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New songs composed by Paula Foley Tillen using selected texts of a renowned Midwestern woman's turn-of-the century magazine column.
New songs composed by Paula Foley Tillen using selected texts of a renowned Midwestern woman's turn-of-the century magazine column.
42 backers pledged $3,922 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,922

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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)

- Rehearsals

- 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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

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    You will get a snazzy refrigerator magnet with Nellie's image and a some words of wisdom.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

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    In addition to the reward above, you will receive "Some of Grandmother's Good Things," an ebook of old-fashioned recipes from one of Nellie's articles.

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    In addition to the rewards above, you will receive a digital download of the studio recording.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

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    In addition to the above rewards, you will receive access to a completely sung cooking demonstration video, improvised and performed by Sarah.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

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    In addition to the above rewards, you will receive an invitation to a private, Milwaukee reception and performance of the new work along with some other great songs.

    This performance is slated for early November. More details on this event will be announced as soon as available.

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Funding period

- (53 days)