Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band

Registration for the 2021 Percussion & Steel Band Session is now open!

Located in the beautiful peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin, the Birch Creek Percussion and Steel Band Session features a unique learning community approach to education that focuses on individual student growth in small and large group settings. Each day, you will work with some of the nation’s top percussion educators, composers, and performers. You will learn from them, watch them perform, and perform alongside them.

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 so please check the COVID-19 page for the latest news.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, international applicants will not be accepted to the 2021 Summer Music Academy.

Percussion & Steel Band Academy

Senior Track | June 13-26, 2021 | Tuition: $2,100
A two-week Percussion Intensive for Students Ages 14-19

Junior Track | June 13-19, 2021 | Tuition: $900
A one-week Percussion Experience for Students Ages 13-15

Need-based and merit scholarships are available.

Areas of Study

Concert Percussion
Fine tune your fundamental percussion skills on snare drum, keyboard instruments, timpani, and accessory instruments (tambourine, triangle, cymbals, etc.)

Percussion Ensemble
Under the guidance of some of the most knowledgeable conductor/teachers, you will engage with important music for percussion ensemble—from classic repertoire to the newest compositions, world music, and novelty selections.

Steel Band
The Birch Creek Steel Band provides an exciting opportunity to perform with, and learn from internationally-known, steel pan virtuoso Liam Teague. You will learn performance techniques, steel pan history, and composing and arranging for steel pans.

Composition
Birch Creek gives you the unique opportunity to learn about composing for percussion. You will learn composition and arranging techniques and even have the chance to write your own music.

Drum Set
Learn new musical styles and techniques and fine tune your chops.

World Percussion
Experience a variety of world music styles. Birch Creek Faculty Artists have a wide range of expertise in musical styles from around the world.

Apply Now

Birch Creek Percussion – Behind the Scenes

The Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band summer academy in Egg Harbor, WI offers a comprehensive summer education experience for the young adult percussionist. Through firsthand experience with many performances, small-group instruction, and master classes, this program provides an incredible study of all the instruments and styles expected of today’s percussionist who is planning on working at the college level and beyond.

Percussion & Steel Band Faculty

Subject to change

Dan Moore
Percussion & Steel Band Program Director | Faculty Artist

Iowa City, IA

Dan Moore is in his 23rd year as a Birch Creek faculty member and has served as Director of the Percussion & Steel Band Program since 2016. Dr. Moore is Professor of Percussion and Director of the award-winning percussion program at The University of Iowa where he recently received the Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. Moore is an internationally known musician, composer, and educator. He is a Yamaha international performing artist, a signature mallet artist for Innovative Percussion, and a performing artist for Sabian Cymbals, Gon Bops Percussion, and Grover Pro Percussion. His music is published by Row-Loff Productions, Innovative Percussion, Alfred Publishing, and Cricket City Music and Media. At Birch Creek, Moore leads the faculty ensemble and teaches marimba/vibes performance, improvisation, leadership, snare drum technique, ensemble performance, and musicianship. Dan has worked tirelessly developing online instruction that engages music students and Percussion Session faculty.

Web site: www.dan-moore.com

Anthony Di Sanza
Faculty Artist

Madison, WI

Anthony Di Sanza is a recognized international performer and educator who has performed, presented master classes, and held residencies in North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 45 colleges, universities and conservatories, and has performed as soloist and chamber musician in some of the world’s most important concert halls. Di Sanza can be heard on over 15 internationally distributed recordings with various artists, including; Sole Nero-Piano and Percussion Duo, Mark Hetzler Chamber Ensemble, Linda Maxey with Galaxy Percussion and Keiko Abe and the Michigan Chamber Players. In a review of his 2011 solo recording, On the nature of…, All Music Guide writes; “Di Sanza dazzles not only in the assurance and polish of his playing but in his tremendous vitality and spontaneity.” He recently recorded Michael Udow’s multiple percussion concerto Moon Shadows. Professor of Percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Di Sanza is an endorser of Encore Mallets, Black Swamp Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Remo Drumheads, as well as an educational endorser of Pro-Mark Drumsticks. At Birch Creek, he is a faculty performing artist, teaches a variety of world percussion styles, and directs small and large ensembles.

Vicki Peterson Jenks
Faculty Artist

Wild Rose, WI

Vicki Peterson Jenks is celebrating her 23rd year at Birch Creek. She recently completed her 38th year as Director of Percussion for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. In 2008, she received the highest recognition presented to any percussion educator in the world – the Percussive Arts Society’s ‘Lifetime Achievement in Education’ award and was inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame. As an active freelance percussionist, Jenks performed for 10 years with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and 22 years as Principal Timpanist with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She currently serves as Master Adjudicator for the Wisconsin Schools Music Association. Between 1985 and 2005, she owned and operated Wisconsin’s largest private percussion studio, Jenks Music Studio, with alumni who currently hold top positions in orchestras and universities around the globe. Jenks is an Artist Clinician for Yamaha, Sabian, Mike Balter, and Vic Firth. At Birch Creek, she is a faculty ensemble performer, directs large and small ensembles and teaches Yo-Chi (a mix of Tai Chi and Yoga).

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Scott McConnell
Faculty Artist

Chicago, IL

Scott McConnell is an active Steelpan/percussion performer and educator in the Chicagoland area. He is Steel Orchestras Director at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and works with steelpan programs at William Hatch Elementary School. Scott is a co-founder of Pastiche Steel Ensemble as well as the percussionist for Orange Star, an acoustic pop group in Chicago. Scott holds a Bachelors, Masters, and Performer’s Certificates in Percussion, Steelpan, and Recording Arts from Northern Illinois University.

Wesley Morgan
Faculty Artist | Bass

Brookfield, IL

Wesley Morgan is a bassist, audio engineer, and educator in the Chicago area. Originally from Kansas, Wesley began performing professionally as a bassist at the age of fifteen. His interest in music production grew after a band he performed with during his high school years independently recorded and released an album. He subsequently attended  the University of Memphis where he studied recording technology and receive his B.M. in 2008. While in Memphis his interest in jazz music flourished. Morgan relocated to Illinois to pursue a M.M. at Northern Illinois University in jazz studies, which he received his in 2015.

Currently, he instructs courses at Lewis University on topics related to music technology and jazz history. Morgan performs with a variety of groups covering a range of musical styles, with a particular emphasis on jazz and popular music. He has also commenced an archival project in which he is recording a large swath of modern jazz and improvisational musicians, primarily from the Chicago area, while fulfilling the roles of bassist and production engineer on the recordings. The goal of the project is to document current approaches to improvised music while giving a nod to the notable contributions to jazz history made in Chicago nearly a century ago.

Morgan has performed as a bassist for the Birch Creek Percussion and Steel Band session since 2015.

Website: www.wesleymorganmusic.com

Peter Naughton
Percussion Teaching Assistant / Performer

Iowa City, IA

Peter Naughton is a percussionist, composer, and educator. As a versatile performer, he specializes in jazz keyboard improvisation, marimba literature, and contemporary solo and chamber music. Naughton currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where he regularly gigs with the Pandelirium Quartet.

Brian Nozny
Composer in Residence

Lake Charles, LA

Brian Nozny is in demand as a performer, composer, and educator throughout the United States. His compositions are regularly programmed around the world and have been featured on multiple international recordings. As a performer, Nozny has worked in a diverse number of settings; 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 United States. Nozny is Assistant Professor of Percussion at McNeese State University.

Emily Roane
Percussion Teaching Assistant / Performer

Philadelphia, PA

Emily Roane is a Philadelphia-based percussion performer and employee of Steve Weiss Music. She holds degrees in music from the University of Iowa (BM) and the University of Minnesota Duluth (MM).

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Brad Stirtz
Faculty Artist | Vibraphone

Naperville, IL

Vibraphonist Brad Stirtz has gained a reputation as an outstanding professional mallet percussionist, both onstage and in the studio. Brad’s music career has spanned the globe, with concerts in Uganda, Trinidad and throughout the U.S. He has performed or recorded with such jazz luminaries as Ed Thigpen, Patricia Barber, Jerry Goodman, Dan Haerle and Fareed Haque. He toured with the Janice Borla Group, and is featured on her recordings Lunar Octave and Agents of Change. A native of Minden, Nebraska, Stirtz earned his Master of Music degree in percussion performance at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. As a jazz/percussion educator, he has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory, Roosevelt University and North Illinois University, and is currently on faculty at North Central College. He recently received a second Master’s degree in Theology from Concordia University Chicago and now serves as Director of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Lombard, Illinois. Stirtz has been a member of the faculty at Birch Creek for 40 years. At Birch Creek, Stirtz is a faculty ensemble performer, directs small ensembles, and teaches improvisation, music theory, and musicianship.

Website: Brad Stirtz

Liam Teague
Steel Band Director / Faculty Artist | Steelpan

DeKalb, IL

This year marks Liam Teague’s 26th season with Birch Creek and his seventh as Steel Band Director. Teague is Professor of Music and Head of Steelpan studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he also directs the renowned NIU Steelband. He is also the recipient of an NIU Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor Award. His commitment to demonstrating the great musical possibilities of the steelpan has taken him throughout the world, and he has received many awards from his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Humming Bird National Award (Silver) and the Ansa McAl Caribbean Award for Excellence. Teague has also performed with many diverse ensembles which include: National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony, Czech National Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Panama National Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta. He has appeared in concert with Grammy-Award winning musicians Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Samuels, Zakir Hussain and Dame Evelyn Glennie. Teague serves as arranger for the Nutrien Silver Stars Steel Orchestra at Panorama (the most celebrated steelband competition in the world).

Website: liamteague.com

Rodrigo Villanueva
Faculty Artist

Janesville, WI

Drummer and composer Rodrigo Villanueva holds a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. As a composer, he has arranged and/or sequenced music for pop artists and has published several original compositions for jazz big band (ASCAP). As an educator, Villanueva has taught drumset courses, clinics and workshops at many institutions in Mexico, Peru, Korea, Japan and the U.S. He is currently professor of jazz studies at Northern Illinois University where he teaches jazz drums, jazz arranging and directs the NIU Jazz Lab Band. Villanueva performs regularly with his jazz trio and quartet, the Eddie Gomez Trio, the NIU Jazz Faculty Group Nucleus, Liam Teague’s Panoramic, Daniel Wong Trio and Anders Svanoe Trio. He endorses Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth drumsticks and Latin Percussion. At Birch Creek, Rodrigo is a faculty ensemble performer, and teaches drumset and percussion.

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Website: www.rodrigovillanueva.com

Dan Moore
Percussion & Steel Band Program Director | Faculty Artist
Anthony Di Sanza
Faculty Artist
Vicki Peterson Jenks
Faculty Artist
Scott McConnell
Faculty Artist
Wesley Morgan
Faculty Artist | Bass
Peter Naughton
Percussion Teaching Assistant / Performer
Brian Nozny
Composer in Residence
Emily Roane
Percussion Teaching Assistant / Performer
Brad Stirtz
Faculty Artist | Vibraphone
Liam Teague
Steel Band Director / Faculty Artist | Steelpan
Rodrigo Villanueva
Faculty Artist

VIEW ALL SUMMER MUSIC ACADEMY FACULTY BIOS