Jazz I Academy Session: July 16 - 29
About the Birch Creek Jazz I 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 I and Jazz II 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.
Areas of Study
Classes are given by master teachers three times per week and cover the fundamentals of effective playing skills and efficient practice.
Classes cover improvisation skills from basic to advanced. Performance opportunities are provided.
Workshops incorporate music theory and improvisation into the Combo rehearsals and use repertoire from the Combo as curricular material for study.
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.
Program Director and Academy Band Director: Jeffrey Campbell
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media, Collegiate Instructor in Jazz Double Bass and Jazz Combo & Improvisation, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y.
Lab Band Director: Phil Crews
Phillip Crews, originally from St. Louis, received both his undergraduate and Masters degree at VanderCook College of Music. He started his teaching career in 1992 as band, choir, strings and general music teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School. In 1994, Phillip became director of bands at Thornton Township High School. Under his direction, the Thorton program exhibited excellence in marching, concert, and jazz band. One of their crowning achievements was being selected to participate in the 2002 Essentially Ellington finalist competition in New York. In 2003, Mr. Crews accepted the job as band director at Rich Central High School. In his third year as director, he has consistently received Superior Ratings at the IHSA organizational contest in both jazz and concert band categories. Phillip was recognized in 2009 for excellence in teaching by the Illinois State Board of Education receiving the “Those Who Excel” award.
Studio Band Director: Gil Wukitsch
Mr. Wukitsch currently teaches symphonic band, jazz band and advanced placement music theory at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Ill. Mr. Wukitsch holds a Bachelor of Music Education from De Paul University, Chicago, Ill., and a Masters of Educational Leadership Degree from Aurora University, Aurora, Ill. He has been involved with Birch Creek for more than 20 years, attending as a student, a Teaching Assistant and faculty member. Along with his busy teaching schedule, Mr. Wukitsch is active around the Chicago area as a clinician and trumpet player and has performed with artists such as Clark Terry, Harold Jones and The Manhattan Transfer.
Advanced Combo (Ambassadors) Director: José Encarnacion
Advanced Combo Director (Ambassadors), Appleton, Wis.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, José currently is a faculty member at the Lawrence Conservatory of music where he coordinates the jazz performance program, leads jazz improvisation classes, jazz combos and teaches jazz saxophone. He holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and Eastman School of Music where he served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone. Among many others, José has performed with Tito Puente, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Danilo Perez.
View the full 2017 Jazz I faculty (Subject to change)