About this project
Project Purpose: To create a new work of music which reintroduces the life and works of Nellie Kedzie Jones, an early advocate for women's education and science-based homemaking.
The local food movement, rise in artisan or hand-made products, and our ongoing debates as to how and why our country has been so unhealthy in recent years, is causing many of us to look back to simpler times, especially when it comes to food preparation and production. I am giving a musical voice to this throw-back trend. Through Nellie's Letters: Songs for the Homestead, audiences will hear old wisdom through new music.
Nellie Kedzie Jones began teaching some of the first home ec classes in the country in the early 1880s at Kansas State University. One of her first graduates, Abby Marlatt founded UW-Madison’s School of Home Economics (now the School of Human Ecology). After Nellie, her husband Howard and adopted daughter Eleanor settled on a farm in Auburndale, WI, both Nellie and her husband were called to serve the University during the first world war. Howard taught in the history department and Nellie served as State Leader of Home Economics Extension. Nellie traveled the Midwest and even to Canada and Florida to share her vision of making more efficient and scientific homemaking skills attainable through education. She also spoke about the importance of farming and upholding the image of farming as a dignified profession.
The texts I chose for these new songs come from the Country Gentleman magazine, where Jones wrote as "The Country Gentlewoman" and "Aunt Nellie" from 1912 to 1918. In her column as "Aunt Nellie" corresponds with a fictional niece she calls Janet, a character Jones created through which she could more vividly share her vast knowledge with readers.
I chose Wisconsin composer and modern-day renaissance woman Paula Foley Tillen to bring new life to these old texts. To learn more about the composer and hear some samples of her music, please visit her website: www.pftillenmusic.com.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP TO COVER THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES:
- Composer's Commission Fee
- Marketing and producing the premiere (posters, programs, space rental, piano tuning)
- Studio Recording
Risks and challenges
There are few risks involved with this project. Estimates for the studio recording and rehearsal times are as accurate as I can be, but there is always the possibility that the process will take more or less time than anticipated.
The plans for the premiere location in Madison have progressed, but I need to hold off on announcing full details until all is set. Please be assured that I will keep everyone informed with updates on the premiere and subsequent performances.
After the music is out in the world, the work will be submitted for publication as well as to composition competitions.
BEYOND THE GOAL
Any funds raised above the goal will help me to tour this work and share Nellie's story across the state.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (53 days)