Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 31, 2013.

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Composition of a new work for an American symphony orchestra on tour across China in January 2014

New Music: A Bridge to Beijing

We invite you to support an exciting cross-cultural project that creates a unique musical bridge between China and the South Shore Orchestra (SSO) of Valparaiso, Indiana: a new work for cello and orchestra by award-winning American composer Michael Schelle. This work—featuring virtuosic young cellist Josh DeVries—will tour with the SSO throughout China for ten days in January 2014.

The SSO has been extremely fortunate to have been invited by the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University to tour China on three previous occasions. On these past tours, the orchestra has performed both American and Chinese music involving soloists from both countries.

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For its 2014 China tour the SSO wants to bring a special musical gift—  a piece written specifically for the tour and for the Chinese people who have always been extremely enthusiastic about our performances. This project would also strengthen and personalize our partnership with the Confucius Institute which has graciously underwritten significant portions of our tours.

CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE
CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE

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Composer Michael Schelle writes: "I am excited—and deeply honored—to have been selected for this wonderful, meaningful project! Josh is an extremely gifted and passionate cellist, and the moment he proposed this great idea, my brain went into overdrive with ideas about the piece. I envision a true fusion of cultures, a marriage of musical styles and aesthetics (not a musical travelogue)—a piece that begins (and/or ends) with a 'great wall' of sound !!"

The Great Wall of China, near Beijing
The Great Wall of China, near Beijing

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This new piece will be the second work by Schelle that the SSO has taken on tour: on the very first SSO tour of China, Schelle's wife, pianist / composer Miho Sasaki, gave eight performances of his Wright Flight piano concerto.

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Cellist Josh DeVries with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra: Josh DeVries, co-principal cellist
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra: Josh DeVries, co-principal cellist

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Life after China:  because our professional and personal associations with many orchestras across the US and abroad, we expect your new piece to have a very healthy and successful "life after world premiere."

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KICKSTARTER FUNDING / BUDGET

*** Post-launch note: Thanks to enthusiastic backers around the world, "A Bridge to Beijing" has met its initial goal !! We set the original goal very conservatively because of Kickstarter's all-or-nothing funding model, so we'd still love to have YOUR support to be an important part of this exciting creative collaboration / adventure !! ***

Funds raised via KICKSTARTER will support the composition of the new piece and help pay for its copying costs, score reproductions, etc. Funding BEYOND the initial goal will be very appreciated and used to help with additional copying costs, the significant expenses of concert organization, publicity and tour planning, and the composer's possible travel to China with the SSO. Also helps take the sting out of the combined kickstarter / amazon administrative processing fees (c. 9%).

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SSO and soloists after a performance of "The Song of the Yangtze River"
SSO and soloists after a performance of "The Song of the Yangtze River"

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The South Shore Orchestra, founded in 2004 by music director and conductor Troy Webdell, began its life as a community chamber orchestra. Over the past decade, through its members' shared passion and vision, it has bloomed into a highly respected—internationally touring—60-member symphony orchestra, with annual concert seasons that feature exciting programs that mix new works with classic repertoire.

SSO visits Mt. Putuo in the Zhoushzhn Province (2010)
SSO visits Mt. Putuo in the Zhoushzhn Province (2010)

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Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The SSO has thoroughly and carefully planned the project's timeline to ensure its completion--barring an "act of God." The conductor's and the composer's many years of professional experience (Schelle has never missed a deadline in his busy 35-year professional career) lead us to anticipate no bumps on the road to this project's completion.

The SSO will do everything it can to make sure its goals and its promises to you are fully met. We will have timely updates for our supporters, and will be happy to answer any questions or concerns regarding this great project.

Pinyin xièxie 謝謝 Thank you !!

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    1 backer

    Our heartfelt thank you !! Estimated delivery: the very moment you pledge

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    5 backers

    THE VALPARAISO LEVEL: Our heartfelt thank you plus a personal "Thank You" card designed and signed by SSO conductor Troy Webell, cellist Josh DeVries and composer Michael Schelle

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    16 backers

    THE TIANTAI LEVEL: All of the above plus a special digital download recording of the new piece AND recognition as a 'project sponsor' on SSO website. (Tiantai was the very first city SSO performed in China - also the birthplace of Zen Buddhism)

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    15 backers

    THE HANGZHOU LEVEL: All of the above plus a signed CD featuring recordings of SSO performances in China AND your name published in the premiere concert program. (Hangzhou is a breathtaking city visited on previous China tours; President Nixon signed peace treaties here)

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    8 backers

    THE NINGBO LEVEL: All of the above plus a specially prepared, not-for-sale recording of the new piece. (Ningbo is a city of 10 million people. It had a great impact on composer Schelle when he visited there in 2009)

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    3 backers

    THE GREAT WALL LEVEL: All of the above plus a packet of programs from the SSO China concerts AND two (2) complimentary tickets for the October 2013 premiere of the new piece in Northwest Indiana. (In 2009 SSO visited the Great Wall on the coldest Beijing day in 50 years: minus 10 Fahrenheit, plus windchill!!)

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    2 backers

    THE FUZHOU LEVEL: All of the above plus major commissioning credit and a nicely bound autographed 9 x 12 copy of the full conductor's score of the new piece, signed by Michael Schelle, Troy Webdell and Josh DeVries - with your name published in the score ! (Fuzhou, which literally translates as "blessed settlement," is a large, warm and welcoming city in southern China. The SSO visited it on their most recent tour.)

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    THE SHANGHAI LEVEL: All of the above plus a brief new piece for cello and piano COMPOSED FOR AND DEDICATED TO YOU (or an individual of your choice) by Michael Schelle, You will receive an original manuscript (signed) and published score. (The SSO performed in Shanghai, a city of 22 million, on their most recent tour.)

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    THE BEJING LEVEL: All of the above plus a new piece for cello and piano COMPOSED FOR AND DEDICATED TO YOU (or an individual of your choice) by Michael Schelle. Your new piece will be premiered at a private or public concert in your own home or hometown (within 100 miles of the Chicago area). Featuring cellist Josh DeVries, additional repertoire for YOUR concert - selected from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar, Bartok, Shostakovitch, etc. - can be agreed upon later. (On its first China tour, the SSO performed twice in Beijing during its heaviest snowfall in 50 years!!)

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    THE CONFUCIUS LEVEL: Commission your very own additional new piece !! At this level, you will receive all of the above PLUS a brand new orchestral piece (or a symphonic wind ensemble piece or a chamber ensemble piece - your choice !!) COMPOSED FOR AND DEDICATED TO YOU (or an individual of your choice) by Michael Schelle. This is NOT the kickstarter piece / project on this page - this will be an additional brand new piece, written just for you. You will receive sole commissioning credit in the score and program notes. Depending on your choice of composition, YOUR new piece will either be premiered by the SSO (and/or other orchestras) or by prestigious university symphonic bands or professional chamber ensembles across the USA during the 2014/15, 2015/16 seasons !! This pledge amount covers ALL expenses related to YOUR new piece, including copying costs, reproductions of the score and parts, etc. You will also receive three (3) nicely bound conductor's scores of your new work, signed by composer Michael Schelle. $2.5K is the 'entry level' for a brief (c. 4-5 minutes) piece, but a larger pledge will support a larger work . . . the sky's the limit (c. 2 more minutes per each add'l $1K . . . )

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Funding period

- (36 days)