New York City kicked our butts!

January has been a blur. It’s the month usually reserved for the largest conferences in our industry, and this year we had a big presence at both!

Not only did we attend Chamber Music America (CMA) & the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conferences (APAP), but we were awarded juried showcase performances as well as career development opportunities at both conferences.

First, our favorite bits from the conferences:

Andrew: For once we got to actually sleep in NYC! Thanks APAP and YPCA for putting us up at the Sheraton. Not that we don’t love crashing at Tim’s house in New Haven…

KariI loved hearing people’s reactions after our CMA showcase, even just seeing their faces. Many people hadn’t heard the reed quintet before and it really made an impact on them. 

TimAt the YPCA program we met the PubliQuartet, a like-minded, adventurous string quartet. It was great learning from their journey as well as sharing ours. 

Matt: Definitely Brian the NY attorney who busted into the last session of the entire YPCA experience to share his take on the realities of the music business. To put it short, it was an experience! 

Ryan: At both conferences we met many artists we knew of, but didn’t know personally. Making those personal connections was valuable, rewarding, and a long time coming! 

Now let’s take a closer look at the quintet’s adventures: 

January 8th  

Because we love 11-hour car rides, all 5 of us piled into a minivan and made the trek from Northville, MI to New Haven, CT. We arrived at Tim’s house in New Haven around 8 pm with just enough time to eat some tasty noodle soup & rehearse ourselves to sleep. 


January 9th 

It’s showtime! We piled back into our minivan & drove into midtown New York City. Chamber Music America is held at the Westin Times Square Hotel, and the Conference was buzzing and the ballroom was packed for our showcase. We performed two movements of Marc Mellits’ new work for reed quintet entitled, “Splinter”, alongside selections of Rameau, Gershwin, and Ton ter Doest.

January 10th 

Leaving Tim in New Haven and sending Ryan back on a plane to Tallahassee, Matt, Kari, and Andrew piled back into the minivan and made the 11 hour drive back to the mitten. 

But wait…the story isn’t over!

January 11th – 13th

The gang returns to their normally scheduled lives to water plants, feed animals, clean dishes, take care of odd house smells, and rest up before the APAP conference. 

January 14th

Ryan flew back early to New Haven to hang out with Tim!

January 15th

After CMA only a few days before, we were vastly unprepared for the sheer size of the APAP conference, with levels upon levels of exhibition halls, displaying managers and talent ranging from Australian circus performers to 3D jugglers. Luckily, we were attending APAP as part of the Young Career Performers Advancement program specifically designed for rising classical artists. Previous program participants include two of our biggest inspirations, eighth blackbird and Imani winds, whose members were on hand at two of the career development sessions we attended. 

We were lucky to get to know the other artists in the YPCA program: cellist Brook Speltz, cellist Francisco Villa, pianist Steven Lin, and the PubliQuartet. The program was curated by music entrepreneur extraordinaire Angela Beeching of the Manhattan School of Music. She led us through creative exercises, and we dove deep into how we can make an even greater impact on the classical music landscape. The evening ended with a big kick-off party hosted by APAP, complete with great food, drinks, and quality time with both our manager, Oni Buchanan, and many new friends from the conference. 

 January 16 – 17th 

The YPCA program really took off. We were in panels and career development sessions focusing on community building, branding, elevator pitches, development and fundraising, speaking from the stage, composer collaborations, and best legal practices. In short, it was our career beyond music. During these busy two days we found an hour or two to explore New York City. From an early evening stroll in Central Park, to dinner and drinks with friends, we learned all over again why we’ll take any gig in NYC we can get!

 January 18th 

After three days of networking to the max, it was time to showcase in New York for the second time in 10 days. This time around, we were in the Kaufman Music Center, performing in Merkin Hall. After all the career-building talk, it was great to play some music! The showcase was even emceed by Ann Arbor’s own Ken Fischer, making the whole evening feel very close to home. 

January 19th

But the conference wasn’t over yet…after a few more panel sessions in the morning, we headed our separate ways. Thanks New York City; let’s do it again next year! 

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