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  • Writer's pictureSOUNDWEAVERS

S2. EP.11 Engaging a Screen-centric Audience: fivebyfive

January 2, 2022


Laura Lentz, Marc Webster, and Eric Polenik of fivebyfive join us to chat about how they tailor their work to screen-centric audiences, and how their video projects have led to particularly interesting collaborations throughout their existence. They share about their approaches to successful grant writing, and how they've found themselves working not just as grant recipients, but also as grant-writing mentors. We also speak about the role that community plays in their work, and how they continue to search for new ways to deepen their ties to their community at every level.


fivebyfive (flute, clarinet, electric guitar, bass and piano) performs music of today’s leading and emerging composers from around the world, advocates for creators who are underrepresented in the field, and collaborates with artists across the disciplines. Through its workshops and educational concerts, fivebyfive aims to spark young people’s unlimited creative potential and inspire a deeper understanding of today’s chamber music. With a commitment to accessibility, fivebyfive performs in a variety of settings, offering affordable or free programming and sensory-friendly events.

fivebyfive’s events often involve community-building experiences in real-time during performances. Examples of these programs include: “Music/Glass” at the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival, where audiences were free to move throughout the space during the performance and participate in creating a fused glass art work while hearing the music performed live, Meet the Composer events where audiences were a part of the conversations bringing new works to life and its educational programs in the schools working with young people to spark their unlimited creative potential and inspire a deeper understanding of today’s chamber music. These have included collaborations with students of the RocMusic Collaborative, Strings for Success, 12 Corners Middle School, among others.

The winner of the 2018 Eastman/ArtistShare New Artist Program and a New Music USA grant recipient for its commissioning project for new works inspired by the stained-glass artist Judith Schaechter, fivebyfive was awarded a second New Music USA project grant for a collaboration with the George Eastman Museum, commissioning new works inspired by photographer James Welling’s collection “Choreograph.” In 2020 fivebyfive was selected as one of 16 recipients for a Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant with composer/harpist Amy Nam, and in 2021 the group was chosen as a New Music USA Organizational Development Fund Recipient which recognizes outstanding organizations that work regularly with, & support the development of, music creators & artists, offering a crucial resource in their community.

fivebyfive has appeared on WXXI Classical 91.5’s programs Backstage Pass and Live from Hochstein, featured on Performance Rochester and Performance Upstate, and has also appeared nationally on American Public Media’s Performance Today program with host Fred Child.


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2.11 fivebyfive Transcript
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