Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 7, 2013.

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A statewide school tour in which Akropolis brings our award-winning music to deserving students in 10 Michigan schools.

Akropolis = innovation and excellence

For five years running we have been changing the game in chamber music. We have won five prestigious classical music prizes including a Fischoff Silver Medal and Grand Prize at the Plowman and MTNA Chamber Music Competitions, and we have commissioned over 20 new works for our unique instrumentation of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and bass clarinet. Earning 9 degrees between our members in music performance, education, and arts administration from the University of Michigan, Yale University, and Eastern Michigan University, Akropolis is qualified and passionate. In January we released the first ever full-length disc of entirely original reed quintet music (High Speed Reed), and our second album, Unraveled, hits shelves this March.

 Schools on this tour:

  • Detroit Leadership Academy (Elementary) - Detroit, MI  
  • Detroit Leadership Academy (Upper School) - Detroit, MI 
  • Detroit Innovation Academy (Elementary) - Detroit, MI 
  • Martin Luther King Junior High School - Detroit, MI 
  • Cesar Chavez Academy Lower School - Detroit, MI 
  • Ypsilanti Middle School - Ypsilanti, MI 
  • University High School - Ypsilanti, MI 
  • Thunder Bay Junior High - Alpena, MI 
  • Gaylord Middle School - Gaylord, MI
  • Lincoln Elementary School - Alpena, MI 

What will the tour look like?

The tour will take place between October and December of 2013. Each school will receive a 2-3 hour Akropolis performance and workshop. 

Students will witness an exciting, world-class musical performance. But we will not just perform for students, we will engage them in musical games to discover various elements of music, including melody, mood, rhythm, and tonality. We will construct connections between chamber music and teamwork, between music and life. We will teach musical independence. We will suggest new ways to approach music. We will propose how students can get engaged in music, and how success in music is similar to success in other careers. We will show what hard work can accomplish. We will entertain, but most importantly, we will be the most exciting artistic experience thus far in these students' lives.

Brainstorming with students at an education performance.
Brainstorming with students at an education performance.

What parents and teachers say...

"You made the world of classical music so much more accessible and meaningful to my students."  ~ Megan Warzecha, Shrine Grade School

"The visit by the Akropolis Reed Quintet was a great success...with a high level of energy and musicianship. Their ability to relate to students made outreach very productive."  ~ Tom Kirk, President of Hart Community Performing Arts Series

Parent testimonies:

"Rosie ran upstairs and played her recorder ALL night long...she even started a band with her brother and sister."

"Alex talked about oboes all weekend!"

When we educate, we bring energy to performing and a maverick attitude, challenging students to change the game as we have. 

Wearing our special edition outreach t-shirts!
Wearing our special edition outreach t-shirts!

Where do my pledge dollars go?

This Kickstarter will provide the necessary financial assistance for Akropolis to perform in 10 schools in Michigan. We have already coordinated the visit with each school. We will post the date of each visit as soon as it is set in stone, which we expect to happen within the first week of this campaign. 

It costs Akropolis $500 in total operating expenses to perform at one school, so we set the goal for this Kickstarter at $5,000. This financially accounts for the travel, marketing, lodging, and merchandise expenses we will incur to deliver each performance.  

Our fabulous oboist, Tim Gocklin, lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and therefore plane fare accounts for a large part of the budget.  

Specifically...

  • 3-5 round-trip plane flights between Connecticut and Detroit.  
  • Airport shuttles.  
  • Necessary gas and lodging.  
  • Kickstarter and education tour marketing materials.  
  • Reward materials (personal post cards, blank CDs, shipping and handling).  
  • Rehearsal and planning time . 
  • Partial compensation for Akropolis merchandise given away to students through raffles and as other prizes.  
  • Cheap food on the road.  
Tim with an aspiring oboist at Sashabaw Middle School
Tim with an aspiring oboist at Sashabaw Middle School

Musicians + Teachers

Wholly committed to reaching out and fortifying the next generation of music mavericks, we have built and executed several highly effective educational outreach residency programs. With lessons custom-designed for each grade level, Akropolis has musical offerings for every student, regardless of their musical background or level of training. Ranging from interactive melody games for elementary students, master classes for middle and high school ensembles, and composer forums and business workshops for college musicians, we harness our creativity, energy, and versatility to make music a personal and lasting experience for all students. 

Here is a link to the education page on our website.

Cesar Chavez Academy students excited for an Akropolis visit!
Cesar Chavez Academy students excited for an Akropolis visit!

Why these 10 schools?

These schools were chosen because they strive for excellence. The first three schools listed are relatively new charter schools which show rising student test scores and a strong mission to live and grow by the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Martin Luther King Junior High School sports an award-winning band made up of some of Detroit's poorest students. After talking to the administration at each school and collaborating with building staff and teachers, it became clear that each school contains a passionate, artistic student body ready to absorb an engaging musical experience. 

Detroit Leadership Academy principal Julian Roper during an interview in which we discussed music in schools.
Detroit Leadership Academy principal Julian Roper during an interview in which we discussed music in schools.

What if the goal is already met?

Any additional dollars raised will strengthen the Akropolis educational arm. All funds will be allocated toward future outreach endeavors and their associated expenses.

Educational engagements are not lucrative, so to survive as a small ensemble with an extremely tight budget, Akropolis profits almost exclusively from traditional performing engagements, leaving fewer dollars than is ideal for education. However, if the goal for this Kickstarter is exceeded, we will use the remaining funds to support future outreach.

To give you an idea of the expenses for an innovative chamber music organization, keep in mind that Akropolis Quintet, LLC is a complex and diverse entity, consisting of (in addition to an education force) musical performances, new music commissions, ensemble consortiums, a sheet music catalog, a web video series, CD recording projects, and more. We do video editing, build and edit our own website, purchase and use recording equipment, rent spaces, travel, and pay contractors for special services such as artwork and sound engineering. This fall, however, we are extremely excited to be performers + educators. 

Kari providing a student her first experience with a musical instrument!
Kari providing a student her first experience with a musical instrument!

Help make the day of a student who never saw this musical experience coming, and give a student the chance to fall in love with music. As musicians, we know that it only takes one special visitor to make a life-long impression. 

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Matt, Kari, Tim, Ryan, Andrew

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

A project with branches to 10 schools and 4,000 young students requires the trust and competency of building administrators, teachers, and Akropolis.

To ensure a smooth tour, Akropolis has already received verbal confirmation from 9 of 10 schools that the teacher and students are ready for, and looking forward to the Akropolis visit. Most schools have already settled on a date, and we will add those to this Kickstarter page as they materialize. We have even made personal visits to three schools to speak to students personally. Additionally, these schools were selected because they showed a great interest in having a musical visitor and pledged to be integral to the process. During the month of September we will be communicating constantly with each school to promote this Kickstarter, and more importantly, to begin preparing students for the visit.

Before we visit, we will have teachers take a small amount of class time to brainstorm with students about possible careers in music (especially non-performing careers), jot down different ways students can get involved in music inside and outside of school, and record the various exposures students have already had to music. During these brief moments, teachers will also share videos of Akropolis to their students to get them pumped! Students will be ready for the visit.

Any educational event runs the risk of failing to engage students. Will students pay attention, will they appreciate the event, and how will it really impact them? Akropolis is experienced in educating, and after our outreach events students have asked their parents to buy pianos, enroll them in music lessons, and let them start a band. Students get something from an Akropolis visit they've never seen or heard, because Akropolis emits a musical energy which is organic and real. We are meticulous in planning. Our lessons/assemblies are planned by the minute, consisting usually of 7-8 small events including games, skits, performances, brainstorming, F&Q, and more.

If you are concerned about the application of your pledge, email us at akropolisquintet@gmail.com, and we would be happy to take your concern and formulate a thoughtful solution.

FAQ

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    YOUR NAME will be listed on AKROPOLIS' WEBSITE as a proud contributor, and you will also get a FACEBOOK AND TWITTER SHOUTOUT!

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    Akropolis mails you a PERSONALIZED THANK-YOU CARD + previous rewards.

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    Akropolis mails you a DVD FEATURING DIGITAL PHOTOS of our adventures on tour + all previous rewards.

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    Akropolis mails you a LETTER FROM A TOP ADMINISTRATOR in one of the school districts we visit, PERSONALLY THANKING YOU FOR YOUR PLEDGE + all previous rewards.

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    RECEIVE AN AKROPOLIS BOXSET of our CD releases (Unraveled will be released in March, 2014, so this reward will be shipped separately from previous rewards) + all previous rewards.

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    18 backers

    Akropolis mails you a short DVD PERSONALIZED FOR YOU, STARRING students at a school on tour, their teachers, and Akropolis. We'll contact you to find out to whom the greeting should be addressed. + all previous rewards.

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    RECEIVE A LARGE POSTER ADDRESSED TO YOU, DESIGNED AND SIGNED BY THE STUDENT BODY of a school on tour + all previous rewards.

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    RECEIVE CREDIT AS AN INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE SPONSOR on the education tour receiving forever verbal and written credit in all mentions of the performance made before, during, and after the performance + all previous rewards.

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    RECEIVE CREDIT AS A TOUR SPONSOR, receiving forever verbal and written credit in all mentions of this tour made before, during, and after each performance on tour + all previous rewards.

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