Symphony Academy Session

June 28 - July 11, 2015

symphony concert

About the Birch Creek Symphony Program

Birch Creek's program is unique in symphony and chamber music education in that it incorporates a student/mentor approach in virtually every aspect of training. Students rehearse and perform alongside their teachers, receiving an abundance of personal attention. In such a nurturing environment, students progress at an amazing rate. Six public performances of four completely different orchestral programs are given over the two-week session. Consequently, students develop excellent practice habits and rehearsal skills.

Areas of Study

ensemble practiceRepertoire

A mixture of standard orchestral literature and light classics is rehearsed and performed. A partial list of major works for 2015 includes Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 ("Eroica"): Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, First Suite, Op. 64-bis; and Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30.

Orchestra Rehearsals

(2-4 hours daily depending on performance schedule and repertoire)


(1 hour daily) In classes of like instruments, students learn from experienced faculty how to prepare difficult orchestral passages in a short time for the next rehearsal or concert.

Chamber Ensembles

(1 hour daily) Students experience another facet of the professional musician's life with chamber ensemble performance opportunities during concert preludes and intermissions.

Specialized Classes

(2 hours daily) Technique, theory, and seminars on topics pertinent to the music profession round out the weekly schedule.

Rachel Barton Pine - Master Class 1 of 2

Rachel Barton Pine - Master Class 2 of 2

Note: Prospective applicants should refer to the Suggested Symphony Repertoire Levels on the Application Forms Page

For detailed admissions information, including AUDITION RECORDING REQUIREMENTS, go to the Admission Procedure page.

Program Director: Ricardo Castañeda

Principal Oboe; Chicago Sinfonietta, Lake Forest Symphony, Professor of Oboe at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.

Conductor: Brian Groner

Music Director, Fox Valley Symphony, Appleton, Wis.; Music Director, Harper Symphony Orchestra, Palatine, Ill.

Concertmaster: Renée-Paule Gauthier

Artistic Director of the Rendez-vous musical de Laterrière and has played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa since 2004. Renée-Paule Gauthier was concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne and the New World Symphony in Miami, Fla.