Great Music Played by Anyone, for Everyone
New Westchester Symphony Orchestra (NewWSO) is an audition-free ensemble that invites players of all ages and abilities to join a community of people who play for themselves and for others. Did we mention audition-free? And all ages and abilities? Because those two characteristics are at the core of this Kickstarter project!
Through hours of study and mastery of their craft, the great professional musicians and orchestras of the world give us transcendent music in its highest and most refined form.
But what about the rest of us who probably studied an instrument in school but never had the goal of becoming professional musicians? And what about students currently in school, students who play instruments but who are not on a professional musical track? Should they give up playing when they graduate, just because it's time for "the real world?"
Sadly, high school and college graduates often put away their instruments once the realities of work and family life set in. Musical ensembles that were once coordinated by the schools and were open to a range of abilities are no longer easy to come by. Without people with whom to make music, playing an instrument is a lonely pursuit, easily given up in favor of other activities where a community is more easily found and maintained.
That's where NewWSO comes in. Founded in 2011, our mission is to make classical music accessible to musicians of all ages and abilities, and to create a welcoming, supportive, and FUN environment for the playing of significant orchestral repertoire. Most of the current NewWSO musicians put their instruments away for 5, 10, 20, even 50 years...that is, before NewWSO came along. Anyone who has ever wanted to pick up their instrument again, or even learn a new instrument as an adult, can do it with us. And with more and more young people discovering our unique offering, NewWSO is becoming a place where they can stay inspired to play their instruments for the rest of their lives, no matter where life takes them.
The Project: Music Across Generations
On October 26, 2014, we present our first ever Intergenerational Concert, to which we invite students from local area schools to perform the entire Beethoven Symphony No. 5 with our regular NewWSO musicians.
What makes the Intergenerational Concert different from concerts played with a school or youth orchestra?
- The music: We will perform the same Beethoven Symphony No. 5 that professional orchestras play, rather than a school arrangement made easier for younger players.
- Fun for all ages, for all time: Students will have the opportunity to play alongside adults of all ages, adults who demonstrate how it is possible to keep playing their instruments for the rest of their lives, even if they do not end up playing professionally.
- Minimal time commitment: Students these days are so busy that we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to participate in this event, with the emphasis being on the intergenerational experience rather than on playing the piece perfectly. Four rehearsals, one concert, that's it! Students can play as much or as little of the piece as they are able, without stressing about practicing it to perfection.
- NO AUDITIONS. Just as with the adults, students will not have to prepare anything for an audition or cram in practice for the concert, taking a ton of pressure off. All they need is interest and an instrument...and probably a parent to drive them to rehearsals!
So far, students from Croton-Harmon, New Rochelle, Ossining and Yorktown schools districts, as well as students from Rye Country Day School and SUNY Purchase, are playing in the orchestra for this concert.
In addition, the 30-member chamber chorus of Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, NY will join us to sing the hymn section of Sibelius Finlandia, also on the program for this concert.
And if the Beethoven and Sibelius were not enough, harpsichord virtuoso and Westchester resident Anthony Newman has generously agreed to headline the performance. He will perform the first movement of the Bach Concerto for Harpsichord in D Minor (BWV 1052) and the Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 903).
This one concert will showcase the depth and range of music-making that is possible by musicians who are amateurs and professional, young and old, and everything in between. Music is truly the vehicle that will bring people together for the Intergenerational Concert.
YOU Can Help Make this Happen!
Your support will help defray the following concert expenses:
- Concert venue rental - White Plains High School
- Rehearsal venue rental - Music Conservatory of Westchester
- Administrative costs
- Conductor fees
- Post-concert reception
Your contributions will also allow us keep ticket prices at a low $10 for general admission and $15 for preferred seating.
We realize full well that $3500 alone will not do the job. We have many more expenses associated with this concert and are looking to combine our Kickstarter goal with other sources of funding including grants, musician contributions, and other private donations from people who do not use the magical internet.
However, it would be fabulous if ALL of the concert expenses end up being covered by this Kickstarter campaign! We have a ton of great rewards to choose from, including tickets to this concert. And if we go above and beyond our initial Kickstarter goal, we will put the extra funds towards making the Intergenerational Concert an annual event. And that would be a great thing!
We Want YOU...to Play with US!
There is still room for students to play with us! If you are a student, or if you know of any student middle school through college age who would like to play Beethoven Symphony No. 5 with us in this concert, let us know! Send us a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or simply register HERE and we will send you all the info you need.
New Westchester Symphony Orchestra's Intergenerational Concert will take place on Sunday, October 26, 2014, 3PM at White Plains High School, 550 North St, White Plains, NY 10605. The concert will last approximately 1 hour, with no intermission.
Risks and challenges
Having completed a highly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 (click on our bio to view that project), we know from experience where the tricky parts might lie.
In our case, since we have a fixed event date, the only thing that can really be delayed is the fulfillment of rewards that are not tickets. However, since we already have all of the rewards on-hand (except for the concert programs, which will hopefully be on-hand by the time of the concert!), we do not foresee any delays as long as we can get some volunteers mail the rewards out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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