Birch Creek Faculty Members Visit Local Schools for ‘Artists In The Schools’ Program

Students from the Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, and Sevastopol high school jazz ensembles and music programs were the beneficiaries of clinics conducted by Birch Creek Music Performance Center faculty members Reggie Thomas and Rick Haydon on Feb. 13 as part of Artists In The Schools outreach program.

Thomas is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He is also a consultant/clinician for Jazz at Lincoln Center, working with the Essentially Ellington program and the Band Director Academy.

Haydon is Professor Emeritus of Music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and also a faculty member of Band Director Academy. Collectively, Haydon and Thomas have been Birch Creek jazz faculty members for more than 30 years.

Professors Thomas and Haydon provided clinics ranging from rhythm to jazz style and technique, with the reoccurring theme of the language of music as a common, non-verbal avenue for communication. Between verbal instruction with the students, Thomas and Haydon demonstrated how their own relationship allows them to speak non-verbally to each other through the notes in each scale they share.

Artists in the Schools began in 2002 as a way for Birch Creek and its faculty to give back to their community. This wonderful program allows nationally-acclaimed faculty to return to Door County each year and serve as clinicians for local public school music students.

For more information about Birch Creek and their upcoming season, visit or call 920.868.3763.

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