Musical integration in various areas of education is one of the main tenets of the outreach Fifth House does. They are constantly creating lesson plans and activities that they can use during their One Shot! programs as well as their longer term residencies in the Chicago area that illustrate models and concepts across academic subjects. Our morning workshop session today explored various activities and strategies they use in their programs in an effort to have participants think outside of the more traditional models of outreach such as preview concerts, instrument petting-zoos, and children’s choirs. We were given an individual challenge that we will present later this week. What do you think? Can you take on the challenge?
– Create a short activity that teaches “beat” vs “rhythm”
– Use the “Show-Do” model
– Must connect to an academic subject.
After the Education/Outreach Workshop, we took our show on the road. Specifically, we traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum for the first of our auditioned concerts. From its roots as Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888, the Museum has grown to be an art icon for the entire area. The performance took place in Windhover hall under the 90-foot-high glass ceiling located directly below the Burke Brise Soleil. This space was absolutely alive with the music presented by fresh inc participants. Danielle Simandl (violin) and Rita Andrade (viola) began the afternoon performance with Halvorsen’s “Passacaglia for Violin and Viola.” Danielle humorously described the beginning of the piece as sounding like “something that would be used for nightly news show on the BBC.” Composer and bassist, Matt Kline, followed the duet with his own composition “Leap of Faith.” Opening as a meditation between consonant and dissonant intervals including harmonics and scratch tones, Kline then took a timpani mallet in hand which he used near the bridge providing an insistent pulsing growing in intensity. He returned to extended bow techniques, pizzicato, and frenzied finger tips to finish the piece with flair. Rachael Eid-Ries (viola) and Emilyn Johnson (flute) presented exciting new compositions – excerpts from Richard Einhorn’s “Maxwell’s Demon” and Daniel Pesca’s “In memory of Mélisande” respectively. Conversely, Nick Baskin took us back in time playing bassoon transcription of the “Sarabande” from Bach’s Partita in A Minor.
Jennifer Ellis (harp) and Johnathan Hulting-Cohen (saxophone) treated the audience to Joseph Jongen’s “Danse Lent” – originally written for harp and flute, they transcribed it for harp and soprano saxophone. Further illustrating the range of the harp, Jennifer played a self composition which explored a host of extended techniques such as pedal slides, pitch bends using screwdrivers, and thunder. Jabez Co (flute) finished the recital with “Zoom Tube” by Ian Clarke which also puts extended flute techniques like multiphonics, damping, and speaking/singing into the flute on full display.
After a first concert like the one the participants performed at Milwaukee Art Museum, there is no denying that there is serious talent pouring forth from the fresh inc crew. As Melissa Snoza affirmed in our Arts Start-Up Workshop later, the number one thing is that “you have to have the goods.” But, what about going beyond technical skill and musicality? What does it take to make a career out of this dream? Melissa reminded us of JacobTV’s quote from yesterday and encouraged us to envision how we can fulfill a service. Think back to that Venn diagram from $100 Start-Up.
Melissa also shared, “the needs of a community are what pay the bills.” As the music world, and specifically the new music world, changes and grows it will be more important than ever to think strategically about creating the kind of career you want to have. We are not exempt from making the important choices about doing what we want and making a living doing it. Melissa, faculty members, and participants continued to discuss specific business models and their pros versus cons of each.
Truly, there are no secrets to “making it” in the world of classical music. If you continue to hone exceptional skills, the information is out there. People only think there’s a secret because they are usually not ready or willing to do the work it takes. Also, we must take hope — rather than trepidation — that each individual’s path is different.