Jazz I Academy Session

Session Dates: July 17 - July 30, 2016

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


Instrumental Technique

Classes are given by master teachers three times per week and cover the fundamentals of effective playing skills and efficient practice.

Jazz Combo

Classes cover improvisation skills from basic to advanced. Performance opportunities are provided.

Jazz Performance Workshops

Workshops incorporate music theory and improvisation into the Combo rehearsals and use repertoire from the Combo as curricular material for study.

Large Ensembles

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.

Detailed admissions information, including AUDITION RECORDING REQUIREMENTS, can be found on the Application Procedure 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: Gil Wukitsh

Mr. Wukitsch currently teaches symphonic band, jazz band and advanced placement music theory at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Ill. He has been involved with Birch Creek for more than 20 years, attending as a student, a Teaching Assistant and faculty member.

Studio Band Director: Jim Stombres

Mr. Stombres recently retired as band director at St. Charles North High School, St. Charles, Ill. He has been guest director at many state festivals, and has taught at the University of Illinois summer youth music camp.

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.

2015 guitar portion supported in part by a grant from the Les Paul Foundation

Birch Creek Music Performance Center Partners with The Les Paul Foundation