Birch Creek Jazz II Program

Birch Creek’s Jazz program offers students a unique learning experience at levels of jazz performance not found in most other jazz programs in America. Our program gives students an effective combination of experiences to help them master the fundamentals of jazz while establishing professional attitudes by playing side-by-side with some of today’s top performers and educators. The only differences between the Jazz II and Jazz I sessions are the dates and the faculty. The curriculum and performance opportunities are the same, and both sessions are under the guidance of Program Director Jeff Campbell.

Jazz II Academy Session

July 28 – August 10, 2019  |  Tuition: $2,100

Need-based and merit scholarships are available.

Applications for Trombones are being accepted. All other sections are filled for this session. Applications to be wait listed will be accepted.

Apply Now

Detailed admissions information, including AUDITION RECORDING REQUIREMENTS can be found in the Application Instructions document on the Apply Now page. NOTE: Returning students are not required to send in an audition unless applying for a scholarship. $100 Application Fee due upon registration, applied to tuition.

2019 Jazz guitar instruction is supported in part by a grant from the Les Paul Foundation.

Areas of Study

Instrumental Technique
Classes are given by master teachers three times per week and cover the fundamentals of effective playing skills and efficient practice.

Jazz Combo
Classes cover improvisation skills from basic to advanced. Performance opportunities are provided.

Jazz Performance Workshops
Workshops incorporate music theory and improvisation into the Combo rehearsals and use repertoire from the Combo as curricular material for study.

Large Ensembles
Directed by outstanding professional educators. Ensembles rehearse daily and perform regularly during the evening concerts. Audition required.

Advanced Student Combo
Made up of advanced students and serves as Birch Creek’s ambassador to the community. This combo performs widely throughout Door County and is featured at numerous Birch Creek concerts. Audition required.

Seminars & Business Workshops
Provide role-playing experiences in different aspects of the music business.

For detailed admissions information, including AUDITION RECORDING REQUIREMENTS, go to the Apply Now page:

Apply Now

Birch Creek Jazz – Jack Mulvey

Jack Mulvey, Trumpet, speaks on his experience with the Academy.

Faculty

Click for bios.

Jeff Campbell
Program Director & Academy Jazz Orchestra Director | Bass

Rochester, NY

2019 marks Jeff Campbell’s 31st year at Birch Creek and his 22nd as Jazz Program Director. Mr. Campbell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. Campbell has carved out an impressive career as a bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he has performed with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko, and has appeared on McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, Campbell has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu jazz festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. Additionally, he is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. Campbell has numerous CDs to his credit.

Website: Jeff Campbell

David Bixler
Alto Saxophone

Bowling Green, OH

Saxophonist, composer, and educator David Bixler is a multi-faceted artist, having received critical acclaim for both his playing and his writing. He actively leads several projects that serve as platforms for his diverse musical interests. As a sideman, Bixler has performed and toured the world with the orchestras of Chico O’Farrill, Lionel Hampton, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. He is also active as a composer in both the jazz and classical worlds. Bixler is the Director of Jazz Studies at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. As both a Selmer and Vandoren Artist, he is active as a clinician throughout the world. A new recording, In the Face of Chaos, with his group, Bixler, Boccato, Cowherd, and Sturm was released fall of 2018. 2019 marks Mr. Bixler’s 20th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.davidbixler.com

Tanya Darby
Trumpet

Boston, MA

Tanya Darby is an educator, bandleader, musician, and clinician. Darby is the Chair of the Brass Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has previously held faculty positions at the University of North Texas, Temple University and The New School University of New York City. As an educator, Darby regularly teaches master classes and has been a clinician and adjudicator at numerous festivals, both domestic and abroad. She received her master’s degree in jazz performance from Rutgers University in 2012, and a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She is a current and veteran member of such groups as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Roy Hargrove Big Band. 2019 marks Darby’s 7th year at Birch Creek.

Rick Haydon
Guitar

Edwardsville, IL

Rick Haydon is Professor Emeritus of Music at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He currently teaches private applied jazz guitar and directs the jazz guitar ensemble. In his 30 plus year career at SIUE, Haydon played a key role in the development and evolution of the jazz program, as well as the university’s recording studio. He also serves on the summer faculty of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy and has numerous CDs to his credit. In 2019, Haydon marks his 20th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.rickhaydon.com

Clarence Hines
Trombone

Jacksonville, FL

Clarence Hines is a trombonist, composer, and arranger who has performed with Bobby Caldwell, Maceo Parker, David Sanborn, and Diane Schuur. His festival performances include the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Recent commissions include works for the Ukranian Chamber Orchestra and the Strings Festival Brass & Percussion Ensemble. Peña Amaya, his original composition for wind ensemble, was premiered in Valencia, Spain earlier this summer (2019). Dr. Hines is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and the Interim Director of the School of Music at the University of North Florida. This is his 13th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.clarencehines.com

Steve Horne
Trombone

Glenview, IL

Steve Horne‘s career spans three decades and includes working with some of the world’s most renowned entertainers. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and went on to study with John Marcellus at Catholic University of America, and continued his studies at North Texas State University. He spent 15 years in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was the lead trombonist for Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Cole, Burt Bacharach, Liberace, Smothers Brothers, Flip Wilson, Dom DeLouise, Phyllis Diller, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Shecky Greene, Bob Hope, George Burns, Liza Minelli, Lido de Paris, Televised telethons, HBO specials, Las Vegas Symphony, Opera, and many more. Horne continues to work as a freelance musician performing at venues in and around Chicago. He maintains a private teaching studio at his home in Glenview, Illinois, as well as at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois and Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. Horne has been a faculty member for 18 years at Birch Creek.

Website: www.acmebone.com

Adaron "Pops" Jackson
Piano

St. Louis, MO

Adaron “Pops” Jackson holds teaching positions at St. Charles Community College, Jazz St. Louis, and is currently and adjunct professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He has performed as a side-man and with his own ensembles throughout the United States and Europe. Jackson has performed and worked with such diverse artists as Ron Carter, Conrad Herwig, John Riley, Harry Allen, Frank Morgan, Victor Mendoza, Steve Houghton, Clay Jenkins, Tom Kennedy, Kim Richmond, LaVerne Butler, Red Holliway, Ellis Marsalis, Arturo Sanndoval, Greg Tardy, Slide Hampton, Wallace Roney, and Dave Scott. Jackson has also toured throughout the United State with the Grammy award-winning Motown legends, The Temptations, and with I Get A Kick Out Of Cole a Live Onstage Production. This will be his 5th year at Birch Creek.

Clay Jenkins
Trumpet

Rochester, NY

Clay Jenkins earned his master’s degree jazz studies from the University of Southern California. He has taught at many schools including the Foundation for the Junior Blind, the University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge and the California Institute of Arts. Jenkins has performed and presented at clinics all over the United States and Canada, as well as in Japan, Italy, Korea, Germany, Portugal, Russia and South Africa. He currently is Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music. Jenkins performs with the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Joe La Barbera Quintet, Trio East and the Eastman Jazz Quartet. He is a professional artist for the Edwards Instrument Company located in Elkhorn, WI. This is Jenkins’ 14th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.clayjenkins.net/

Dennis Mackrel
Drums

Woodstock, NY

Dennis Mackrel is a noted jazz drummer and highly respected composer/arranger and conductor whose work has been recorded and performed by the Count Basie Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, the WDR Radio Big Band from Germany, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw from Holland, the Klüvers Big Band from Denmark, and the McCoy Tyner Big Band, whose Grammy winning CDs included Mackrel’s arrangements.

Nic Meyer
Jazz II Studio Band Director

Chicago, IL

Nic Meyer serves as Director of Jazz Ensembles at New Trier High School, where he oversees a comprehensive jazz program consisting of four large jazz ensembles and six jazz combos. Under his direction New Trier’s Jazz Ensemble 1 has opened for Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at Birdland in NYC, Delfeayo Marsalis and his Uptown Jazz Orchestra at Snug Harbor in New Orleans, along with many other artists at New Trier’s annual Frank Mantooth Jazz Festival, this year featuring The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra with special guest Joey DeFrancesco. Prior to joining the New Trier faculty, Meyer was the jazz program director at Midwest Young Artists. He plays an active role in the educational programming for the Jazz Education Network, and continues to perform as a saxophonist throughout the Chicago region. This is Meyer’s 8th summer leading a band at Birch Creek.

Marty Robinson
Advanced Combo (Ambassadors) Director | Trumpet

Appleton, WI

Marty Robinson is Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He leads his own jazz quintet and is also active as a jazz pianist, arranger, clinician, and trumpeter in symphony orchestras, brass quintets, and Broadway shows. A commissioned composer across genres, Dr. Robinson’s recent works have been performed by the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, trumpeter Byron Stripling, saxophonist Joshua Redman, drummer Herlin Riley, and university wind ensembles and choirs. In 2016, Robinson was the Director of the Wisconsin State Honors Jazz Ensemble. He is the Director of the Jazz II Session Advanced Combo known as the Ambassadors. This is Robinson’s 20th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.uwosh.edu/music/faculty/robinson

Steve Sveum
Jazz II Lab Band Director

Sun Prairie, WI

Steve Sveum is Director of Bands at Sun Prairie High School in Sun Prairie, WI, where jazz ensembles under his direction have been selected twelve times as finalists in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Essentially Ellington” national jazz competition, placing third three times. Sveum has been a faculty member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy and has worked as a clinician at festivals around the United States. He was also a 2014 recipient of the DownBeat Jazz Education Achievement award. This is Sveum’s 18th season at Birch Creek. He is also a co-director of Birch Creek’s Adult Band Camp.

Mardra Thomas
Vocalist

DeKalb, IL

For years, Vocalist/Actress Mardra Thomas has painted a musical and historical picture on stage of the life and legacy of Billie Holiday. Mardra was recently nominated for Chicago’s Black Theater Alliance’s 2018 Lena Horne Award: Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the Evanston, IL production of “Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” Her sultry voice is well suited to showcase Holiday’s sculptured phrasing that stamped a signature style on jazz singing. You’ll see her in theaters, concert halls, jazz festivals and premier clubs. Her music career was sparked in the St. Louis area when she performed for the opening of Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th Birthday Concert. Shortly thereafter she found herself trading scat solos with world-class trumpeter Clark Terry while performing with the East St. Louis Lincoln HS Big Band led by Ronald Carter. Mardra can be heard in radio and TV spots as well as educational and musical recordings.

 

Reggie Thomas
Bass

DeKalb, IL

Pianist/Organist Reggie Thomas for four years has been Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, after three years as Professor of Jazz Piano at MSU and 20 years as Professor of Music at SIU-Edwardsville. Reggie fronts his own groups including the Mardra/Reggie Thomas Ensemble, OGD on Hammond organ and with other artists including Vincent Gardner, Will Matthews, Ann Hampton Callaway and Carl Allen/Rodney Whitaker. He is on faculty for Carnegie Hall’s Inaugural Jazz National Youth Orchestra and a member of The Count Basie Orchestra, and a rhythm section accompanist for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competitions. Reggie has been a longtime consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Essentially Ellington Program and Band Director Academy. His most recent recording is “Matters Of The Heart”(MRTJazz).

 

Todd Williams
Tenor Saxophone

McCordsville, IN

Todd Williams is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Indiana Wesleyan University where he serves as director of the IWU Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, among many other teaching responsibilities. He is pursing his doctoral degree in music education from Indiana University in Bloomington. Williams has performed at most every prestigious venue from multiple dates at the White House to Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. Extensive recording with Wynton Marsalis and guest appearances with such artists as Sir Roland Hanna, the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, and 2012 Grammy Award winner, Christian McBride, decorate his list of accomplishments. Williams is a four-time recipient of ASCAP’s Plus Award for Composers and has recently been honored to be a regional Essentially Ellington festival adjudicator and artist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was a recent featured artist with the Christian McBride Big Band in its New Jersey Performing Arts Center Concert. He was also a featured artist with the Herlin Riley Band at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (NYC) in April 2018 and is sought as a saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist and clinician.

Jeff Campbell
Program Director & Academy Jazz Orchestra Director | Bass
David Bixler
Alto Saxophone
Tanya Darby
Trumpet
Rick Haydon
Guitar
Clarence Hines
Trombone
Steve Horne
Trombone
Adaron "Pops" Jackson
Piano
Clay Jenkins
Trumpet
Dennis Mackrel
Drums
Nic Meyer
Jazz II Studio Band Director
Marty Robinson
Advanced Combo (Ambassadors) Director | Trumpet
Steve Sveum
Jazz II Lab Band Director
Mardra Thomas
Vocalist
Reggie Thomas
Bass
Todd Williams
Tenor Saxophone

Faculty subject to change.

VIEW ALL SUMMER MUSIC ACADEMY FACULTY BIOS

Apply Now