Artist: Fifth House Ensemble

The Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music, 5HE is defined by its limitless imagination and energy, and an insatiable desire to bring chamber music to audiences of all types. With humor and joy, 5HE harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to create transformative cross-media performance experiences that breathe life into repertoire both established and emerging through community-based storytelling, physical theatre, and graphic novels. Having established itself as a regular on the Chicago chamber music scene, Fifth House has performed on some of the city’s most well-regarded series and venues including Ravinia, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Pritzker Pavilion, WFMT Impromptu, Preston Bradley Hall and Rush Hour Concerts at St. James. Bringing its signature connective programming from the stage to the classroom, 5HE develops young audiences through curriculum-integrated interactive concerts and residencies for students grades K-12 in partnership with the International Music Foundation, Communities in Schools Chicago, and Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play program. Currently in residence at Carthage College and at DePauw University, Fifth House has led workshops, residencies, and performances at Yale College, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Northwestern University, the Miller Theater at Columbia University, and the Colburn School. In 2012, 5HE launched fresh inc, a one of a kind chamber music festival that brings together emerging composers and instrumentalists for side-by-side performances and training in creative presentation and entrepreneurship.

As part of its 2014-2015 season, Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) presents four landmark events: following 2013-2014’s footsteps, the long-awaited return of Black Violet: The Great Exodus of the Tamed, written and illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels; Broken Text, a collaboration with Raven Theatre and Free Write Jail Arts that tells the stories of young people at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center; Verklärte Nacht, Schoenberg’s masterwork reimagined by video artist Adebukola Bodunrin; and Nedudim, a musical journey in collaboration with Tel Aviv and Berlin-based Mediterranean folk band Baladino. On tour, 5HE visits the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the University of Northern Iowa, the Civic Music Association the Manchester Symphony Society, Concordia University of Ann Arbor, Carthage College, and three world premieres at Illinois Wesleyan University as part of their Sesquicentennialcelebration’s Symposium of Contemporary Music. The ensemble released Excelsior, its debut recording on Cedille Records, in 2014.

Fifth House Ensemble

Melissa Snoza, flute

Pablo Moreno, oboe

Jennifer Woodrum, clarinet

Eric Heidbreder, bassoon

Valerie Whitney, horn

Charlene Kluegel, violin

Clark Carruth, viola

Herine Coetzee Koschak, cello

Eric Snoza, bass

Jani Parsons, piano

Dan Visconti, composer

Chicago, IL

Black Violet I: The Leagues of DespairVitruvian Man: The Music of Dr. Mark Petering


DePauw University

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

University of Northern Iowa

Civic Music Association

Ravinia Festival

Chicago Civic Orchestra

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Rush Hour Concerts

Chicago Cultural Center



Smart Crowdfunding

A piggy-bank video and a hand clicking a dollar sign button 0

Crowdfunding is a revolutionary way for artists to realize their vision, and create a community of followers. Two artists, writer Jessica Duchen and composer Dan Visconti developed successful campaigns in the United Kingdom and United States, respectively. Both offered 21CM their different perspectives on what worked best and surprised them about the process.