guest experts

When you attend fresh inc, not only will you be working side-by-side with Fifth House Ensemble members and our composition faculty, you’ll also get to engage with some of the top music professionals and artistic collaborators in our circle. Our guest experts have included graphic artists, marketing executives, theatre directors and renowned composers, leading interactive workshops that will help you to redefine your artistic vision.

Cliff Colnot has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW ensemble since its inception. He was principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for twenty-two years and was principal conductor of the University of Chicago’s Contempo Ensemble for fifteen years. Colnot conducts the DePaul University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

Colnot is a master arranger who orchestrated Shulamit Ran’s Three Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano, Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival’s Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande, and De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat, and for Yellow Barn Music Festival, Ran’s Soliloquy for Violin, Cello, and Piano. He arranged Messiaen’s Chants de Terre et de Ciel for ICE. Colnot re-orchestrated the Bottesini Concerto No. 2 in B Minor for Double Bass. He is regularly commissioned to write works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Percussion Scholarship Group and has written for many artists, including Richard Marx and Brian Culbertson.

Colnot graduated with honors from Florida State University and received the Ernst von Dohnányi Certificate of Excellence. He received the Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University, where he earned his doctorate. Chicago Tribune named Cliff Colnot a 2001 “Chicagoan of the Year” in music, he received the 2005 William Hall Sherwood Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts, and he was awarded the 2016 Alice M. Ditson Conductor’s Award.




Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of 17 year-old ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. He recently accepted a Professorship at Arizona State University’s Herberger Insititute for Design & Art, where he, Liz Lerman and Daniel Bernard Romain are launching a think tank/action space called the The Ensemble Lab. He is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue.   He leads the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, where current projects include The Catalyst Initiative, a national program supported by The Andrew Mellon Foundation, and Local Landscapes, through which he is currently collaborating with Arts Councils at the State and Local level around the US.

In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago. Recent/Current projects include leading a two year Sojourn Artist-in-Residence collaboration with Catholic Charities USA poverty reduction sites around the US; a Sojourn partnership with Planning Commissions around the country utilizing civic practice in public engagement settings to help communities deal with difficult conversations and resource allotment; and, collaborating with theaters and universities around the country to mount locally specific projects based on Sojourn’s model performance/engagement process/production How To End Poverty in 90 Minutes.

This workshop will be conducted via Skype.


Daniel Dorff’s music for flute and piccolo has entered the standard repertoire and is frequently performed and recorded worldwide. He has composed 7 commissioned works for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s education department, and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Kinder Konzert series has performed his music over 200 times. His works have been presented by Young Audiences (over 1000 performances), the Atlanta Opera (60 performances), and the Baltimore Symphony (32 performances); on the Chicago Symphony Radiothon, by clarinetists of the Chicago Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic; and conducted by maestros Alan Gilbert and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Dorff has also created arrangements for Sir James Galway and pop musicians Keith Emerson and Lisa Loeb.

Dorff’s teachers included George Crumb, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, Henry Brant, Ralph Shapey, and Elie Siegmeister. He studied saxophone with Sigurd Rascher. Dorff served 1996 2015 as Composer-In-Residence for Symphony in C, in which he played bass clarinet from 1980 through 2002.

Daniel Dorff is VP of Publishing for Theodore Presser Company; a sought-after expert on music engraving and notation, he has lectured at many colleges as well as Carnegie Hall, and advises the leading notation software companies. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the Music Publishers’ Association of the USA, Charles Ives Society, Vincent Persichetti Society, Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, and has served on the Board of the National Flute Association.

Dorff’s compositions are published by Presser, and recorded on Albany, Bridge, Crystal, Azica, and many other labels.

This workshop will be conducted via Skype.



Composer Hummie Mann has collaborated with some of Hollwood’s most celebrated directors.  His feature film scores have ranged from Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Dracula: Dead & Loving It” to Peter Yates’ “Year of the Comet.” He also scored the children’s film “Thomas and the Magic Railroad”, “Wooly Boys” starring Peter Fonda and Kris Kristofferson and the IMAX digital animated film “Cyberworld 3D”.

For television, he has scored projects for Simon Wincer (the miniseries “P.T. Barnum”), Jonathan Kaplan (the miniseries re-make of “In Cold Blood”), Norman Jewison (“Picture Windows – Soir Bleu”), Peter Bogdanovich (“The Rescuers: Tales of Courage – Two Women”), Joe Dante (“Masters of Horror: Homecoming” & “The Second Civil War”), Jim Abrahams (“First Do No Harm”) and Richard Friedenberg (“Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas”).
He was awarded his first Emmy for arranging Billy Crystal’s opening number for the 1992 Oscars and a second Emmy for his original score to an episode of Showtime’s Picture Windows series entitled “Language of the Heart.” He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from his under graduate alma mater Berklee College of Music.

He is the creator and lead instructor of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program (currently the music department of the Seattle Film Institute) and has taught film composition courses in Scotland, Denmark and China. In 2010 he ran a film composition workshop at the Dakhla Film Festival in Morocco and Variety Magazine listed him as a “Leader in Learning” in its 2010 Education Impact Report.  Last year he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Salford in Manchester, UK.  His thesis title was “The Temporal and Rhythmic Effect on Musical Composition and Form When Scoring Dramatic Moving Picture”.

His latest composing project is the animated feature “Vincent the Artist” for which he is currently writing the songs for the film.

Additional information and samples of his work can be heard at:

This workshop will be conducted via Skype.



Paul Wang is an associate professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program at Northwestern University.  Paul specializes in marketing strategy and other customer relationship issues.  His work addresses the issue of how marketers can take advantage of arts and crafts education to add value to their products and services.  The primary focus is on how companies can create stronger relationships with their customers by providing them with benefits that are especially relevant to their specific needs and wants.

He obtained a Ph.D. in communications studies and an M.S. in advertising from Northwestern University.





Kevin Clark is a composer, grantmaker, product manager, and consultant focused on the systems that support artists. As director of platform at New Music USA he led the creation of project grants and the New Music USA platform, and has since consulted with a range of grantmakers and technology organizations. Most recently, Kevin designed the new process for the MAP Fund, which awarded its 2017 round of funding in May.

After launching his first Kickstarter project in the first year of the platform, Kevin quickly became a resource for other artists, designing training materials and tools that have been used by hundreds of projects throughout the world. His arts economics research focuses on extending Baumol’s Cost Disease into the realm of the individual artist, and has been presented at conservatories, conferences, and universities.
In his spare time he tries to solve career problems for any artist who comes his way.
This workshop will be conducted via Skype.

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