About this project
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.
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.
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 !!"
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.
Cellist Josh DeVries with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
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."
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%).
- Website of composer Michael Schelle
- A / V : The Music of Michael Schelle
- Website of the South Shore Orchestra
- The South Shore Orchestra blog
- The South Shore Orchestra China Tours
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.
Risks and challenges
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.
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