About the Festival
From 2012 to 2021, Fresh Inc has helped performers, composers, and pre-formed ensembles to envision and launch their own authentic careers in music, rooted in adventurous genre-defying collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking, and meaningful partnerships with audiences and community.
Fresh Inc provided the tools for emerging artists to create, collaborate, and present their own unique vision. We believe that empowering artists to meet the challenges of our field’s changing landscape is the best way to prepare for the future.
With specialized tracks for pre-formed ensembles, composers, auditors, and via our Fresh Voices scholarship program, our aim was to build the coolest, kindest, most courageously imaginative festival anywhere around by seeking out those who are trailblazing their own paths as the next generation of impact-makers.
On top of that, Fresh Inc was above all a social experience – a gathering place for unconventional and responsive thinkers, a laboratory for experimentation, and a place to form lifelong connections and birth new collaborations over s’mores.
Every year, participants:
- Received a comprehensive curriculum of 35+ workshops that foster experimental thinking and provide you with the entrepreneurial skills to sustain a fulfilling life in the arts
- Added photos and performance videos to their artistic portfolio
- Premiered 24 new works of chamber music developed during the festival alongside established repertoire
- Composers were commissioned by the Steven R. Gerber Trust to write new works that were premiered at the festival – performers being a mix of students and 5HE artists or a pre-formed ensemble
- Designed and presented performance experiences for audiences of all types side-by-side with Fifth House Ensemble
- Receive one-on-one mentorship and instruction with instrumental and composition faculty. Composers receive two private lessons with composition faculty.
- Become a part of Fresh Inc’s creative community, sustaining relationships with an active and evolving network of cultural change makers whose work continuously reinvents the role of the musician to bring about a connected world
Fresh Inc is a professional, collaborative commissioning experience for composers, who work with participating performers and ensembles to bring new ideas and works to life.
Composition alums have gone on to major residency programs (Rene Orth, Opera Philadelphia; Evan Williams, Detroit Symphony Orchestra), commissions for top-tier soloists and ensembles (Carle Wirshba, commissions for invoke and Timothy Chooi), teaching positions (Alex Temple, ASU; Kevin Wilt, FAU), and ongoing collaborations with 5HE (Patrick O’Malley, Journey LIVE and Rivers Empyrean). Fresh Inc has also facilitated commissions and teaching artist opportunities for composers via its relationships with the Kenosha Community Foundation and Chicago Opera Theater.
Participating composers will:
- Receive a commission from the Steven R. Gerber Trust to write for either a pre-formed ensemble or an ensemble that includes participating performers and members of Fifth House
- Participate in a collaborative commissioning process, including planning sessions and rehearsals with performers and faculty
- Participate in interactive educational programming side-by-side with Fifth House
- Receive 2 private lessons with our internationally-renowned composition faculty
- Participate in composition seminars, ranging from creative practices to practical tools for building a home studio
- Participate in workshops led by composition faculty and guest experts
- Receive professional audio/video recordings of newly-commissioned works premiered during the festival
- Receive guidance on portfolio creation, including bios, works lists, and web content
- Be considered for additional commissioning opportunities post-festival with Fresh Inc’s partners
Join us this summer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Tuition is $2,000 for the 2022 festival.
A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by March 1, 2022, and can be submitted via Paypal here. This secures your place at the festival, and allows us to assign instrumentation to composers for works to be created for this summer’s performances.
Tuition balances are due on May 1, 2022, after which date all payments are non-refundable except in the case of a documented medical emergency.
All applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships as part of the application process. With the support of our sponsors below, we were able to award over $80,000 in scholarships last season. Last year, 100% of participants received support in the form of scholarships and/or commissions.
This year, our Fresh Voices program offers dedicated scholarship support to participants who are female, artists of color, and/or LGBTQ-identified, to build leadership capacity, career advancement, and entrepreneurial skills among artists underrepresented in our field.
Six composers of color will be selected to attend tuition-free as Fromm Foundation Fellows.
Click here for more information.
There are three concerts of world premieres, plus various salon night concerts and showcase performances. Last year, we had three salon nights and four showcases for a total of 10 live streamed shows! We also produced two Colortunes events (interactive graphic score and storytelling programs for children and families) and participated in a live performance experience with Lisa Bielawa and the Broadcast from Here radio station.
Great question! We encourage you to apply as a composer/performer – all applications will be considered for the joint track, as well as for composer and performer tracks separately, offering the most flexibility.
Participants of the 2022 festival are required to show proof of complete vaccination in order to attend. We will also require a negative test within 48 hours of arrival on the UW Parkside campus. Masks will be worn indoors at all times, with the exception of wind players and vocalists in the rehearsal space, where social distancing in larger rehearsal rooms will be enforced. COVID-19 rapid testing will be readily available on campus. As in previous years, we will continue to provide isolation rooms for any participants showing signs of illness. Festival workshops will be recorded and readily available on the Digital Edition for up to a year, so participants will be able to access any content that they may have missed in-person, for any reason.
Yes! All festival workshops will be recorded and archived on the Digital Edition platform. Fresh Inc participants will have access to the Digital Edition for a full year following the festival. We will also continue to hang out on the Fresh Inc Discord for all kinds of virtual shenanigans, both during the festival (and beyond!)
Um….YES OF COURSE! And there will be a s’mores making contest. And everyone wins because they get to eat s’mores.
Fresh Inc is supported by grants from the Steven R. Gerber Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kenosha Community Foundation, the Racine Community Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Amphion Foundation, and Shure.