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AMERICAN DREAMS: music that speaks from the American heart, performed by the St. Helens String Quartet
87 backers pledged $7,406 to help bring this project to life.

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AMERICAN DREAMS, St. Helens String Quartet's first CD, will become a reality with your help!

Stephen Bryant, Paige Stockley, Adrianna Hulscher, Michael Lieberman
Stephen Bryant, Paige Stockley, Adrianna Hulscher, Michael Lieberman

The Seattle-based quartet consists of Stephen Bryant and Adrianna Hulscher on violin, Michael Lieberman on viola, and Paige Stockley on cello. Pianist Lisa Bergman is guest artist.

Seattle composers, Ken Benshoof, Janice Giteck and Bern Herbolsheimer wrote works exclusively for the St. Helens String Quartet who then recorded those works using a grant from the The Jack Straw Arts Foundation. They then recorded the spectacular American Dreams Quartet by Peter Schickele, inspiring their album's name.

Originally intended to be archival and printed exclusively for friends and family, these recordings came to the attention of the innovative classical label, Navona Records. Navona is so enthusiastic about the album, that they want to release it internationally. This exciting development has lead the quartet to turn to Kickstarter to help fund production, so that Navona can release the album worldwide.

The Music

American Dreams explores a sonic vision of American culture presented by four contemporary composers, three from the great Northwest, and one from the American heartlandThe intersection of classical music with popular and folk is where the journey begins for the quartet and the resulting music has captivated everyone who has heard it. 

A Few Highlights:

String Quartet No. 1, American Dreams, by Peter Schickele  |  Grammy Award-winner, Peter Schickele’s five movements weave together jazz, Appalachian folk, and waltz structures into a pastoral and Coplandesque work, evoking distant images of rural America. 

Swing Low, by Kenneth Benshoof  |  Written for the quartet, Benshoof's work uses the traditional spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot for its motivic material, creating shifting tones of obscurity and clarity through alternating textures.

Botanas, by Bern Herbolsheimer  |  Touching on the traditions of Central America, Herbolsheimer uses Mayan melodies to express unique flavors of the Yucatan region of Mexico, Botanas being "little snacks" in the Yucatan.

Where Can One Live Safely, Then? In Surrender, by Janice Giteck  |  In this piece, Gitek presents the unraveling of Western culture.“Rather than aspiring to greater ‘independence of voices,’" she asks, "would we now be better off—kinder, healthier—had we remained a more tribal people, less differentiated?”

 Remember by Ken Benshoof

The Musicians

Adrianna Hulscher, Stephen Bryant, Paige Stockley, Michael Lieberman
Adrianna Hulscher, Stephen Bryant, Paige Stockley, Michael Lieberman

STEPHEN BRYANT | violin

Stephen Bryant is known for his passion and enthusiasm for music. Before joining the Seattle Symphony in 2002, he served as Principal Second Violin of the Sydney Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the Edmonton Symphony, and was also a member of the Calgary Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Each summer, he plays string quartets on 15-day river trips through the Grand Canyon. His Beau Quartet from Calgary has recorded works by Sibelius, Nielsen, Gardel, Andrix and Bachmann on the Arktos label.

ADRIANNA HULSCHER | violin

Adrianna Hulscher performs in the Seattle area, where she is a freelance violinist and member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. She studied at the New England Conservatory and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She enjoys performing new music, and has done so as a recitalist and member of the Saint Helens String Quartet. She lives in Seattle with her husband and 3-year old daughter.

MICHAEL LIEBERMAN | viola

Michael Lieberman, Violist, pursues a busy and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. After having spent almost a decade living and performing in Seattle, Michael now resides in Southern California where he was most recently the Assistant Music Director and Violist for Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS in Hollywood.

PAIGE STOCKLEY | cello

Cellist Paige Stockley, is known for championing the music of living composers from the Pacific Northwest and is on the faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. Paige holds a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Her early training was at the University of Washington, where she studied with cellist Toby Saks while earning a double major in Political Science and English. She has also played in orchestras around the world: from Connecticut to Spain, Mexico City, Prague and Krakow, spending a year at the European Mozart Academy playing under the baton of Sandor Vegh and studying with Steven Isserlis. Her teachers include Ardyth Alton, Michael Haber and Valentin Hirsu. She served as the cellist on a West Coast tour with singer Rickie Lee Jones and was principle cellist on the European Mozart Academy tour of Mozart’s “Zaide” arranged by Luciano Berio.

Paige’s solo CD, August Ruins, a five-movement suite for cello with original music by Peter Vukmirovic Stevens, is available on Amazon.

LISA BERGMAN | piano

A passionate promoter of classical music, Lisa Bergman is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series in Seattle; the Executive Director of Northwest Opera in Schools, Etcetera and a national award winning radio announcer on Classic KING-FM in Seattle, streaming worldwide. Lisa is a collaborative concert pianist and a graduate of the Juilliard School, the State University of New York at Stony Brook and The University of Washington, cum laude. Her performances have taken her from Europe and the U.S. to the Pacific Rim as an USIS American Artistic Ambassador. She made her Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1983.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Navona Records is an innovative label that incubates and nurtures new talent. They are excited to publish our music and expand our audience, but first we must fundraise. The money we raise will go towards editing, audio engineering, mastering, art design, marketing, press kits, copywriting, graphic design, website development, CD release event costs and legal fees.    

We need to raise $7,000 to make this happen. Can you help us?

If we complete our task, Navona will press 1,000 CDs and begin a worldwide marketing campaign. They will use press releases and radio broadcasts to tell the world about American Dreams. They will make this music available everywhere, from Pandora to Target to Amazon. If we meet this goal, Navona will expand our audience, making these works available to new listeners who search for alternative sounds and crave music that feeds the soul.

A Stretch Goal of an additional $5,000

A recent report from Nielsen Soundscan reports that vinyl sales are up 49% this year from 2013 and have been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “The Biggest Comeback of 2014”. Because of this unprecedented shift, we hope to do a vinyl release of American Dreams, adding an additional $5,000 in production costs. This move towards vinyl would bring a new audience to our music, while allowing listeners to own the art-object of a 3-fold LP as they enjoy the sound quality of an LP.

Please consider being a backer to this important and exciting project and help us share this music with the world! 

Come see us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sthelensquartet

Risks and challenges

We are so lucky that this CD is set to be released in August by the Navona label—with nothing pending! Assuming we are successful in our fundraiser, the CD's will be pressed, the marketing campaign is already in full swing, and there should be no unforeseen obstacles ahead.

Raising additional funds to add a vinyl release would be fantastic! It's hard to believe that vinyl is back—especially in classical—but it's back in a big way and we want to be a part of it! We want to give our audience the chance to enjoy the sound quality of vinyl, and to add this beautifully designed album cover to their collections. Please help us support this newly emerging industry.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    A free digital download of American Dreams

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    A CD
    A digital download of American Dreams

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    3 invitations to the CD release party
    A CD
    A digital download of American Dreams

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    16 backers
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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Name as donor listed on our website
    3 invitations to the CD release party
    A signed CD
    An audio download of American Dreams

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Name as donor listed on our website and in CD booklet
    3 invitations to the CD release party
    2 signed CDs
    An digital download of American Dreams

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    22 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    6 invitations to the CD release party
    Donor recognition on our website and CD booklet
    2 signed CDs
    A digital download of American Dreams

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    6 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    A 1-hour individual lesson on cello, violin, or piano
    1-hour of live chamber music at an a event of your choice
    6 invitations to the CD release party
    Donor recognition on our website and CD booklet
    5 signed CDs
    A digital download of American Dreams

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    A vino and oyster tasting for 10 with the quartet members at a beautiful private retreat on Hood Canal (selections from the CD played live)
    A 1-hour individual lesson on cello or piano or a composition lesson with a local American Dreams composer
    Listing as "Associate Producer" in the CD booklet
    10 invitations to the CD release party
    10 signed CDs
    A digital download of American Dreams

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    A live private concert within a 100 mile radius of Seattle
    Invitation to the "Second Inversions" radio broadcast of American Dreams at KING FM studios (backstage at KING FM!)
    1 photo print of donor's choice from the American Dreams album art
    Listing as "Associate Producer" on the CD jacket
    Donor recognition on our website
    Honored guest at the CD release party with special recognition as Associate Producer
    10 signed CDs and 10 invites to CD Release party
    A digital download of American Dreams

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Funding period

- (30 days)