Maud Hart Lovelace's series of books about growing up in Mankato, Minnesota at the turn of the 20th century document a now-vanished way of life. At their center is a rich trove of family traditions, social customs and popular culture of the day, including the popular songs that their characters enjoyed.
The Betsy-Tacy series has been beloved by readers since the 1940s, but most of the songs have faded from memory, so there is a need for an annotated musical companion to further illustrate the music so prominently featured in these stories.
The Betsy-Tacy Society is eager to be able to offer just such an aid to further education and enjoyment. Twin Cities singer Maud Hixson and pianist Rick Carlson have created a program of this music along with brief narratives from the Betsy-Tacy books. Maud and Rick have performed at the Society's Deep Valley Homecoming in Mankato, and we have asked them to record a CD of this material. As an added enticement, soprano Maria Jette will lend her talent for a cameo appearance on the Cat Duet.
Rewards range from an advance copy of the recording with behind-the-scenes updates, to a parlor concert in your own home. These pledges will pay for the recording, design and manufacturing costs. No money changes hands unless the goal is reached, so there is no risk to you. Please join us in adding a soundtrack to the Betsy-Tacy stories!
Maud Hixson is a singer of classic jazz and popular song from Saint Louis Park, Minnesota. Since being presented as "Best New Voice" at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in 2003, she has worked with a variety of musicians and groups such as the Wolverines and French 75, a continental sextet she co-founded with clarinetist Tony Balluff. She made her Guthrie Theater debut in "Coward's Women", has performed at Lincoln Center for the NY Cabaret Convention, and appeared in concert with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett for the Midtown Jazz Series in Manhattan. A two-time recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board's Artist Initiative grant, she recently received a Next Step grant, funded by the McKnight Foundation. Visit MaudHixson.com for more information.
"Maud Hixson is one of the best, most sensitive and creative song stylists to come out of the pages of the Great American Songbook in the last decade. She has taste and sophistication, she is full of surprises, and boy can she sing!" --REX REED
"Her vocal style is so warm, intimate and compelling--it's clear that she cares about the words and telling the story, with clarity and without artifice--practically a lost art these days."
Rick Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast works of Duke Ellington and Count Basie and absorbing their technique. Pianist for the Wolverines Big Band since 1980, he is also a sought-after accompanist for singers, and serves as musical director for the Capri Theater's Legends series, among others. Visit RickCarlson.net for more information.
"He's tuned-in and receptive, a true partner in making the music, simultaneously weaving a safety net and expressing his own complex and lyrical ideas."
--PAMELA ESPELAND, MINNPOST
"Droll, sublime accompanist..."
--TOM SUROWICZ, MINNEAPOLIS STARTRIBUNE
Maria Jette's wide-ranging career as a soprano has encompassed everything from early Baroque opera to world premieres, in the United States and abroad. She's often heard with VocalEssence, led by conductor Philip Brunelle, and nationally on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. Her recent recordings with pianist Dan Chouinard, In Our Little Paradise and The Siren's Song, celebrate the lyrics of P.G. Wodehouse and the melodies of Jerome Kern. Visit MariaJette.com for more information.
"Jette's comic genius and ringing soprano are everywhere."
--JOAN OLIVER GOLDSMITH, SAINT PAUL PIONEER PRESS
"The versatile singer, equally at home singing medieval song, Bach cantatas, Italian opera or 20th-century music, has a pliant and brilliant voice, exceptional musicality and a charming stage personality."
--ANDREW DRUCKENBROD, MINNEAPOLIS STARTRIBUNE
Risks and challenges
Much research and careful selection will be required, and the artists involved will have a great challenge in bringing this project to fruition by the spring. This will take best advantage of their current schedules and that of the Betsy-Tacy Society, so all participants are determined to seize the moment of opportunity presented here. Our financial goal is the minimum amount needed to produce this project. Any funds pledged beyond this number will go toward the promotion and marketing of the CD.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)