welcome to fresh inc 2012!

Well folks, it’s finally here! fresh inc has officially launched, and we’ve all arrived safely at the beautiful Carthage Campus. Here are a few attendees flying in now!

A few items of business to begin with. First, as decreed by composition faculty Stacy Garrop and Davy Rakowski, the official theme song of the festival is George Michael’s Faith, so expect to see that little ditty pop up at various points throughout the next 2 weeks. There is a rumor that the composer with the best arrangement of this song wins a cake.

Second, our festival mascot is Millie, an odd little bouncy thing that erupts into flashing light when provoked. We’ll be chronicling her travels throughout the festival. Here she is, having checked into her room and configured her iPad for wireless access:

Arrival day was a fun mix of loading in, checking out keys, and figuring out where the food was. Because there can be no summer festival without s’mores, we gathered near a fire pit to make that happen.

How many musicians does it take to successfully light a fire? Answer: only one who is willing to gather twigs. Justino Perez saves the day!

He celebrates with the finished product in a pensive pose:

Once the flames got going, we had many a discussion about the proper way to toast a marshmallow for s’mores. Many of us (ahem, me) have no patience, and prefer to light the sucker on fire and blow it out. That said, a rare pleasure is the perfectly golden brown, slow-roasted s’more that only comes with time.

Mmmmm (Herine has patience)

And pigeon toes.

On day 1 we gather in the recital hall after a morning of rehearsals for our first guest workshop with Cliff Colnot.

He starts us off with an intonation workshop, using the Poulenc Sextet as an example. We learn how and when to use just diatonic, expressive, and even-tempered tuning. And, just as importantly, how to use science and objectivity to overcome the ruffled feathers that are an automatic extension of any intonation criticism in rehearsal! (You’re sharp! You’re flat! You stole my girlfriend! I hate your face!)

Cliff follows up by answering a ton of questions about the rehearsal process, and about creating a diverse career in music. In his view, avoiding concentration in any one area is a major priority and ensures that you have options (think: not dropping your whole life savings on the Facebook IPO – and if you did, we’re sorry, you’ll be fine…).
Speaking of which, visit our Facebook page for more photos! (we love you, Facebook!)
After dinner, we had fun times in the Student Union, introducing ourselves, then breaking into teams to produce tiny performance pieces using our personalized sounds and movements. Silly, yes. Fun, also yes. Millie’s action was the bounce.
And here are Davy and Millie doing their best Iron Man impression. She’s so excited she got all lit up.
Major takeaway from Day 1: everyone here is awesome. We’re having a great time getting to know everyone musically and personally, and we couldn’t be among better folks.
Time to get some rest before Day 2! We do instrumental lessons, an arts start-up workshop, educational outreach training, and a whole mess of rehearsals. Bedtime!

fresh inc festival and Fifth House Ensemble are extremely thrilled to announce the lead sponsor for the 2012 fresh inc festival, U.S. Bank.  This exciting partnership will help fund scholarships to students who would like to take part in the festival.  Read the press release below for more info.  Applications are due by Feb. 1.


Fifth House Ensemble is pleased to announce a new partnership with U.S. Bank, lead sponsor of the 2012 fresh inc festival. Through a grant from the U.S. Bancorp Foundation, U.S. Bank will support participant scholarships, bringing top-tier composition and instrumental talent to Kenosha, WI from the nation’s finest music schools.

fresh inc is a one-of-a-kind chamber music festival that redefines the training process for emerging musicians. Under the guidance of Fifth House Ensemble and composition faculty David Rakowski and Stacy Garrop, emerging composers and instrumentalists will spend two weeks creating performance experiences for audiences of all types, covering repertoire both canonic and newly inked. Participants perform with 5HE members at venues in Kenosha, Milwaukee and Chicago, showcasing the various potential habitats for musicians and composers to ply their craft.

fresh inc performance schedule:

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Milwaukee Art Museum, Target Free First Thursday
700 N Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Rush Hour Concerts at St. James Cathedral
Live broadcast on WFMT and wfmt.com
65 E. Huron St., Chicago IL

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Ravinia Festival, Bennett Gordon Hall
200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park IL

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Kenosha Civil War Museum
5400 1st Ave, Kenosha WI

For more information, including performance details and online applications, visit www.freshincfestival.com.


About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $321 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,086 banking offices and 5,086 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Through the U.S. Bancorp Foundation, we provide cash contributions to nonprofit organizations in our priority areas of education, affordable housing and economic opportunity, and artistic and cultural enrichment. Total charitable contributions from the U.S. Bancorp Foundation reached nearly $21.4 million in 2010. For more information, visit www.usbank.com.


About Fifth House Ensemble

Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music with its signature series Black Violet and The Weaver’s Tales, Fifth House’s innovative programs engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues.

5HE is defined by its limitless imagination and energy, and an insatiable desire to bring chamber music to audiences of all types. 5HE harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to create transformative cross-media performance experiences that bring together elements as diverse as storytelling, physical theatre, graphic novels, and fashion design. With humor and joy, 5HE breathes life into repertoire both established and emerging, equally at home on the most prestigious stages and unexpected venues including aquariums, train stations, and bars.

Bringing its signature connective programming from the stage to the classroom, 5HE develops young audiences through curriculum-integrated interactive concerts and residencies for students grades K-12. Currently Ensemble in Residence at Carthage College, Fifth House also frequently performs for college audiences, including workshops, residencies, and performances at Yale College, Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Illinois-Chicago and the Colburn School.

For more information on the ensemble, visit www.fifth-house.com.

It’s our pleasure to announce one of fresh inc festival’s most distinct performance opportunities!  On Thursday June 7th, only a few days after the start of the festival, participants will have the opportunity to perform short solos or duos at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Musicians will ply their craft in the stunning and uniquely designed Calatrava entryway of the museum’s Windover Hall.  It’ll be a relaxing afternoon of gorgeous music, a stunning view of the lake….oh and thousands of patrons attending MAM’s Target-sponsored free Thursday!

This museum concert is meant to get fresh inc participants used to engaging with transient, non-traditional audiences.  By performing in unfamiliar places for unfamiliar faces (lots of unfamiliar faces), our musicians will learn how to speak confidently about their work, make it relevant to people from different backgrounds, and transform them into audience members.  You already know that Claude Debussy was a pretty cool guy who writes beautiful music…now it’s time to convince Milwaukee!


Picture of the Milwaukee Art Museum found here.



We are excited to announce the second of our wonderful performance opportunities for fresh inc participants — The Ravinia Festival!

On June 16th, 2012, Bennett Gordon Hall will be rife with the sounds of emerging talent and creative collaboration.  In this special concert, some of the country’s most promising student musicians and composers will join forces with Chicago’s very own Fifth House Ensemble to create ensembles of all shapes, sizes, and sounds.  The selections on this evening’s program will be similarly diverse, touching on standard repertoire while highlighting new works by Stacy Garrop, David Rakowski, and the students themselves.  This one-of-a-kind opportunity to see new talent on display is the culmination point of a unique educational opportunity for aspiring musicians, the fresh inc festival.



We are excited to announce the first of our many opportunities for public performances for fresh inc participants: Rush Hour Concerts.  Continue reading to learn about the many benefits of fresh inc‘s partnership with Rush Hour.


fresh inc participants will have three unique opportunities to take part in Rush Hour Concerts, one of downtown Chicago’s most beloved and well-attended summer concert series. Fifth House Ensemble and festival participants will be featured on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

All composers and performers (and even some special guests) will come together to perform a condensed version of Terry Riley’s landmark work In C using the large cathedral to its full acoustic, antiphonal capability.

One composition from the submitted works by fresh inc composers will be selected for performance on the Rush Hour concert series. This performance will be given by 5HE players.

Both performances will be heard by Rush Hour’s capacity weekly audiences of more than 650 attendees, and broadcast live on 98.7 WFMT and www.wfmt.com to over 250,000 listeners.

As an additional bonus, any participants who will be in the Chicago area on June 21, 2012 are invited to participate in the second annual Make Music Chicago, a free citywide festival of performances by all ages and musical genres presented by Rush Hour Concerts.