A Musician’s Life at Birch Creek

An engaging inside look at the students and faculty who make up Birch Creek Music Performance Center’s residential music academy in Door County, Wisconsin.

Birch Creek Music Performance Center is a Residential Summer Music Academy on the beautiful Door County peninsula of Wisconsin. Founded in 1976, Birch Creek is a unique academy that provides talented young music students advanced training and mentorship as well as the opportunity to perform publicly alongside top music professionals from the United States and abroad.

Birch Creek offers four 2-week residential summer sessions in Percussion, Steel Pan & World Music, Symphony and Big Band Jazz (two sessions). The student to faculty ratio of 2-to-1 ensures that students receive hands-on mentoring from top music educators and performers. Additionally, students have numerous public performance opportunities before appreciative audiences who have come to expect only the best from Birch Creek.

Please note: Birch Creek will be following CDC and local public health guidelines at the time of programming. Programs are subject to change. This website will provide current updates on the COVID-19 page at the top of the home page.

Summer Music Academy Programs

Registration for the 2023 Summer Music Academy Sessions begins on December 1, 2022.


2022 grant support has been provided by The Les Paul Foundation.

Student Life

During each two-week session, students live on Birch Creek’s 40-acre rural campus in dormitory-style housing, with male and female students living in separate quarters. There are five live-in counselors (many of them musicians themselves) who oversee all student activities. Students, faculty, and counselors share meals in the campus’ dining facility, as well as the opportunity to discuss all matters musical. During morning and afternoon sessions, students train under the guidance of Birch Creek’s faculty of music professionals, receiving individualized instruction, rehearsing in small and large ensembles, and participating in a variety of seminars and specialized classes. Most evenings feature public performances in the Dutton Concert Barn, and students also appear in outreach concerts throughout Door County. While study at Birch Creek is intense, there is free time. Volleyball, basketball, ping pong, chess games, and impromptu jam sessions are popular on-campus pursuits. Additionally, there are supervised trips to Door County’s beautiful beaches and state parks, and many unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Peninsula State Park is a stunning hiking destination and a favorite among Birch Creek students who are new to Door County. Wilson’s, the famous Door County ice cream parlor, is another favorite spot. There is also ample time for practice, and private lessons are available.