Can We Sleep Yet?

Wow, the beginning of 2013 has been the busiest time for Fifth House Ensemble that I can remember in my short 2 years with the ensemble!  I’m sure you noticed that we missed our WIBP a couple of weeks — Yikes!  We were exploring Minneapolis while doing a 3 day residency, plus a performance of Black Violet Act I, at the University of Minnesota.  And last week we were having some website issues, so I wasn’t able to post anything.  But now that the site is back up, and we’re safely back in Chicago, I thought I’d share with you some of our recent happenings!





We recently performed a series of premieres, which has lovingly gone down in the 5HE history book as “the premiere period.”  For two weeks, we had the amazing pleasure of playing alongside soprano Martha Cluver and electric violin & guitar duo ITSNOTYOUITSME, featuring Caleb Burhans and Grey Mcmurray.  We had three performances of the (in my humble opinion) mind blowing program featuring world premiere performances of Caleb Burhans’ Excelsior and John Zorn’s The Temptations of Saint Anthony, plus a stellar RSQ arrangement of Shostakovich’s Ninth String Quartet.  To cap off outstanding shows at Concordia University in Ann Arbor and Carthage College in Kenosha, we had our stage debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago.  It was one of the most energetic and exciting performances I’ve been a part of in a while!  While we were all really sad to see Caleb, Martha, and Grey head back to New York, we were also looking forward to a bit of a return to an easier schedule.


But life didn’t slow down after our MCA performance!  The following week, our full ensemble headed to snowy Minneapolis for three days of workshops with music students at the University of Minnesota and a performance of Black Violet Act I in their beautiful Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall.  Luckily we were able to relax a little bit with delicious food & drinks, plus awesome company while we were there.  Because ensemble bonding time when we’re not rehearsing and performing is always important!


We headed to the Minneapolis airport on Friday afternoon with the help of a completely full Super Shuttle, 1 taxi, and a mini van for Eric’s bass in its flight case (aka The Star Ship Enterprise — ask Eric & Melissa about it!) and headed back to Chicago.  After an all-too-short weekend, Melissa, Crystal, Karl, and Carole headed to Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana (Carole’s alma mater!) on Monday for a performance of Music Can Tell A Story, our music & storytelling One-Shot! performance for elementary school students.  The musicians (accompanied by Carole reading the Rebecca Grimes poem!) used MCTAS to demonstrate the powers and uses of chamber music to the SMC music department.

After the performance at Saint Mary’s on Monday, we made our way back to Chicago to finish up a hectic week — the opening concert of our Music & Storytelling residency at Beasley Elementary School, a number of other school residency visits, rehearsals for Caught: The Wen, and two story circle workshops!


And now we’ve reached the beginning of a new week.  *Phew* I’m tired just from typing and remembering everything that’s happened in the last few weeks!  But this week is extra special — we’re on spring break!  No rehearsals, performances, ed visits, or conference calls for 9 days!  Some of our ensemble members are traveling this week (How can they handle more traveling?!? Actually, I’m really jealous.), some of our players will be holed up prepping for our next series concert, and some of us are catching up on emails and just keeping a low profile this week.  But we will ALL be sleeping a little extra this week :).


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