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Musicians of all ages and abilities play Beethoven's 5th Symphony together, transcending generational boundaries through music.
Musicians of all ages and abilities play Beethoven's 5th Symphony together, transcending generational boundaries through music.
98 backers pledged $5,876 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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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?"

High school violists Taylor and Blake
High school violists Taylor and Blake

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.

John, age 68, and Max, age 17 - horn
John, age 68, and Max, age 17 - horn

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!
Harry, age 85, and Leilani, age 11 - violin
Harry, age 85, and Leilani, age 11 - violin

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.

Father and son clarinetists Jonathan and Steven
Father and son clarinetists Jonathan and Steven

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
  • Marketing expenses
  • 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!

Click to watch NewWSO perform Beethoven 5, 1st mov't, from July 2014
Click to watch NewWSO perform Beethoven 5, 1st mov't, from July 2014

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 info@newsymphony.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.

Join us!
Join us!

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.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A personalized thank you email from a NewWSO musician!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A mention in our Intergenerational Concert printed concert program.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A fan-favorite NewWSO mug! A wide-mouth mug with our logo, plus a mention in our printed concert program.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Two (2) general admission tickets to the Intergenerational Concert itself, plus a mention in our printed concert program. Tickets will be held under your name at will call.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A NewWSO tote bag! Perfect for schlepping your sheet music. Natural canvas bag with navy trim and NewWSO logo. Plus a mention in our printed concert program.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    This level gets you FOUR (4) general admission tickets to the Intergenerational Concert, plus a mention in the printed concert program. Tickets will be held under your name at will call.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SONATINA LEVEL: A quarter-page (business-card size) ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    This level gets you TEN (10) general admission tickets OR EIGHT (8) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert, plus a mention in the printed concert program.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    MINUET LEVEL: A half-page (4 1/2"w x 3 3/4"h) b/w ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program, and TWO (2) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SYMPHONY LEVEL: A full-page (4 1/2"w x 7 1/2"h) b/w ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program, and SIX (6) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    CONCERTMASTER LEVEL: A full-page (4 1/2"w x 7 1/2"h) b/w ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program on the inside back cover, and TEN (10) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    CONCERTMASTER LEVEL 2: A full-page (4 1/2"w x 7 1/2"h) b/w ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program on the inside front cover, and TEN (10) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    CONDUCTOR'S CIRCLE: A full-page (4 1/2"w x 7 1/2"h) b/w ad in the printed Intergenerational Concert program on the first inside page, top banner ad on the NewWSO website, and TEN (10) preferred seating tickets to the Intergenerational Concert.

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Funding period

- (49 days)