You know those personal ads?  The ones that provide a list of things that people like?  If Fifth House Ensemble had one, it’d probably be as follows:  Fifth House Ensemble enjoys music, long walks on the beach, collaborating with graphic novelists, marketing execs, mimes, composers, etc., AND working with emerging musicians (that’s you!).  But don’t take my word for it, hear about what other students had to say about working with 5HE.


fresh inc festival has provided me so many tools and ideas that I would like to implement into my work.  The Fifth House Ensemble members have all been extremely passionate about this festival.  Their knowledge is invaluable, and this festival has been one of the best musical experiences in my life.  Stacy and Dan have also provided amazing sessions on how to further my artistic vision and how to market that art.  The collaborative nature of this festival has left me inspired!
Jabez C.
University of Louisville

The biggest take aways I had were from the marketing workshops and the one on one time with the faculty.  Eric was a great help in discovering new insights/perspectives on the bass.  The marketing workshops expanded on what I already thought and knew but also provided info on how.
Andrew O.
Eastman School of Music

fresh inc is an invigoratingly unique take on training musicians to not only function in a world of uncertainties, but to thrive.  The faculty is knowledgeable, welcoming, and immensely talented, as are the group of attendees they attract.  The information and opportunities I have acquired through  being in contact with such highly skilled and motivated individuals have proven invaluable, while the friendships I have forged I am forever thankful for.  I cannot wait for next year.
Alex C.
Cleveland Institute of Music

I’ve gained so much from this festival!  Great friends, great performances, and great wisdom!  I think many of us will look back at our musical careers and say, “It started at fresh inc.”
Evan W.
Cincinnati Conservatory of  Music

This festival is a magnet for musicians like me.  Finally, a place I can call home for 2 weeks and make life-long connections with other musicians who want to keep the art of live music performance alive by simultaneously pushing boundaries and focusing on how today’s music audience wants to listen to music.  Our art is not ‘dying’ — rather, we are in the middle of a large paradigm shift regarding the listening experience.  fresh inc is a festival that arms emerging professional musicians with the tools to be successful in a changing environment.  This is my favorite music festival, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Danielle S.
DePaul University

My time at fresh inc was being surrounded by motivated musicians, inspirational composers, and awesome faculty.  And then more information than I could possible ever need for establishing myself in my field.  The amount of excitement given by the faculty to and for the participants was more than I could ask for.
Milo F.
University of Oregon

fresh inc is a captivating experience for a young performer or composer at the beginning stages of a career in the arts.  It instills in each participant a love of making and writing music that is innovative and barrier breaking — and pushes us as musicians to embrace the new with open arms.  Alongside 5HE, we’re redefining what it means to belong to the world of classical music.  Watch out world!
Danielle R.
Harvard University/New England Conservatory of Music

I have never been to a festival as innovative, organized, and practical as fresh inc.  Every day was packed with activities, pertinent information, advice, and experimental space for crafting one’s art.  The faculty members’ mentorship is invaluable in my development as a composer, pianist, and most importantly, an artist.  In addition, I learned so much about entrepreneurship I have not learned anywhere before in my higher education programs.  These skills are essential and practical to an artist who is trying to craft a unique voice in this confusing world.
Grace S.
University of Southern California

The fresh inc festival is for the up and coming generation of musicians who want to push the boundaries of classical music.  The people here are incredible musicians and have big ideas for bringing our art back into the forefront of society.  I met people who will be my best friends and colleagues for the rest of my career.  I’m so excited to work with them and see what projects come to fruition because of fresh inc!
Kelly K.
Eastman School of Music

This festival has been a transformative experience for me.  For the first time in years, I feel genuinely hopeful when I think about my future as an artist.  I used to feel a sense of gnawing hopelessness and lack of control when considering what lay ahead for me, but after attending fresh inc, I finally look forward with optimism instead.
Nick B.
Yale University

fresh inc gave me a toolbox of ways to make riveting performances that keep even my non-musician friends engaged through an entire show.  Isn’t that what I should be taught as a performance major?  I’ve never left a festival with as many diverse performance and collaboration experiences to share with my friend and put on my resume.  From the moment I arrived, I felt the members of Fifth House were invested in making me a better and more marketable musician.  I was never in the shadow of the ‘almighty faculty.’  Other festivals just aren’t like that.  And I was eager to make good performances since I was performing alongside faculty!
Ryan G.
Southern Methodist University

fresh inc seeks to teach young instrumentalists and composers the realities of creating art in today’s cultural climate.  While many educational institutions are dismissive of teaching such skills are budgeting, tax, filing, programming, and fundraising the members of the Fifth House Ensemble view these skills as a necessary complement to artistic excellence.  As a result of attending fresh inc, I feel better equipped in my quest to be a 21st century musician.
Tim S.
University of Michigan

I didn’t know that there were people in the world that were already doing what I envisioned doing for my profession until I came to this festival.  This festival has transformed my life.  The workshops were full of information that I’ve been craving to hear as a music student.  The amount of creative inspiration I’ve gained from hearing new compositions, playing in ensembles, collaborating with artists, and talking with Fifth House Ensemble members is infinite.  I envision this festival growing exponentially in the next 5-10 year and drawing in international students and audience.  5HE is reaching an untapped area of the music business today, quenching the thirst of many young artists.
Rachael E.
Roosevelt University

Music is a viable career option — something fresh inc has hit home for me.  The question is how to make it work, and how I can answer.  ALSO: The creative environment fostered at fresh inc is just incredible.  There’s so much talk of collaboration and mutual support.  Even in the span of a lunch conversation, we’ve gone from talking about television to how to write more effectively for voice and everything between.  The faculty have been nothing short of incredible in sharing their wisdom as colleagues and mentors, but also in sharing a laugh as friends.  This festival has certainly been life changing, and I look forward to working with my new friends again.
Justin Giarrusso
University of Louisville

45 new family members.  The connections and friends I’ve made at this festival will be invaluable to me forever.  I instantly bonded with each and every participant and faculty member musically and personally.  No workshop can teach that.
Jason P.
University of  Michigan

At fresh inc I felt like never before the enormous responsibility of carrying forward the millennium old tradition of classical music, and knowing that the responsibility falls to all of us here at fresh inc.  Filled with the excitement of possibility and optimism for the future.
Jacobsen W.
University of Michigan

fresh inc has given me the impulse to push hard for my vaudeville saxophone sextet, The Moanin’ Frogs, to have a big year in 2013-2014.  Nonprofit status, CD recording, crowdsourcing, social media, commissioning and contracts: it’s all happening.  Tours, too, are in the works, including visits with Fresh Incers.  I’ve become braver, understanding that what I want to do is, indeed, feasible.  I can better identify which of my projects are of value to society and which perhaps are not, and I’m able to redirect my energies toward the ones that matter.  “Success” is a road paved in many, many, small, intentional steps, it seems.  Detours, roadblocks and all, I plan to take each one.
Jonathan H.
University of Michigan

Our coaching session with Fifth House Ensemble was enlightening and refreshingly informative; from developing a strong stage presence to creative musical suggestions, Fifth House Ensemble’s educational offerings have literally changed the way we think about artistic performance. Even more enthralling than their superb musical presentations are their immediately likable personalities. The members of 5HE offered meaningful and innovative suggestions that we have taken to heart in our own creative endeavors; our coaching session with Fifth House Ensemble was one of the highlights of our year.
Drew W.
Erasable Color, percussionist
Northern Arizona University

The musicians I worked with from 5HE were like family after just two weeks. While their insights on music making and being a musician in general were and are invaluable to me, they still remain some of the most down-to-earth and practical people I know.

As a composer and as a performer, one of the most valuable things I took from 5HE was learning how to connect with an audience, and just how important that is, and how it really lets you connect with yourself. Music is about communication.
Daniel B.
Eastman School of Music

Fifth House Ensemble approaches making music with such curiosity, creativity, and joy that it would be difficult not to be inspired by them. Their enthusiasm and generosity of spirit is infectious! Working with 5HE encouraged me to create opportunities for myself as a musician and to take risks with my art. Their experience, business savvy, and genuine love of what they do, make 5HE a truly exciting group to work with.
Sara N.
Westminster Choir College

My experience working with Fifth House Ensemble has been incredible – all of 5HE’s members are not only fantastic musicians but warm and personable people as well. It’s been great to work with musicians who are talented, approachable, and dedicated to new music and outreach. As a composer just beginning my career, their business savvy has also been invaluable!
Jason C.
University of Kansas

I loved meeting and working with Fifth House Ensemble!  They are incredible performers and lots of fun to hang out with, and they really cared about giving my piece a great performance.  Their music business advice was great, and they’ve been so approachable and helpful to me in my career, even after the festival was over.  Their enthusiasm and support of other musicians is contagious – it was great to be able to spend that time with them.
Liza W.
Northwestern University

Working with Fifth House Ensemble was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a musician. They are all disarmingly friendly as well as immensely musically talented, and  will treat you as a friend and colleague. They are new music mavericks exploring exciting new ideas, and their searching, joyful spirits are infectious and inspiring. Being able to work and learn alongside these amazing people expanded the way I saw my own potential, and the potential of music itself.
Tristan R.
Ithaca College

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