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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Large slate of outdoor summer concerts set at center near Egg Harbor

Critic At Large

Birch Creek Music Performance Center

Sign at center. (Birch Creek Music Performance Center)

EGG HARBOR, Wis. (WFRV) – Birch Creek Music Performance Center swings into concert action next week with 28 concerts. Info: birchcreek.org.

Performances will take place outside the Dutton Concert Barn due to COVID-19 consideration. Public seating will be on wooden benches socially distanced around the outdoor concert stage and the gazebo. Audience limit is 80 (subject to change). Masks are required except when seated outside at a socially distanced bench or lawn chair.

Evening performances start at 7 p.m. (new time) with matinees at 3 p.m., with pre-concert student music a half-hour prior.

The first concert of the season is already sold out.

Sessions are set in three themes: “Percussion & Steel Band,” “Symphony” and “Big Band Jazz.”

The lineup for “Percussion & Steel Band”:

+ June 17, 7 p.m., “Walking in Rhythm, Moving in Sound” SOLD OUT

+ June 18, 7 p.m., “Passport to Percussion: A Musical Journey”

+ June 19, 3 p.m., “Wild Percussion: Nature in Music”

+ June 24, 7 p.m., “Artistry in Pan: Celebrating Liam Teague’s 25 Years at Birch Creek”

+ June 25, 3 and 7 p.m., “Stereo Action: Pioneers of Percussion”

+ June 26, 7 p.m., “Greatest Hits: Percussion Closing Night”

Concerts in the “Symphony” series are July 1, 2, 3 (matinee) 8, 9 and 10.

Concerts in the “Big Band Jazz” series are July 14-17, 21-24, 28-31 and Aug. 4-7.

The center was founded in 1976 by James and Frances Dutton, professionals in the music industry. James Dutton chaired the percussion department at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. In 1977, they purchased 40-acre farmstead across the road from their summer home and converted its buildings for housing, teaching and performance use. The barn – now a concert hall – is noted for its acoustics because of its wood surfaces.

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