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Participants prepped for some outreach programs in the morning and had a bit of rehearsal time before loading up on a bus to Chicago!

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We got to St. James Cathedral for an ensemble panel featuring Peter McDowell of Eighth Blackbird and Russell Rolen of Spektral Quartet. Moderated by Dan and Stacy, participants got to ask questions from the perspective of both composers and fellow performers.

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After the panel, Fifth House Ensemble presented a program of music by Dan Visconti and Stacy Garrop for Rush Hour Concerts. The performance was broadcast on WFMT and can be heard here!

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After a relaxing day off on Sunday, students got down to business with a ton of workshops and guest speakers on Monday, and even managed to squeeze some rehearsal time in between!

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Participants took workshops on relating to their audiences and how to budget and sell their performances.

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After some student composer presentations, we welcomed composers Jim Stephenson and Daniel Dorff for guest presentations led by Stacy and Dan.

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After a morning of composer’s forums and rehearsals, it was off to the Kenosha Public Library for an amazing free performance where participants once again got a chance to show off some of their existing repertoire.

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We were treated to an original song for accordion by Sarah Grace Graves!

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And Just Duet closed things out with a unique synchronized snapping performance.

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Later that evening there were even more opportunities for performances in our second Salon Night.

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Highlights included vocal performances from two of our composers.

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5HE’s own Pablo Moreno and Jani Parsons closed out the night with some Ravel!

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The first Friday of fresh inc 2015 began with a workshop on writing bios, resumes and interview skills.

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After composer-in-residence Dan Visconti got things started, 5HE cellist Herine shared the story of one of the worst interviews she ever gave, with Dan playing the part of the arrogant interviewee.

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Thankfully, Clark was able to step in and show students where Dan went wrong, showing everyone the proper way to handle the situation.

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With no other performances on the books for the day, students buckled down and continued to rehearse pieces for the final concerts at the end of next week, while composers took part in some composers forums with Dan and Stacy Garrop.

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Day 4 kicked off right after breakfast with an Educational Outreach workshop. Participants learned about some ways to effectively add an educational component to music-making, and how to tailor their experience for different school settings.


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After some rehearsal time and a break for lunch, graphic novelist Sarah Becan visited us to lead a workshop on music and storytelling. Having worked with Fifth House Ensemble on Luna De Cuernos, Sarah let students try to create their own stories based on a piece of music.

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Everyone split off into groups and worked on crafting a story rather quickly!

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They were then asked to act them out, and that’s where the fun really began!

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Then members of 5HE gave advice to younger instrumentalists and composers on transitioning from college to a full-time career in music.

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Finally, it was time to loosen up with our first open salon performance, with students and faculty presenting new original works by our composition students, improvisations and some pieces that they had been playing for years.

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Oh, and people started trying to learn how to do this hand-whistle thing.

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