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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Music, Performing Arts Schools

Mission: to provide intensive, performance-based instruction to promising young musicians by immersing them in a professional, mentoring environment.

Results: Founded in 1976, Birch Creek pairs talented youth with world-class artists and educators in the musical genres of symphony, percussion & steel band, and jazz in four 2-week sessions a rural, idyllic campus 3 miles east of Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Students study by day and perform with professionals by night (as well as in outreach concerts) for audiences of more than 11,000 each season. Students have gone on to become touring performers with the likes of Buddy Rich, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra Jr, Maynard Ferguson, and Jon Batiste, to name a few; to win seats in symphony orchestras; to become members of the music faculty at colleges and universities; and to publish/produce literature (both compositions as well as trade magazines) for the music field.

Target demographics: advanced young musicians ages 13 - 19

Direct beneficiaries per year: 192 students, 107 faculty and teaching assistants, 11,300 concertgoers (paid tickets and free outreach audiences), 139 volunteers, and 21 local school students in educational outreach (Artists in the Schools).

Geographic areas served: Wisconsin, the Midwest, and beyond

Programs: Four two-week resident sessions and one one-week session are offered each summer in the following genres: Symphony, Percussion & Steel Band, Big Band Jazz (two sessions), and Vocal Jazz (one week). Approximately 50 students are enrolled in jazz and symphony sessions, 25-30 in percussion, and 20 in vocal jazz with a 1.8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Scott155

Donor

Rating: 5

I first began attending Birch Creek concerts about 8 years ago. I never knew how wonderful a symphony could sound played by middle school and high schoolers. The next year I attended a jazz concert and the next a percussion concert. What the faculty does with those young ladies and young men is astounding! I am so proud that our little Door County is the location for such a venue. Keep up the great work Birch Creek!

Donor

Rating: 5

Perfect place for a youth to find his/her niche in the guidance of career greats. All with a single purpose, to share their gifts. Excellent end of session concerts! Perfect backdrop for a great community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hi:

I've been on the jazz teaching faculty at Birch Creek Music Performance Center for almost 15 years. It is such a positive force in the lives of the young musicians who come there each summer. They are immersed in the art of jazz music, challenged and lovingly supported by the faculty, led by Jazz Program Director Jeff Campbell, and a 100% committed staff, led by Executive Director Mona Christensen. It's a marvelous place to be involved with, and for as long as I'm able, I'll continue to be a part of Birch Creek.

Michael Stryker, D.M.A.
Professor, Jazz Piano
Associate Director, WIU Jazz Program
School of Music
Western Illinois University
309.298.1544 (Office)
585.315.2371 (Cell)
MS-Stryker@wiu.edu

Comments ( 1 )

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KateRericha 11/25/2016

Your role, Dr. Stryker, as mentor, educator and performer is essential to the success of every Birch Creek student. Thank you. Kate, Birch Creek Staff

Donor

Rating: 5

For more than 40 years Birch Creek has been providing young people world class performance music instruction. We have been volunteering in several different capacities for the past 8 season and have found it to be an extraordinary place. What makes it special? The world class faculty of teaching/professional musicians, the ratio of 1 faculty per 2 students, the serene and beautiful campus, the opportunities for students to perform before live, paying audiences several times during their residency and the corps of committed and passionate staff and volunteers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Birch Creek was without a doubt one of the best times of my life. I learned so much about not only music, but also life. The intensive musical experience was incredible, and getting to work with such amazing faculty was very rewarding. Being surrounded with like minded people made it an incredible time. I made some amazing friends. But above all else, Birch Creek made me a better person. It gave me confidence and taught me some important lessons about hard work and kindness that I will carry with me both in and out of the music world. I wouldn't trade my time at Birch Creek for anything.

Comments ( 1 )

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KateRericha 11/25/2016

...and we wouldn't trade you for anything! Without your intensity, talent and love for music, we couldn't be the successful academy we are today. Thank you! Kate R, Birch Creek Staff

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have never been to a more rewarding music camp.
I not only got top notch education from fantastic instructors, while I was here, I learned a lot about life after high school, and music career opportunities that lead me to the University I am currently attending.
Also, this camp is in my favorite place in the world. I had been going up to Door County long before I was ever playing the violin, and the opportunity to spend two weeks up there doing what I love in a fantastic, welcoming, and educational environment, was absolutely priceless.

Comments ( 1 )

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KateRericha 11/25/2016

...and, all you said in your review embodies our mission. Your love of music and performance contributes to our success. Thank you! Kate R, Birch Creek Staff

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was a Symphony student in 98 and 99. I learned an immeasurable amount of things about music and myself while at Birch Creek. I have now been teaching music for 11 years and come back for a concert every few years. All groups are amazing and I know the organization is doing great things for students and the area every day!
- Beth Mohr (bassoon)

Comments ( 1 )

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KateRericha 11/25/2016

Beth, you must stop and talk to us the next time you come for a concert! Staff members are always strolling the grounds pre-concert and at intermission, or you could leave a note at the box office. Your success is ours! Kate R, Birch Creek Staff

1 Aimee N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was one of the best musical experiences that I have had. I attended the Birch Creek Jazz II session and it completely prepared me for what it took to be a serious Jazz musician. All of the teachers there are professional musicians who make their living as performers. Many of them also teach at colleges or have performed in world renown groups such as the Count Basie Band. The camp does a great job at simulating what it is like to be a musician. In the words of the director, "If you learn that you want to be a musician while you are here then we have done you a great service. If you learn that you do not want to be a musician then we have still done you a great service". While you are here you're going to to learn a lot and you will learn what you need to do to become a great jazz musician. You're going to make a lot of connections with both teachers and friends after coming here. I wouldn't trade the experiences I had here for anything. I highly recommend going if you want to become a jazz musician.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter's time spent at Birch Creek helped her find a place to be with like-minded people as passionate about music as she is. We're so thankful for her experience there, and she's thankful for her "Birch Creek fam"!

Comments ( 1 )

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KateRericha 11/25/2016

And, we are thankful for her talent, her remarkable connection with Birch Creek concertgoers, and -- not least of all -- your trust in Birch Creek with your daughter's music growth! Kate, Birch Creek Staff

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son attended the Summer Jazz Camp at Birch Creek for two years. The quality of the instruction is outstanding. Not only do the students get to learn from a talented, professional staff, they also get to see these wonderful musicians perform in entertaining and enjoyable concerts. The relationships that were developed during my son's time at Birch Creek are invaluable.