Alumnus Opens School for Creative Music

Wilder Deitz School for Creative MusicWilder Deitz, BA ’17, is a lifelong musician who first learned music on tour with his father, roots musician Ritt Deitz, and later under the mentorship of jazz great and UW-Madison faculty member Richard Davis. This summer, Wilder and musician friend Ruben Arndt opened the Wilder Deitz School for Creative Music, an innovative musicianship community on Madison’s east side.

During his time at the university, and between performing engagements, Deitz started the East High School Black Music Ensemble in 2014 and started teaching creative music. He would soon meet Arndt, his future business partner who helped Deitz take over the Black Music Ensemble university program from Professor Davis when he retired in 2016.

Wilder explains that School for Creative Music is a musicianship community where creative players can hone their craft. Like a “training gym” for musicians, offering classes, performing ensembles, and a unique membership program. Inclusiveness and accessibility will be a very important priority for the organization as it looks to grow. “It’s important to have people from a variety of backgrounds exposed to music and we want to make sure this is as accessible as possible,” Deitz says.

Note: David Dahmer’s article upon which this is based can be found at