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America

Published on July 13th, 2013 | by Sally Slattery - Pulse

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Birch Creek Makes Magic in the Music

The Birch Creek campus pulsates with the beats of drums, the shakes of maracas, and the hammering of xylophones. The Percussion & Steel Band session students arrived for their two-week experience just two days prior and already sound like they’ve been performing together for months.  “We work ’em from seven in the morning to ten at night,” says Percussion & Steel Band Program Director Ben Wahlund. “Our thought is, it’s a really special collection of people, of adults and kids, that we don’t really want to waste much time.”

The collection of people includes students – anywhere from age 13 to age 19 – from as far away as Trinidad, Hawaii, and Milwaukee, and a faculty that includes professional musicians and instructors from as far away as Puerto Rico, Japan, and Madison. They come together for a short, but very productive time on the former farmstead and immerse themselves in studying, performing, and celebrating music.

“When the kids come, this camp just comes alive,” says Cathy Knipfer, director of marketing. “First they’re all a little timid, everybody’s getting a feel for each other and the surroundings. After a day or two they are like a big family. Our tagline is ‘Magic in the Music,’ and it really is magical.”

 

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