Birch Creek Fundraiser Features Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald

Birch Creek Music Performance Center Associates will hold their annual fundraiser Oct. 14 in Juniper Hall. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 pm, which includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar followed by the concert at 7 pm. Tickets are by reservation only and are $60 per person for the reception and concert.

Jazz session faculty members Katie Ernst, vocalist and bassist, and Michael Stryker, pianist, along with tenor sax player, Dustin Laurenzi, will celebrate the centennial year of Ella Fitzgerald as they pay tribute to “The First Lady of Swing.” These stellar musicians will perform songs from the famous, Grammy award-winning album, Ella in Berlin from 1960, including “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “How High the Moon” and “Mack the Knife.”

Michael Stryker. Submitted

As both a bassist and vocalist, Ernst has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, among others. She coordinates the Jazz Links Student Council program for high school musicians at the Jazz Institute of Chicago, serves as Jazz Ensemble Director and Lecturer of Jazz Bass at Wheaton College and teaches at the Jazz I Summer Session at Birch Creek Music Performance Center.

Stryker is Professor of Jazz Piano in the School of Music at Western Illinois University. He is also on the faculty of the Birch Creek Summer Music Performance Center, teaching jazz piano, coaching jazz combos, and performing with the resident faculty big band.

The 2017 Fall Concert Series concludes with “Christmas Around the World” on Dec. 2. For tickets and more information visit



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