Door County Birch Creek Music Academy announces 2024 concert season


Top music students from around the country join faculty members for concerts in Percussion, Steel Pan, and World Music; Symphony; and Big Band Jazz. Concerts are at Birch Creek’s Dutton Concert Barn.

EGG HARBOR – Birch Creek Music Performance Center announced its 49th summer concert season for 2024, with tickets now on sale for all shows.

Birch Creek is a unique summer music academy offering two-week residential summer sessions in Percussion, Steel Pan and World Music; Symphony; and Big Band Jazz (two separate sessions).

The students, who come from all over the country, rehearse and perform alongside their teachers, renowned professionals who also come from all over the country, during the day, then play alongside them in concerts at night in the Dutton Concert Barn on the Birch. Creek Campus. Small student groups play prelude concerts beginning about 30 minutes before each performance under the Kane Gazebo outside the barn.

The Percussion, Steel Pan and World Music series opens the season with seven concerts from June 20 to 29. The series offers a diverse range of styles, from Caribbean grooves to percussive jazz, world music, original compositions and more. Dan Moore, professor of music and director of percussion at the University of Iowa, is program director, and US Virgin Islands steel virtuoso Victor Provost, known for blending jazz, Caribbean and modern sounds, is scheduled as a guest soloist for three concerts.

The Percussion Series opens with what promises to be a spectacular and unique program with “Percussion at the Disco: I Just Want to Celebrate the 70s!” June 20 and 22. Provost is in concert for the Caribbean Cruise twice on June 28 (Friday matinee and evening show) and the closing Greatest Hits series on June 29.

Other concerts in this session are “Holidays for Percussion”, a program of melodies from various holidays, June 21 and 27; and a Family Percussion Concert at 1pm on June 29.

Led by program director Ricardo Castañeda, principal oboist of the Lake Forest Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta, the Symphony Session concerts feature a full symphony orchestra of 85 musicians under conductor Taka Matsunaga, director of orchestras at Elmhurst University in Illinois.

The Symphony Series runs July 4-13, opening on the afternoon of the Fourth of July with the academy’s traditional “A Birch Creek Symphonic Fourth” featuring a pre-concert pie and social and patriotic music with ice cream during the performance.

Other concerts offer winners of Birch Creek’s 2023 Clampitt Concert Competition on July 5; “American Masters,” featuring Bernstein’s Candide Overture and faculty member Jodie DeSalvo as soloist in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, July 6; “The Romantics: The Music of Rachmaninoff and Verdi,” July 11; “A Pastoral Evening,” featuring Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony and faculty member Elizabeth York as violin soloist in Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” July 12; and “Symphonic Highlights,” with music by Smetana and Delibes, July 13. A free Symphony Family Concert will be held at 1 p.m., July 13.

The two sessions of Big Band Jazz concerts led by program director Jeff Campbell, professor and chair of Jazz & Contemporary Media Studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, run from July 17 to August 10. In addition, the Birch Creek Jazz Ambassadors, a small jazz ensemble of session students and faculty members, play a number of free shows during these four weeks at parks, cafes and other public venues throughout the county.

The Big Band concert schedule is “Swing into Summer,” July 17 and 20; “Basie, Miller and Ellington,” July 18 and 19; “The Styles and Sounds of Big Band Jazz,” July 24 and 27; and “The Joyous Sounds of Swing,” July 25 and 26; “Swing and The American Songbook,” July 31 and Aug. 3; “Jazz and Blues: Big Band Style,” Aug. 1 and 2; “Big Band Jazz Summer Favorites,” Aug. 7 and 10; and “Swing, Blues and Big Band Jazz,” Aug. 8 and 9.

All concerts start at 19:00, except for the 15:00 on 22 June, the early concert on 28 June and 4 July. All are at the Dutton Concert Barn in Birch Creek, 3821 County E, 3 miles east of Egg Harbor. General admission ticket prices are $33 for adults, $10 for students and $6 for children, with premium seating available for $40. For tickets or more concert information, call 920-868-3763 or visit birchcreek.org.

Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or [email protected].

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