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For the first time in its history, the 38th SIFF Opening Night will feature original music performed by a 60 piece orchestra! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on May 8, 2012.

For the first time in its history, the 38th SIFF Opening Night will feature original music performed by a 60 piece orchestra!

About this project

The orchestra has been contracted.  The score is being printed.  McCaw Hall is reserved.  This year on May 17th 2012, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is getting ready to kick off its 38th Annual Grand Opening Night ceremony and I, Charles-Henri Avelange, will see my music come to life for the first time during this event!

For the first time in its history, the SIFF Opening Night ceremony will be set to the live music of a 60-piece orchestra conducted by veteran music director Michael Miropolsky, and performing original music – composed especially for the occasion – by me, Seattle's own local French film composer.

Since 2009, the SIFF Opening Night has been accompanied by my original compositions.  I produce the music separately it plays via speaker at key moments during the ceremony.  The word spread quickly, and a lot of people mentioned they would love to hear the music live stating, “it would make us feel like we're at the OSCARS!”

So, I sat down with the Artistic Director and Managing Director of SIFF, Carl Spence and Deborah Person, and brain-stormed the idea.  After a couple years in planning, and with the help of Kirsten G. James from the Seattle Musician's Alliance and conductor, Michael Miropolsky, I came back with “The SIFF Orchestra,” a 60-piece orchestra ready to perform for this year!

Why " The SIFF Orchestra?"

With your contribution, this event can be the most magical experience ever, and you will infuse new life into the film and music community here in Washington.  

At a time where symphonic orchestras are struggling to survive through out the country, and live music performances are the first victims of budget cuts,  supporting "The SIFF Orchestra" is also a way to show the love to our wonderful and very talented local musician community.

But also, this is a way for me to show to the world what a Seattle film composer can accomplish.  We recently celebrated the successful vote to keep alive the Washington State film incentive, but for composers in our state, it is a hollow victory.  

Many films and TV series are shot in Seattle, hiring as many local cast and crew as they can, including recording artists and musicians.  Despite this, the composer is nearly 100% of the time hired in L.A.  I hope that through this impressive demonstration, and with your support, we can show that the entire process of creating music for film, from scoring to performing and recording it can be entirely Seattle-based!

Your help today will help us put this new venture together and I will be very grateful for it.  If you help make this campaign successful, this won't be the last time you hear about me and The SIFF Orchestra!

AND, if like us you believe that live music makes everything more magical, click that lovely 'Back This Project' button! 

Who is Involved?


Charles-Henri Avelange

Charles-Henri Avelange is an award-winning film composer and is mostly known in Washington for his first symphony 'The Age of Heroes' composed as a tribute to all American heroes.

Charles-Henri's most recent projects include the score for the Seattle produced PBS TV series “Official Best of Fest” and the Hallmark animation special "Jingle All The Way" for the Hallmark Channel.

In 2010, he scored the short film "Arthur" directed by John Jacobsen (co-founder of TheFilmSchool) which was an official 2011 SIFF selection.  The score for 'Arthur' won 2 awards: a 2011 Accolade Award of Merit for Best Original Score in a Short Film and the Gold medal for Excellence at the 2011 Park City Film Music Festival for Best Impact of Music in a Short Film.

Avelange's music has been performed live in August 2010 by The Everett Symphony and The Everett Choral – a hundred piece orchestra – as part of a program to honor American heroes, including those unsung in everyday life.

His first involvement with SIFF goes back to 2009, when he was asked to score the 'SIFF 35th Anniversary Tribute' film opener for the ceremony, directed by Rick Stevenson and starring Seattle luminaries such as Tom Skerritt, Dale Chihuly, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Pool... and many more!

Charles-Henri was then asked to compose a theme song for the first time ever in SIFF's history to play during the 36th SIFF ceremony, which was played at Benaroya Hall to a full house.  The experience was renewed at McCaw Hall last year during the 37th SIFF ceremony.


Michael Miropolsky

Michael Miropolsky is a graduate of Gnessin Musical College in Moscow, Russia.  For 10 years, he held a principal violin position with the Moscow State Symphony and performed in more than 25 countries around the world.  In 1991, he joined the Seattle Symphony where he has been since both a featured soloist and assistant principal second violin.

Michael is also the music director of the Cascades Symphony Orchestra and the former Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra.  He founded the Seattle Violin Virtuosi and the Seattle Chamber Orchestra.  He stays busy as both violinist and conductor, making school presentations, coaching young musicians, giving master classes and performing as guest conductor all across the state of Washington.


The SIFF Orchestra

Contracted by our wonderful orchestra manager Kirsten G. James, former orchestra manager of the Bellevue Philharmonic, our musicians are all professional musicians coming form various Washington state based orchestra such as the newly formed Lake Washington Symphonic Orchestra and the former Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra.

What Now?

When you click the 'Back This Project' button you enjoy all the different perks that we have made available for you as a gift for your generous endowment. You are the last piece of a puzzle that took 2 years to put together.  This money will help me pay the musicians, and cover the cost of rehearsals, transportations, score printing...  and all of the overhead to get a 60 piece orchestra to perform.

By raising $5,000 it will allow us to do all of the above.  If I happen to exceed the goal, a recording session in one of Seattle world-class recording studio would be scheduled, as well as planning for more projects in the future for The SIFF Orchestra, whose mission would be to celebrate film through music.

Your donation will only be processed if I reach the goal by the deadline stated on top of this page.  If I fail to meet the goal, no one gets charged.  And nothing happens...  But that is not going to happen!  I am set on exceeding this goal, because there is no rule against making more money, and it would only benefit this project!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Pledge $10 or more

    12 backers

    I will shout out a big "Thank You!" on my facebook page, and so will SIFF!

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    Pledge $25 or more

    11 backers

    Two SIFF Cinema Tickets + the above.

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    6 backers

    Two SIFF Cinema tickets and Two Festival tickets.

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    Pledge $75 or more

    0 backers

    SIFF Enthusiast level membership - benefits include a SIFF membership card, a popcorn punchcard, and invitations to complimentary film preview screenings and so much more! Visit to see all of the benefits!

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    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    SIFF Enthusiast level membership and two festival tickets.

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    Pledge $150 or more

    0 backers

    Two general admission tickets to opening night!

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    7 backers

    Two premium admission tickets to opening night, SIFF enthusiast membership and two festival tickets.

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    0 backers

    Two premium admission tickets to opening night, SIFF Enthusiast Membership and four festival tickets

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Signed score of the SIFF Overture Theme by Charles-Henri Avelange, two premium tickets to opening night, access to post VIP lounge, a SIFF Enthusiast level membership, and two festival tickets!

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Funding period

- (32 days)