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Snow White Turns Sixty :: Hollis sings Trumbore's video poster

Soprano Gillian Hollis and composer/pianist Dale Trumbore record a CD of original art-songs highlighting texts by living poets. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2011.

Soprano Gillian Hollis and composer/pianist Dale Trumbore record a CD of original art-songs highlighting texts by living poets.

About this project

Update 6/27/11: One of our backers has generously offered to sponsor the Chicago leg of our tour if we reach 100 backers by Wednesday at midnight. Please check out the project and consider helping us reach this goal by contributing at any level. Thank you!

The Project

I'm Dale Trumbore; I'm a composer, and this summer, I'm recording a CD of three different song cycles with soprano Gillian Hollis. By pre-ordering the CD through Kickstarter, you'll not only finance its production, but you'll receive various rewards, including exclusive access to new tracks before their official release date. You'll also help solidify these songs as part of the contemporary art-song repertoire, giving a voice to these particular stories, this music, and the overwhelmingly talented artists involved.

The Music 

As a composer, my primary goal is to write music that tells a story. My musical language may be bold, modern, and sometimes dissonant, but its narrative quality is what keeps it accessible. In setting a text to music, I illuminate what I find so particularly compelling about it, be it the dark, subversive quality of the Snow White Turns Sixty poems, the realistically complex portrayal of a relationship outlined within the Sara Teasdale Songs, or poet Robin Myers's ability to transform simple, plain language into stunningly gorgeous images of ordinary life in new song cycle This thirst in the lungs.

The Poets

Song cycle Snow White Turns Sixty sets twelve texts by nine contemporary female poets: Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Barbara Crooker, Annie Finch, Kathleen Jesme, Julie Kane, Katharyn Howd Machan, Eileen Moeller, Eve Rifkah, and Diane Thiel. Collectively, these poems retell traditional fairy tales in provocative, modern, sexy, gory, humorous, dark, violent, joyful, and ultimately liberating ways, as each character discovers a new and previously untold element of her particular story. 

Another contemporary poet, Robin Myers, describes ordinary situations in such rich, vivid ways that the poems of new song cycle This thirst in the lungs almost beg to be illuminated with music in the same way that Myers's words light up everyday life. Read "Union Square Station," one of the poems included in This thirst in the lungs, here.

The Soprano: Gillian Hollis

I'm recording this CD not only because I believe that the drama that unfolds in each new song deserves to be told, but also because I believe whole-heartedly in the talent of the soprano performing them. I met Gillian Hollis as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland; I wrote Sara Teasdale Songs specifically for her voice, and we premiered that work at her undergraduate recital at UMD. Since then, Gillian's voice has only grown more richly gorgeous. Gillian recently originated the title role in Julie Smith's opera Daisy and performed the role of Queen of the Night in Northwestern University's February 2011 production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. To hear more of Gillian, watch her rehearse The Magic Flute here.

The PR & Graphic Design Team: Maura Lafferty and Jackie Littman

Two other important contributors will also be involved with this project. Publicist Maura Lafferty will promote the completed CD. Maura Lafferty is a marketing force to be reckoned with; highly passionate about bringing classical music to new audiences, she has worked in promotional, PR, and marketing capacities to launch successful campaigns for the American Bach Soloists, the Cypress String Quartet, and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.

With a background in graphic design, theatre design, studio art, and illustration, graphic designer Jackie Littman has proven her talent in virtually any artistic endeavor. She will oversee art direction and design for the CD. 


Your contribution--at any level--is also extremely important to this project. We've already received a subito grant from the American Composers Forum (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter) to cover the cost of recording the CD. Kickstarter suggests that the goal be set at the absolute minimum amount needed to make a project happen; our goal is set (symbolically!) at the cost of just one CD, because we'll make this project happen even if just one person wants to hear it. 

But we'd love to raise enough money through pre-order sales to completely cover production, distribution, and promotional costs; to go above and beyond the bare minimum required to release this CD and create a truly spectacular product; and to launch a national tour to bring live performances of this music to you. Our planned 2012 tour features concerts in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, DC, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, and California. If you donate $700 or more to this project and live in one of those states, we'll even serenade you with a private concert along the way.

Please consider donating to this project at any level, and thank you so much for your help! I look forward to sharing this CD with you in Fall 2011.


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

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    11 backers

    Receive an exclusive, early-release digital download of the brand-new song cycle "This thirst in the lungs" from the completed CD.

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    27 backers

    Receive the above reward plus the hard copy of the CD (shipping included in reward cost).

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    45 backers

    Receive the above rewards; your CD will be signed by Dale and will come with a personal note from Dale & Gillian thanking you for your help.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    15 backers

    Receive the above rewards, personal recognition as a Silver Level Donor in the CD liner notes, and a signed page of the score from Snow White Turns Sixty.

  • You selected
    Pledge $700 or more

    1 backer

    Receive five advance copies of the signed CD, a personal thank-you note from Dale and Gillian, recognition as a Gold Level Donor in the CD liner notes, and a private concert by Dale and Gillian while on tour next year (if your state is part of the proposed tour; see Project Description for details).

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Receive above rewards plus commission a brand-new song cycle from Dale, to be premiered by Gillian while on tour; all published scores of the piece will state that this score was commissioned by and is dedicated to you, and you'll receive a signed copy of the score as well as audio and video recordings of the premiere performance.

Funding period

- (33 days)