Birch Creek Percussion & Steel Band

Registration for the 2022 Percussion & Steel Band Session opens on December 1, 2021.

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.

Percussion & Steel Band Academy

June 19 – July 2, 2022 | Tuition: $2,200
A two-week Percussion Intensive for Students Ages 13-19

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.

Web site: www.dan-moore.com

Anthony Di Sanza
Percussion Faculty Artist

Madison, WI

The summer of 2021 will mark Anthony Di Sanza’s seventh year with Birch Creek. Di Sanza is a Professor of Percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and 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.” 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
Percussion Faculty Artist

Wild Rose, WI

This season, Vicki Peterson Jenks celebrates a milestone of 25 years at Birch Creek. Jenks, a native North Dakotan, received her musical training at Minot State University, UW-Stevens Point, and Baylor University. In 1976, she founded the percussion program at UT-El Paso. For 25 years, she nurtured Jenks Music Studio, the largest percussion studio in Wisconsin. In 2008, she was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame. Jenks greatest teaching passion is guiding the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) Percussion Ensemble for 40 years. Under her direction, past WYSO Percussion Ensembles have received national recognition from PAS, MENC, the National Band Association, WMEA, and the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Jenks and her husband, John, co-founded the HEROES Musicalessm held in their Wild Rose home each spring. Recently, the national Red Cross named the Musicalessm a “best practice”, raising thousands of dollars for both Disaster Relief, Service to the Armed Forces, and COVID Antibody Testing. In addition, she is a Wild Rose Kiwanian, serves as church pianist for Holden Lutheran Parish, and gigs regularly as keyboard-vocalist in local nursing homes and retirement centers. Jenks was named Waushara County (Wisconsin), “Citizen of the Year” in 2011. That year, the American Red Cross bestowed their highest volunteer award—the Clara Barton Honor Award—to Jenks. Vicki Peterson Jenks is a Yamaha artist.

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Scott McConnell
Percussion Faculty Artist

Chicago, IL

Scott McConnell will be celebrating his seventh year working with Birch Creek during the 2021 season. McConnell is an active Steelpan/percussion performer and educator in the Chicagoland area. He works with steelpan programs at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and William Hatch Elementary School. McConnell is a co-founder of Pastiche Steel Ensemble as well as the percussionist for The Four Star Brass Band, a New Orleans-style brass band. He holds a Bachelors, Masters, and Performers’ Certificates in Percussion, Steelpan, and Recording Arts from Northern Illinois University.

Wesley Morgan
Percussion Faculty Performer | Bass

Brookfield, IL

Wesley Morgan is a bassist, audio engineer, and educator in the Chicago area. An instructor at Lewis University on topics related to music technology and jazz history, he also performs with a variety of groups covering a range of musical styles, with a particular emphasis on jazz and popular music. He has recently 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 with Birch Creek since 2015, making 2021 his sixth season.

Website: www.wesleymorganmusic.com

Peter Naughton
Percussion Faculty Artist

Iowa City, IA

Peter Naughton is a percussionist, composer, and educator. As a versatile performer, he specializes in jazz keyboard improvisation, Latin Percussion, marimba literature, and contemporary solo and chamber music. Naughton currently lives in Iowa City, IA where he regularly gigs with the Pandelirium Quartet. He is Professor of Percussion at Monmouth College and has been teaching and performing at Birch Creek for six years.

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. He is Assistant Professor of Percussion at McNeese State University. In 2021, Nozny will be celebrating his sixth season at Birch Creek.

Emily Roane
Percussion Faculty Artist

Philadelphia, PA

Emily Roane is a Philadelphia-based percussion and steel pan performer. Roane holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Iowa and a Master’s of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. She currently teaches steel band at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy and performs with the Philadelphia Pan Stars Steel Orchestra and the Plenty Pepper Band. 2021 marks Roane’s fifth year at Birch Creek.

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Brad Stirtz
Percussion Faculty Artist | Vibraphone

Naperville, IL

Brad Stirtz will be celebrating an amazing 42nd year with Birch Creek for the summer 2021 session. 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 the 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. At Birch Creek, Stirtz is a faculty ensemble performer, directs small ensembles, and teaches improvisation, music theory, and world music.

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 fifth 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. Teague’s 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. He 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.

Website: liamteague.com

Rodrigo Villanueva
Percussion Faculty Artist

Janesville, WI

Rodrigo Villanueva-Conroy is a Professor of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University (NIU). He teaches jazz drumset, jazz arranging, and directs the NIU Jazz Ensemble. Villanueva has presented master classes at many higher learning institutions and performed concerts at jazz venues and festivals across the United States, as well as in Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and South Korea. He has played and recorded with many leading jazz and classical artists including Jangeun Bae, Craig Butterfield, Frank Caruso, Eddie Gomez, Fareed Haque, Stefan Karlsson, Alex Mercado, Hiro Morozumi, Jon Nelson, Ed Saindon, Rodolfo Sanchez, Ben Sidran, Anders Svanoe, Liam Teague, and Takayoshi Yoshioka. Villanueva performs frequently with the Eddie Gomez Trio, the Alex Mercado Trio, the NIU jazz faculty group, Nucleus, and the Anders Svanoe Trio, as well as his own jazz trio. He has been featured at the Jazz Education Network, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, and the Midwest Clinic. He was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar for research and teaching in Brazil, 2020-2023. 2021 is Villanueva’s 11th year at Birch Creek.

Website: www.rodrigovillanueva.com

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

VIEW ALL SUMMER MUSIC ACADEMY FACULTY BIOS