Culture Club: Birch Creek’s Needs Bond Mother & Son

Each spring we take a great deal of time to attract and enroll our students at Birch Creek. Some instruments are more popular and therefore we process more applications for those who play that particular instrument.

Sometimes it takes more effort to fill particular instrumental holes in our roster. Occasionally, we get a phone call from a student who has been accepted telling us that they regretfully have to withdraw because of change in family plans or perhaps the need to enroll in summer school.

When this happens we have to work to fill that slot and, depending on the instrument, we may or may not have folks on the waiting list.

Just a few days before our first jazz session, we received a phone call from a drum student indicating he had to withdraw. Unfortunately, we did not have a person on the waitlist for drums (although drums is a popular instrument and we usually have folks on the waitlist). At times like this we reach out to drum teachers, school band leaders, or even other students who may have a friend who may consider sending an application.

As we searched for a drummer to fill this spot, we received a very enthusiastic phone call from a mother who told us her son would love to attend Birch Creek and fill the empty drum slot. As she and I spoke on the phone, it was clear that she was very enthusiastic about this opportunity. She then told me that 29 years ago when she was in high school, she received a last minute phone call from her band teacher in Madison saying there was a last minute cancellation at Birch Creek and that she was encouraged to apply.

She continued telling me that she quickly packed a bag and her folks drove her to Door County to attend the jazz session at Birch Creek and that experience had a major and long-lasting effect on her life. And now, these 29 years later, the very same thing was happening to her son. I’m not sure if my use of the English language can adequately communicate her sense of happiness and excitement she had for her son being able to attend Birch Creek at the last minute.

When the mother and son team arrived for our first jazz session, the mother was so delighted and was glad to share her story with the folks at the registration table.

To me, this is a testimony of the impact that Birch Creek has on our students, whether they’re attending in 2015 or in 1986. We’re so glad it worked out for this young drummer to join us this summer and we anticipate that in the year 2044 he may get a last minute phone call looking for a person to fill a last minute opening at Birch Creek.

Peninsula Arts and Humanities Alliance, Inc., which contributes Culture Club throughout the summer season, is a coalition of nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to enhance, promote and advocate the arts, humanities and natural sciences in Door County.

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