fresh inc festival performances this week

Published: June 13, 2017

Public Performances at UW-Parkside

Sunday Concert, June 18
Frances Bedford Concert Hall, 2 p.m.

World premieres written for fresh inc by participating composers and performed by instrumentalists from the nation's top music schools. Pieces performed by mixed ensembles also featuring members of Fifth House Ensemble. Composers tell their stories of inspiration, the composition process, and their work with peers and professionals at fresh inc.

Salon Nights – informal and fun. 

A chance for anyone at the festival to play whatever they like and for the audience to enjoy the spontaneity. (Room D184 of the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities)

Wednesday, June 7, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 10, 7 p.m.

No admission charge for the Sunday Concert of Salon Nights


It's June at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and that means the nation's top chamber-music instrumentalists and composers will put their talents on display during the fresh inc festival.


Fifth House Ensemble, a chamber-music group based in Chicago, uses the UW-Parkside campus and the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities as the fresh inc festival headquarters.

The fresh inc festival, a two-week series of workshops, rehearsals and performances, attracts composers and instrumentalists from renown music schools such as Juilliard, Eastman, the Cleveland Institute, and more. (Full schedule at"We invite instrumentalists and composers from all over the county, up to age 32, to join us to present and premier 16 new works of chamber music," said Melissa Snoza, a flutist and executive director of Fifth House Ensemble Snoza.

Why age 32? Typically, that is a time in musicians' lives when they may be just past their doctorate degrees or entering the emerging stage of their professional careers. The fresh inc festival is a launching pad between conservatory life and professional life.

The composers and instrumentalists have the opportunity to play together in mixed ensembles that include members of Fifth House Ensemble. "We're not forming them into groups, coaching them from the outside and telling them what to do," Snoza said. "We're performing with them, which is our favorite way to learn."

For composers, a high-quality recording of their work performed by top, young instrumentalists is a major benefit of the fresh inc festival. "As a young composer," Snoza said, "that in itself can be a very difficult thing to accomplish with very fine players."

In addition to rehearsals and performances at UW-Parkside, festival attendees will play at venues such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Golden Rondelle Theater on the SC Johnson campus in Racine, the Racine Public Library, Sealed Air YMCA in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., the Kenosha Public Library, and Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. The fresh inc festival culminates with a concert in the Frances Bedford Concert Hall on the UW-Parkside campus Sunday, June 18 2 to 4 p.m.

While a dozen performances in two weeks may seem like a lot, Snoza said fresh inc is not just about performances. The festival provides emerging artists with information they may need in order to start new ventures in the professional world. Workshops cover topics such as how to start a small business, how to market, how to fund-raise, how to budget, and how to sell to performance venues.

Other seminars explore creative-performance techniques, including public speaking. "There are a variety of things that as musicians we need to learn about public speaking," Snoza said. "Obviously, the fear of speaking in public is more common than the fear of death. So it is not that unusual that we [musicians] would be freaked out about that. You think that as performers we would be more comfortable; but you take the instrument away and sometimes the superpowers are gone."

Festival participants will also gain insight from an internationally touring bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers which will be leading an improvisation workshop.

Snoza describes Fifth House Ensemble as an organization that challenges the ways in which people experience chamber music. "There are a lot of organizations where you can have your beliefs affirmed," she said. "We're one where beliefs can be challenged. We do a lot of work in the community, creating shows with various organizations and non-arts-based partners. We're going to play in strange places; we're going to pair music with things that you might not expect."

About Fifth House Ensemble and the fresh inc festival

Under the guidance of Fifth House Ensemble, the fresh inc festival is a one-of-a-kind chamber music event that redefines the training process for emerging composers and instrumentalists.

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