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Birch Creek Online
2020 Virtual Music Academy

The 2020 Residential Summer Academy is closed however we have an exciting new opportunity for music students! We invite students to join us in Birch Creek Online, a virtual music and performing experience. Birch Creek faculty have transformed on-campus program rehearsals, masterclasses and lessons into virtual experiences that combine the joy and intensity of the Birch Creek campus setting with an interactive experience of summer music instruction.

Find dates, schedules, faculty, options for study and enrollment fees for each session below.

2020 Percussion & Steel Band Online

PERCUSSION & STEEL BAND ONLINE – June 22-26, 2020

Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Faculty present three hours of instruction each morning with a one-hour performance at 1:00 PM each afternoon. Sessions include group warm-ups and technique sessions as well as special presentations by Birch Creek Faculty who will invite you into their homes, offices, or studios for a unique and personal virtual tour. Watch our Work, or WOW, sessions include opportunities for participants to learn and ask questions of faculty from around the country.

Even though we cannot all be together this summer, you can still learn from our incredible faculty. If you have never attended Birch Creek but would like to find out what it’s all about, this is the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse into what we do at Birch Creek.

Birch Creek Online Percussion & Steel Band Faculty* includes:
Dan Moore, Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band Program Director; University of Iowa
Liam Teague, Birch Creek Steel Band Director; Northern Illinois University
Yuko Asada, Northern Illinois University
Anthony Di Sanza, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Peter Naughton, Professional Musician, Naughton McFarland Percussion Duo
Brian Nozny, McNeese State University
Emily Roane, Professional Musician, Steve Weiss Music, Philadelphia, PA
Brad Stirtz, Peace Lutheran Church, North Central College
Rodrigo Villanueva, Northern Illinois University
Additional Faculty TBA

* Faculty subject to change

Cost:  $300
Additional $25 for each private lesson.
Refer a friend who registers and receive $25 off for each referral.

Recommended technical requirements: High Speed internet, camera equipped computer or tablet, and headphones or earbuds.

Register Now

2020 Symphony Online

SYMPHONY ONLINE – June 29-July 3, 2020

Experience a taste of Birch Creek’s summer academy by joining our faculty online! With over 20 hours of instruction and mentoring over five days, you will learn from professional musicians in a comfortable, virtual setting. Classes include faculty-led daily warm-ups, private lessons, virtual lunchtime conversations covering a variety of musician topics including practicing, audition preparation and tech tips for video auditions and recording, techniques/chamber music classes, masterclasses for all students to perform and get immediate feedback from faculty.

Age eligible 2020 participants are automatically accepted to 2021 session.

Concerto Competition
Upon registering, students may upload a video of a solo, accompanied or unaccompanied performance from this past academic year. Remote collaboration with an accompanist, Smart Music©, Cadenza Live© or accompaniments from YouTube are all acceptable. The winner(s) will perform at the opening concert of the 2021 symphony session.

Birch Creek Online Symphony Faculty* includes:
Ricardo Castañeda, Birch Creek Symphony Program Director and oboe instructor; Principal Oboist – Chicago Sinfonietta; Northeastern Illinois University / University of Illinois at Chicago, adjunct faculty
Jodie DeSalvo, Piano Soloist with numerous orchestras
Robert Everson, Timpanist – Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, Elgin Symphony Orchestra; Concordia University, percussion instructor
Shannon Finney, Associate Principal Flute – Kansas City Symphony
John Gaudette, Freelance Bassoonist in the Chicago area; Northern Illinois University / University of Illinois at Chicago, bassoon instructor
Amanda Grimm, Principal Viola – Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Iowa
EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Principal Second Violinist – New Bedford Symphony; University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, violin instructor
Katherine Kohler, Assistant Principal and E-flat Clarinet – Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Matt Lee, Principal Trumpet – Chicago Sinfonietta; Elmhurst College, trumpet instructor
Marcia Henry Liebenow, Concertmaster – Peoria Symphony Orchestra; Bradley University, professor of violin, viola and chamber music
Emily Mantell, Cellist – Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Philharmonic
Dan O’Connell, Freelance French Horn – Chicago area; North Central College / Merit School of Music, french horn instructor
Charles Schuchat, Tubist – Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta; Roosevelt University, tuba instructor and head of brass department
Faye Seeman, Principal Harpist – Chicago Sinfonietta; Wheaton College / Northern Illinois University, harp instructor
Tom Stark, Trombone – Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony; Concordia University / Elmhurst College / Wheaton College, trombone instructor
Alan Steiner, Bassist – Chicago Sinfonietta

For more complete bios, see the Faculty page.

* Faculty subject to change

Cost: $350 for the week, which includes two private lessons per student
Additional private lessons are available for $25 per lesson.
Refer a friend who registers and receive $25 off for each referral.

Recommended technical requirements: High Speed internet, camera equipped computer or tablet, and headphones or earbuds.

Register Now

2020 Jazz I Online

JAZZ I ONLINE – July 13-17, 2020

Enjoy a unique learning experience with this new, one-week, online session led by Birch Creek Summer Academy Jazz faculty. Mornings will begin with Instrumental Masterclasses, covering the fundamentals of effective playing skills and practice habits. An hour of Improvisation class will follow.  Each day will close with a Group Session run by Birch Creek’s finest Jazz I faculty performing artists. You may also sign up for private lessons with a faculty member of your choice for an additional $25. All thirty-minute private lessons will be scheduled daily, on a first-come, first-served basis, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM and at the end of the day, availability permitting.

Birch Creek Online Jazz I Faculty* includes:
Jeff Campbell, Birch Creek Jazz I Program Director, Eastman School of Music, bass
Larry Brown, Professional Musician, guitar
Scott Burns, DePaul University / Loyola University / Columbia College-Chicago, alto saxophone
Tom Garling, Elmhurst College / Roosevelt University / Northern Illinois University, trombone
Dennis Mackrel, Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music, drums
Audrey Morrison, Music Institute of Chicago, trombone
Doug Stone, Louisiana State University, tenor saxophone
Joey Tartell, Indiana University, trumpet

* Faculty subject to change

Cost:  $300
Additional $25 for each private lesson.
Refer a friend who registers and receive $25 off for each referral.

Recommended technical requirements: High Speed internet, camera equipped computer or tablet, and headphones or earbuds.

Register Now

2020 Jazz II Online

JAZZ II ONLINE – July 27-31, 2020

Enjoy a unique learning experience with this new, one-week, online session led by Birch Creek Summer Academy Jazz faculty. Mornings will begin with Instrumental Masterclasses, covering the fundamentals of effective playing skills and practice habits. An hour of Improvisation class will follow.  Each day will close with a Group Session run by Birch Creek’s finest Jazz II faculty performing artists. You may also sign up for private lessons with a faculty member of your choice for an additional $25. All thirty-minute private lessons will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM (M-F) and at the end of the day, availability permitting.

Birch Creek Online Jazz II Faculty* includes:
Jeff Campbell, Birch Creek Jazz II Program Director, Eastman School of Music, bass
David Bixler, Bowling Green State University, alto saxophone
Clay Jenkins, Eastman School of Music, trumpet
Dennis Mackrel, Queens College, Aaron Copland School of Music, drums
Reggie Thomas, Northern Illinois University / Jazz at Lincoln Center, Essentially Ellington, piano
Todd Williams, Indiana Wesleyan University, tenor saxophone

* Faculty subject to change

Cost:  $300
Additional $25 for each private lesson.
Refer a friend who registers and receive $25 off for each referral.

Recommended technical requirements: High Speed internet, camera equipped computer or tablet, and headphones or earbuds.

Register Now