Four young musicians with Wilmette ties spent two weeks this summer studying jazz at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wis.
They were among only 96 young musicians selected from throughout the country to attend one of two Big Band Jazz sessions at the prestigious school, whose unique mission is to provide intensive, performance-based instruction to promising young musicians age 13-19 by immersing them in a professional, mentoring environment.
Peter Gabrielides, the son of Gina and John Gabrielides, studies guitar privately with Casey Nielsen.
Elizabeth Kumaki, the daughter of Mary Collins and Robert Kumaki, studies trombone privately with Steve Horne. Elizabeth is a student at New Trier High School.
Noah Lande, the son of Carol Gold-Lande and Gary Lande, studies bass privately with Eric Hochberg. He received the Outstanding Rhythm Student Award.
William Sheppard, the son of Gail Schechter and George Sheppard, studies trombone privately with Steve Horne. He is a student at Wilmette Junior High School.
Founded in 1976, Birch Creek features a student-faculty ratio of approximately 2-1. This provides students with an abundance of personal attention from their faculty mentors, who represent top music educators and performers from around the country. Students are given the opportunity to hone their technical skills and learn firsthand about all aspects of the life of a professional musician.
During their two-week residency this summer, students attending the Birch Creek Big Band Jazz session performed eight joint concerts with their teachers before paying concert-goers.
Birch Creek also offers two-week resident summer sessions in Symphony and Percussion and Steel Band. More information is available at www.birchcreek.org.