“Artists in the Schools” Brings Jazz Musicians to Washington Island Schools and Door County Public School Kids to Birch Creek

Jazz musicians and Birch Creek faculty members Reggie Thomas and Rick Haydon Meet with Door County students on November 19 and 20.


Reggie Thomas

“Artists in the Schools” is an outreach program that reaches as many as 400 Door County public school students annually with Birch Creek faculty members visiting instrumental music classrooms and conducting two-hour seminars. They perform and demonstrate basic to advanced techniques based on the levels of the students and lead hands-on workshops with students.

This year, the program took on a different flair when musicians traveled across Death’s Door on Thursday, November 19, to Washington Island School where they worked with all students grades kindergarten through twelve with the assistance of music teacher Dan Hansen. The following day, rhythm section music students from Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door schools came to the new rehearsal center at Birch Creek in Egg Harbor where they worked together and individually with the visiting artists in a full half-day workshop.

For the past eight years, Birch Creek has joined the increasing nationwide effort to bring music programs, performers and clinicians into public schools. Door County band directors may contact Birch Creek throughout the school year to ask one of the jazz artists a question about the public school’s jazz program.


Rick Haydon on guitar Reggie at keyboard

Birch Creek is a nationally recognized summer study program three miles east of Egg Harbor offering promising young musicians 2-week sessions in symphony, percussion & steel band, or big band jazz. During the day, students are taught by legendary performers. At night, students perform before live audiences in concert programs that are challenging and exciting. Concertgoers are treated to exceptional student performances, combined with the professional symphonic, percussion, and jazz performances of their teachers and artists-in-residence. For more information or to inquire about off-season facilities rental, contact Birch Creek Executive Director Kaye Wagner at 920.868.3763.

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