Holy Force Majeure!

Snowy trafficWell, we’ve been wondering where it is, and now we finally have it.  Snow.  Beautiful, white, fluffy snow—and lots of it, all over the country!

Although we can probably agree that it’s pretty, it can certainly wreak havoc on travel, particularly for a touring ensemble such as 5HE.

I think in the past few years, we have all become accustomed to mild winters that have produced, virtually, no snow that we have sort of forgotten how to deal with it.

It started with our residency last week at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.  Kalamazoo was experiencing a tremendous amount of what we in the mid west call “lake effect” snow, and they were anticipating even more the next day.  We got an email from one of the organizers the morning before the event that the University had been shut down.  At this point, it was unclear whether the workshops and the concert would even happen!

Kind of like the U.S. Postal Service motto: “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night,” 5HE is prepared to deliver!  The rest of our day was spent working on contingency plans for how, even if we couldn’t physically be present, we could still fulfill our mission of training music students how to be successful arts entrepreneurs! YAY for technology– aka Skype!

It was finally determined by 5 p.m. that they were going to go ahead with the conference and the concert.

cars tuned over-snow

Typically, 5HE workshop leaders leave Chicago the evening before an event, just to make sure that travel is not a problem.  So Eric got in his car and made the trek to Kalamazoo, MI.  He arrived safely, and uneventfully. Melissa, who was out of town on other business, was already planning on leading her portion of the workshops via Skype.

Workshop day arrives. Apparently, other presenters were not so lucky and had major problems. Many of them had to turn around because of the weather. One landed in a ditch.

The drive, which would normally take about 2.5 hours, turned into a full 5 hours.  Cars flipped over like bugs.  Lots of slow, slow traffic.  You get the picture.  The good news is that we all arrived safely.  Our workshops went on as planned.  As a matter of fact, Eric even gave the workshops for the presenters who were unable to make it in.  Go Eric!

All in all, the day was a smashing success.  The faculty and organizers were fantastic, the students were a joy to work with, and, finally, the concert was brilliantly played, and well attended, despite the weather! You might even say, #thisocks—and it did!

Goes to show, that with a little creativity, lots of teamwork, and a big helping of technology, the show can go on!


This week’s Weekly Inspiration was written by Whitnie, our fearless, kick butt managing director.  This is Whitnie’s 5HE blog debut!  Every day she gets up and approaches her 5HE work with unending positivity and energy, and we couldn’t be blessed with a greater advocate!  Welcome to the blog, Whitnie Crown!  Ironically, the weather powers-that-be seem to be conspiring against 5HE.  We were supposed to be flying to Boston tomorrow to lead a full day of workshops at a performance of Black Violet Act I at the New England Conservatory, but Winter Storm Nemo had other plans.  I spent most of yesterday working out Plans B & C in case we couldn’t get to Boston.  Luckily, from our experience at Western Michigan University last weekend, we already knew that SKyping in for the workshops would be a relatively easy back up plan!

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