Day four of fresh inc 2014 was a big rehearsal day for us.  We had four separate groups of rehearsals, including some of our composers sitting in on rehearsals of their pieces.

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In addition to rehearsals and lessons, we had a couple of great workshops.  We had marketing Professor Paul Wang from Northwester University join us up on campus, and we had James Buckhouse from Twitter corporate join us via Skype again for the third year for a joint marketing workshop.

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Professor Wang talked about telling a story with your marketing and your music to really pull people in and make them connect with you on multiple levels.

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James talked about best tactics and strategies for using Twitter to promote yourself, your work, your performances and more.  The biggest tip he gave was that in order to get more retweets, follows, and faves on Twitter, you need to be sure to share a gift with your followers — a picture or a video to give them a sneak peek into the world of your art.  

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Eric & Jani also let an education workshop during which they talked about the curriculum integration we do on the stage and in the classroom, and after the workshop, participants signed up to participate in our education performances at the Boys & Girls Club in Kenosha during week 2.

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We closed the day with our first of 2 participant salon nights.  We heard some great performances from our participants including Debussy’s Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp, which was rehearsed here at the festival, a number of solos from our participants, and an awesome arrangement of a Jackson 5 song!

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Day three of fresh inc 2014 was one of the days that we look forward to the most at the festival each year — it was Milwaukee Art Museum day!  For the third year in a row, we loaded onto a bus and headed to Milwaukee to perform in the absolutely gorgeous Windhover Hall at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  With a stunning background of Lake Michigan behind our performers, it’s one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever seen a performance!

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We heard works both contemporary and classical, solo and ensemble, from a number of our participants that they auditioned on the first day of the festival.

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We’ve absolutely loved playing at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and we cannot wait to be back next year!  If you’re in the area, you should definitely head over and check it out.  A number of our participants were able to walk through the museum and enjoy the art while the performers were doing soundcheck.

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In addition to our performance at the Milwaukee Art Museum, festival participants took part in 5HE’s Transitioning to College to Career workshop where Eric, Valerie, Clark, and Jani talked to the room about their paths from being in school to where they are now, and they shared the tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way.

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We continued the day with Melissa & Eric presenting our Putting Your Audience Center Stage workshop, which talks about psychographics and designing the concert experience to fit your audience.

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We concluded the day with a few more rehearsals, lessons, and composer presentations.

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Day four included a great marketing workshop with Professor Paul Wang from Northwestern University and James Buckhouse from Twitter — stay tuned for more updates!

After closing out day 1 of the festival with a performance of Luna de Cuernos by our faculty members, we kicked day 2 off with a rehearsal techniques and coaching do’s & don’ts workshop.

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Jenny & Deuce gave some tips & tricks for getting the most out of your rehearsal time, and Dan & Stacy demonstrated their now famous Goofus & Gallant rehearsal coaching.

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Dan walked in eating Milanos and showed ways for a composer to NOT coach a rehearsal, and then Stacy came in and saved the day demonstrating good ways for composers to interact with ensembles during a coaching.

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We continued the morning with fresh inc 2.0 meetings between faculty members and fresh inc 2.0 participants, who are participants who are attending the festival for the second time and are working on specific projects.  While these meetings were happening, the rest of the morning was spent in rehearsals and composition lessons.

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After lunch and another set of rehearsals, Eric & Jenny lead a public speaking workshop — a fresh inc staple!  Participants had the chance to demonstrate piece introductions, and Eric switched things up and asked them to introduce the same piece for both an audience of standard concert goers and a room full of kindergarteners!

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The rest of the afternoon was filled with lots of rehearsing, practicing, and lessons.

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After dinner, we had our first guest expert workshop.  Genevieve Theirs, creator of Sitter City, soprano, and entrepreneur, talked to us about her various ventures, how she started them, and how she’s balanced her new ventures, artistic career, and personal life.

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Stay tuned for more updates from fresh inc 2014 — day 3 includes our third annual performance at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

Hello from fresh inc 2014!  After almost a year of planning, we’re finally all together on campus at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the 2014 festival.  We’re excited to have 44 young instrumentalists and composers here with us on campus, and composers-in-residence Stacy Garrop and Dan Visconti are back for another action packed festival.

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Everyone arrived on Sunday afternoon, and after we unpacked and ate some dinner, we continued the fresh inc tradition of opening night smores, which, to be honest, is one of the best parts of the festival — we get to spend a few hours getting to know each other without having to worry about having an instrument in our hands, and we get to stuff ourselves with a delicious melty mess of graham crackers, chocolate, and mallows.  What better way to get to know each other?!

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The first day of the festival, Monday, started with an opening meeting, and then we went straight into concert auditions.  During the festival, we have four separate run out concerts, and we open the programming of these up to include works that participants bring to the festival.

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The composers all got together for their first forum, which included introductions of everyone, and then Stacy & Dan lead a session on notation and CVs & resumes.

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Eric Snoza kicked off our headshot photo-shoots — each participant leaves the festival with a new set of professional headshots.

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After lunch, Melissa & Jenny lead 5HE’s Arts Start-Up workshop, which talks about the forming of a new business and all the various options you have.  Additionally, we organized our participants into groups and assigned them their own new venture project.  Each group will create a hypothetical business proposal for one of our fresh inc performances.  Towards the end of the festival, each group will present their business plans!

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We continued the afternoon with our first rehearsals, and it’s been really exciting to hear the halls fill with music and experience the notes moving from the page to the ear.

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After dinner, we had our first salon night, which featured members of 5HE performing Luna de Cuernos, our recent graphic novel collaboration with our wind quintet.

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We’re almost through day 2 of fresh inc, so stay tuned to hear what we’ve been up to today!

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Day 11 of fresh inc started with a run through of our Nichols Hall final performance.  All instrumentalists who were performing and all composers who were having their pieces played came together with faculty to not only play the program in concert order, but also to rehearse piece introductions!  And Carole & the concert operations volunteer, composer Nick Baskin, took lots of notes on what chairs and stands got moved where between pieces!  

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We continued the morning with lessons and rehearsals, and after lunch we had another block including a composer forum, lessons, and rehearsals.  Plus a number of participants spent the time they weren’t in rehearsals or lessons preparing for their final business plan presentations or practicing!

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Next up was a publishing workshop!  Lawson White, president of Good Child Music, was Skyped in for the first half of the presentation, and Stacy and Dan finished the second half with additional publishing and contracting information.

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After the workshop, we had some more rehearsing and lessons, and then we headed to dinner.

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Thursday night, our amazing participants decided to organize an additional salon night!  We had only scheduled three participant salon nights (plus the faculty one on the first day), but the participants felt that there was so much music that needed to be shared and given the chance to perform, that they would give up a free night to have an additional salon.  And wow, was it totally worth it!  Our final salon night was filled with incredible music, including pieces by composers at the festival and traditional rep that ended up not being programmed on a final concert, and more spirit and a greater sense of community than any of us on Team 5HE could have hoped for for this amazing group of musicians!

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