Eight years ago, Hybrid Vigor Music commissioned me to write a collection of string quartets for young musicians. The first pieces use only open strings and first finger and then, over the course of six volumes, the music grows progressively more difficult.
The music is done and now the final piece is printing the scores and parts for the Quartet Project. Our $14,000 goal will allow us to print 100 copies (scores and parts) of the complete Quartet Project. It’s your first opportunity to purchase the collection, either the whole thing, or individual volumes.
I wrote the Quartet Project in collaboration with music schools and string teachers across the United States, from New York to North Dakota. In workshops with more than 100 young string quartets, I honed the music, making sure that I got it just right. Now, at last, the collection is ready for publication. The response from teachers and kids has been really positive.
It’s a big collection—120 short pieces plus six full-length string quartets. When you add up the scores and parts for all six volumes, they total well over a thousand pages, comprising more than four hours of new music for string quartet. As I said, it’s a big collection.
A Sampler CD
In addition to publishing the sheet music, we’ve also put together a companion CD entitled 38 Selections: A Quartet Project Sampler. The featured performers are a roll call of leading American string quartets: Chiara, Parker, Miró, Brooklyn Rider, Borromeo, Lark, Artaria, Jupiter, and Apple Hill. The recordings are made; the CDs are pressed and waiting in their little shrink-wrapped packages to go out into the world.
Here are a couple of preview tracks.
The Chiara Quartet plays "Bright spot" from Volume I.
The Borromeo Quartet plays "Flirt's waltz" from Volume III.
Brooklyn Rider plays "Elegy" from Volume V.
What we need now…
The final piece of the Quartet Project is printing the scores and parts. We’ve come to Kickstarter to raise $14,000. Meeting that goal will allow us to print 100 copies of the complete Quartet Project. It’s your first opportunity to purchase the collection, either the whole thing, or individual volumes.
It’s also a way to make sure the Quartet Project stays in print for years to come. Reaching our $14,000 goal will allow us to fulfill our orders and have some copies left over. When we sell the remaining copies, we’ll have the funds we need to do a second printing (which in turn will fund a third printing; you get the idea). So when you help us out on Kickstarter today, you’re not only buying a copy of the Quartet Project now, you’re also making sure that string players next year and ten years from now will have access to the music.
The Printed Volumes
I’m very excited about the way the music is going to look. It’s a beautiful first edition from beginning to end. Each volume has its own amazing cover image, courtesy of painter extraordinaire William Mead. I’ve made every effort to make the printed pages look good. The typesetting is clean and clear, with good-sized margins. The parts for volumes 1-3 are printed in larger type, so young kids can read it more easily. Volumes 1-3 also include a 3rd violin part which can be used if there’s no viola available. The page turns in the parts have all been thought through. We’ve scoured the parts for misprints. You’re going to have fun playing this music.
Here are a couple of sample pages from Volume I, to give you a sense of the typesetting.
Donate a copy
There's nothing like the Quartet Project currently available. Help us get this music into the hands of teachers who are going to use it.
The following schools and chamber music programs have expressed interest in using the Quartet Project in their work with kids. Help them out by donating a copy - either individual volumes or the complete set. Donors will be acknowledged on a bookplate affixed to the inside cover of the score. If you donate your books to a chamber music program, your contribution will be tax deductible.
When you donate, you'll have the option of specifying which school or program you wish to support. If the institution you select has already received a complete set of the Quartet Project, we will add your name to the list of donors to that program AND we will give an additional copy to another deserving chamber music school. (We'll keep you informed about where your volumes end up!)
Because of the way Kickstarter works, we'll collect the information about which school you're donating to AFTER the project is funded. If you'd like to let us know before then, use the "COMMENTS" button.
You may select a school from the list below, or specify some other chamber music program close to your heart.
- Artspace (Greenfield, MA)
- Chamber Music Institute, Southern California (Cerritos, CA)
- Community Music School of Springfield (Springfield, MA)
- Community MusicWorks (Providence, RI)
- Drake University Community School of Music (Des Moines, IA)
- Greenwood Music Camp (Cummington, MA)
- Indian Hill Music (Littleton, MA)
- Kinhaven Music School (Weston, VT)
- Kneisel Hall Maine Student Program (Blue Hill, ME)
- MacPhail School of Music (Minneapolis, MN)
- Musikschule Tulln (Tulln, AUSTRIA)
- The New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division (Boston, MA)
- Northampton Community Music Center (Northampton, MA)
- Northern Valley Youth Orchestras (Grand Forks, ND)
Teachers and schools: if you’d like your program added to this list, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about your chamber music program. We’ll keep updating this list.
About the Rewards
The rewards listed on the right aren't as complicated as they appear at first glance. Except for the high and low ends, you pick how many volumes you want to buy and then have the option of adding the CD for an additional $10.
Everything we raise towards our goal of $14,000 will go to fund publication. The money will go to Hybrid Vigor Music, the Massachusetts-based not-for-profit that has championed The Quartet Project, which will use the money to pay the printer, pay Kickstarter, and pay the costs of shipping out the rewards. Here’s what the budget looks like.
Final typesetting and proof-reading of the Quartet Project will continue through January 2016. The finished product goes to the printer in February 2016 and gets shipped to you in March 2016.
Risks and challenges
If this project is successfully funded, the only potential obstacle is delay in production. Perhaps proof-reading will take longer than anticipated; perhaps there will be a delay at the printer. Either way, it won't be long--a matter of a few weeks at most. I'll be working on it more than full-time (not quite night and day), doing everything I can to get the printed books to you as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)