Clark’s Take on the Lead Up to Spring Break!

On Monday, I posted about what has been keeping 5HE busy lately.  Little did I know, Clark, our violist, had this great WIBP coming my way with a pretty similar theme.  But that’s ok!  Clark tells of the last few weeks from the perspective of a performer and teaching artist.  Enjoy this insightful recap of our crazy spring, and check back next week for more Weekly Inspiration!


Ladies and gentlemen, I gotta say, March was awesome! It was a three week whirlwind of living the chamber music dream. Carole’s last blog post wonderfully summarized our recent activities, but the past month truly was the busiest time we’ve experienced as an ensemble. And as a musician, I have to say it was fantastically and exhaustively exciting!


March 1st, 3rd, and 9th saw us performing two world premieres, The Temptations of St. Anthony by John Zorn and Excelsior by Caleb Burhans, which are two incredibly different pieces yet, when placed on the same program, complement each other wonderfully. Between these two works, we unveiled the latest addition to our Real String Quartet repertoire collection, our own arrangement of Shostakovich’s amazing yet underplayed 9th String Quartet. (We intend to change that last part… A lot!)


Sandwiched between these concerts was a six hour recording session of Zorn’s Temptations, which would have been much more of a grind had we not had the incredible producing of Caleb Burhans guiding our efforts. The other rock star that day was Jani, our still-in-her-rookie-year pianist who had about 3000% more notes than the the rest of us yet played them just great… over and over and over again!


Then there was the trip to Minneapolis — my first time in that still cold yet lovely and friendly town. Our hotel was right on the edge of campus, so we had such an easy time discovering local restaurants, coffee shops, and the quickest way to the music building. Also fun was realizing each building on campus is connected either through sky-ways or underground via the aptly named Gopherway, which came in handy on more than one drizzly, frigid, early morning! And needless to say the students and professors we got to work with in four workshops and one Black Violet concert were simply awesome to teach, collaborate with, learn from ourselves, and hang out with between sessions. Hope we get to go back!


And then when we weren’t performing, traveling, recording, and rehearsing, we were keeping up with our education residencies. The teachers and students at New Field Elementary continue to be a blast to work with – can’t wait for their final concert! – and we just kicked off what will be an awesome residency at Beasley Academic Center. (This was Derrick Rose’s elementary school for all you sports fans.)

Now… spring break! And I have the time to take a breath, look back in awe at what we just did, and then think how utterly cool it will be when every month is like this one!


Photos from top to bottom: A quickly snapped pic from the projection booth of the Museum of Contemporary Art during on 3/9, the ensemble and guest artists having a post show discussion with the audience following our 3/9 performance at the MCA, the snowy view from the plane en route to Minneapolis, and the Mississippi Rivier on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. 

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