theory and jazz improvisation.

Tom Garling plays a modified King 2B “Jiggs Whigam” model trombone and a King 7C mouthpiece. tomgarling.com

Register Now: The Jazz Ear – Saturday, April 24, 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.

Rhythm Guitar: The Heartbeat of the Band with Larry Brown Jr.

Larry Brown Jr. ♦ Guitarist ♦ Composer ♦ Arranger ♦ Singer/Songwriter ♦ Producer ♦ Band Leader ♦ Educator
Birch Creek Jazz I Faculty

Learn about the many hats that rhythm guitarists find themselves wearing during the course of their careers.

RESCHEDULED FOR FALL 2021

Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

RESCHEDULED FOR FALL 2021 - Rhythm Guitar: The Heartbeat of the Band with Larry Brown Jr.

Presenter:  Larry Brown Jr., guitarist, composer, arranger, singer/songwriter, producer, band leader, educator

Class Description:  Is this session, we will discuss the many musical hats that a rhythm guitarist will find themselves wearing through the course of a career.
Examples of different roles and tasks performed by the rhythm guitarist:

  • Being the heartbeat a Big Band
  • Finding riffs and rhythms
  • Knowing what to listen for while performing
  • Comping for Combos, Vocalists, and YOURSELF
  • Playing Solo Guitar

Bio:  Larry Brown Jr. is a guitarist who holds degrees from Southern Illinois University in Jazz Performance and from Northern Illinois University, with a Master’s in Jazz Studies. A Kennedy Center Jazz Ahead Alumnus, Brown has toured nationally and internationally as a composer/arranger as well as a band leader. He has released two records of original compositions (There Can Only Be One –  2011; The Music & The Moment –  2015). He is a contributing writer to the book Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz – Volume 2.

Jazz Concepts for Brass with Dr. Clarence Hines

Clarence Hines  ♦  Trombonist  ♦  Composer  ♦  Arranger  ♦  Educator
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at University of North Florida ♦ Birch Creek Jazz II Faculty

For all jazz brass players, this session will focus on concepts in jazz improvisation.

Saturday, April 10, 2021 ♦  11:00 AM (CST)

RESCHEDULED FOR FALL 2021

Select blue bar below for class description and full bio.

RESCHEDULED FOR FALL 2021 - Jazz Concepts for Brass with Dr. Clarence Hines

Presenter:  Dr. Clarence Hines, trombonist, composer, arranger, educator

Class Description:  This session will focus on beginning to intermediate concepts in jazz improvisation. We will begin with a discussion about learning tunes and will address playing melodies and implying harmonies. Along the way, you will be given guidance on developing a good sound and time feel. You are encouraged to have your instrument on hand and be ready to participate. Suitable for all jazz brass players.

Bio:  Clarence Hines is a trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator with a diverse musical background. He has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, and has written works for a variety of small and large ensembles. Included among the artists and groups with which Clarence has performed are Slide Hampton, Bob Brookmeyer, John Pizzarelli, David Sanborn, Maceo Parker, Diane Schuur, Bobby Caldwell Johnny Mathis, Josh Groban, The Temptations, The OJays, The Harry James Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Clarence’s compositions and arrangements are performed by professional and collegiate ensembles around the country. Recent works were premiered at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, World Association of Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference in Spain, and the Strings Music Festival in Colorado. In addition, many of Clarence’s compositions and arrangements are published by UNC Jazz Press and Really Good Music. These works are also distributed globally by eJazzLines, J.W. Pepper, and Sheet Music Plus.

Clarence serves as the Director of the School of Music at the University of North Florida. He served on the faculty of the Eastman Summer Jazz Studies and the Tritone Fantasy Jazz Camp and is currently on the faculty of the Birch Creek Music Performance Center. Clarence is an artist/clinician for Conn-Selmer and plays C.G. Conn Trombones exclusively. clarencehines.com

Register Now:  Jazz Concepts for Brass – April 10, 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.

 

2021 Studio Sessions (completed)

January 31, 2021
Drummifying the Rudiments
with Rodrigo Villanueva Conroy – Drummer, Composer, Educator, Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Faculty

February 6, 2021
Tuna Pan Cans: The Making of Steelpans
with Yuko Asada – Musical Instrument Technician, Composer/Arranger, Adjudicator for Steelpan Fesitvals and Competitions, Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Assistant Steel Band Director

February 13, 2021
More Than Dots on a Page: Beginning Composition
with Brian Nozny – Composer, Performer, Educator, Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Faculty

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