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Ensemble HD, a group of Cleveland Orchestra musicians & friends, is recording a live album at the Happy Dog on Dec 4 & 5!
Ensemble HD, a group of Cleveland Orchestra musicians & friends, is recording a live album at the Happy Dog on Dec 4 & 5!
215 backers pledged $15,496 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Project

World-class classical music at a corner bar in Cleveland? Ensemble HD's performances at the Happy Dog have been so warmly embraced that we'd love to share them broadly. We plan on recording live concerts on December 4th & 5th, 2012, releasing a double vinyl album (complete with digital download codes for your listening convenience) on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013.

The Musicians

Ensemble HD is led by Joshua Smith, Principal Flute of The Cleveland Orchestra, and includes fellow Cleveland Orchestra members Amy Lee, Associate Concertmaster on violin, Frank Rosenwein, Principal Oboe, Charles Bernard, Assistant Principal Cello, Joanna Patterson-Zakany, viola, as well as Christina Dahl, Assistant Professor of Music at SUNY Stony Brook on piano. In addition to extensive coverage locally, Ensemble HD's performances at the Happy Dog have been featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, and in The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.

The Message

The quality of Cleveland's classical musicianship, combined with the city's accessibility, position it as a prime place for bringing classical music to new audiences. The success of Ensemble HD's performances at the Happy Dog have led to monthly concerts by the local chapter of Classical Revolution - a national movement to bring classical music to non-traditional venues and new audiences. Earlier this year, The Cleveland Orchestra announced that in May 2013, it plans to do a neighborhood residency in the Gordon Square Arts District, home to the Happy Dog. The record release date has special significance, since it is scheduled to happen at the Happy Dog, during a Classical Revolution concert, in the midst of the Orchestra's groundbreaking residency in Gordon Square.  We hope this record shows new audiences how exciting live classical music can be, and encourages classical musicians and institutions to take risks to reach new audiences. 

What Others are Saying 

For more information on Ensemble HD's performances at the Happy Dog, check out these stories:

"No disrespect to Severance Hall or anything, but the hottest place to catch the Cleveland Orchestra these days is a bar in the Gordon Square Arts District." - Zachary Lewis, Cleveland Plain Dealer: http://www.cleveland.com/musicdance/index.ssf/2010/10/classical_musicians_bring_thei.html 

 "You ever hear the one about the cellist who walked into a bar? Really, this is no joke: He and several colleagues from the Cleveland Orchestra have been playing pickup gigs at a local watering hole, providing a cultural mash-up of Beethoven and beer. It's standing room only at the Happy Dog, a neighborhood bar on Cleveland's near-west side." - NPR Weekend Edition: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130596864 

 "The Key Was B Flat; The Beer Wasn't" - The New York Times Week in Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/weekinreview/17grist.html?src=tptw 

 "There's no Cleveland counterpart to Manhattan's Poisson Rouge, but there is a certain ex-polka bar known as the Happy Dog. 'It's a place where you can have a beer and a really good hot dog with a check list of 50 or 60 possible toppings, from gourmet kimchi to Fruit Loops,' (Joshua Smith) says. 'We thought we should do popular or crossover repertoire, but decided that wouldn't be honest and stuck to what we do well - Beethoven, Janacek, Tchaikovsky's Souvenier de Florence. The first night, we had people lining up around the block.'" - David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer: http://articles.philly.com/2011-12-13/news/30512182_1_flutists-flute-unrequited-love 

Risks and challenges

Our projected total budget is approximately $30,000, but we have set our Kickstarter goal at $15,000. We anticipate raising the remainder of the budget through other fund raising efforts and through sales of the album. Because we are recording these concerts live, there is a risk that weather or other events could intervene to make recording on those nights impossible. If that occurs, we will try to find other dates to record, but it may cause delays in the release of the album. We are working with Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland to produce the vinyl albums. We are on their calendar for mastering and production in time to meet the record release date, but delays in the production process could cause us to miss our record release deadline. If any of the musicians are unable to perform due to health or other reasons, or if the recording team are unable to perform due to health or other reasons, that could pose a risk to completion of the project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A copy of the Ensemble HD Live at the Dog concert poster, designed by Happy Dog resident concert poster artist Jake Grace

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A copy of the live, double vinyl recording, including the digital download code for adding the recording to your music library

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    102 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A copy of the Ensemble HD Live at the Dog concert poster signed by all members of Ensemble HD

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    8 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A copy of the live, double vinyl recording, signed by all members of Ensemble HD

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    39 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Signed copies of the concert poster and album, Assistant Producer credit on the album, and an invite for two to an exclusive pre-concert Producer's Party at the Happy Dog for the record release on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

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  6. Select this reward

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

    All expenses included pre-concert party for 25 people in The Underdog on Tuesday, December 4th, plus signed copies of the album and concert poster, Assistant Producer credit on the album, and an invite for two to an exclusive pre-concert Producer's Party at the Happy Dog for the record release on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

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  7. Select this reward

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

    All expenses included pre-concert party for 25 people in The Underdog on Wednesday, December 5th, plus signed copies of the album and concert poster, Assistant Producer credit on the album, and an invite for two to an exclusive pre-concert Producer's Party at the Happy Dog for the record release on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Ensemble HD will perform a concert in your home for your friends and family, plus signed copies of the album and concert poster, and Producer credit on the album. Performances limited to the Greater Cleveland area, and schedules to be co-ordinated with the musicians.

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Funding period

- (32 days)