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Big band X-mas album & TV special (8 years in the making) featuring over 50 musicians. Produced, arranged & conducted by Samson Trinh.
128 backers pledged $11,984 to help bring this project to life.
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$11,984

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More than 50 talented RVA musicians have joined Samson Trinh, director of the Upper East Side Big Band, to record an album that’s been eight years in the making.

With the launch of a Kickstarter campaign this fall, Trinh is making a final push to complete this labor of love and also share it with a large Central Virginia audience through a WCVE public television special just in time for Christmas 2014.

The Christmas Project features holiday favorites produced, arranged, orchestrated and conducted by Trinh. In addition to the Upper East Side Big Band, the album features orchestral strings and winds; the City Singers Children’s Choir, directed by Leslie Moruza Dripps and recorded at In Your Ear Studios; lead vocalists Laura Ann Singh (Quatro na Bossa), John Winn, Allyson Mills-Steele (Mills Family Band), Terri Simpson (Butterbean Jazz Quartet) and Adrian Duke. Production has taken place at Minimum Wage Recording, with engineering by Lance Koehler of No BS! Brass Band.

Self-funded until now, the Christmas Project has evolved slowly as studio time and musicians could be afforded. Trinh is optimistic that a Kickstarter campaign will bring the album to fruition, with the added bonus of a TV Christmas special.

The Christmas Project Kickstarter campaign has one essential goal and two stretch goals:

Upper East Side Big Band horn section @ Minimum Wage Recording. Photo by William Gaff.
Upper East Side Big Band horn section @ Minimum Wage Recording. Photo by William Gaff.

Goal 1 ($10,000): This October, the Upper East Side Big Band will record the final cuts of the holiday album at Minimum Wage Recording. Sessions also will be filmed as mini-documentaries and music videos, showing the project’s progression. Funds raised will be used to compensate musicians and cover the costs of studio time, filming, photography, song licensing and CD duplication.

STRETCH GOALS

X-mas TV Special Stage Plot. Created by Samson Trinh.
X-mas TV Special Stage Plot. Created by Samson Trinh.

Goal 2 (additional $20,000 Stretch Goal): With this STRETCH GOAL, Trinh will bring together a 22-piece studio orchestra and a children’s choir to perform before a live and televised audience at a local PBS station in Richmond, Va., just in time for the holidays. Funding also will allow the Upper East Side band to record new songs for an EP, set for a spring 2015 release date. Funding will be used to compensate musicians for their performance and to rent studio space at the station, film and sound production, photography and CD duplication for the EP.

Goal 3 (additional $3,500 Stretch Goal): Deluxe edition of The Christmas Project on vinyl! Extra holiday tracks from the television special will be added to the 180-gram record. The heavier it weighs, the better it sounds. The Christmas Project vinyl edition is scheduled for release in Winter 2015.

With everyone’s kind pledges, the Upper East Side Big Band promises to create the most beautiful, sophisticated and mind-blowing Christmas album and television special that RVA has experienced Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

What I love about the Christmas Project is that I get to work with a wealth of talented RVA artists, musicians, filmmakers and sound production. I am fortunate and grateful that they believe in this insane undertaking. The compensation for our production goes beyond the norm of just completing a record. It brings together a large community that loves to create and present a musical odyssey to Richmond and beyond.

I carefully planned the Christmas Project by establishing one goal and two stretch goals. The biggest challenge from this project is working non-stop both as an administrator and a musical arranger. Deadlines are always present. However, I am confident that I will tackle this challenge based on my administrative and educational work with projects such as Uke 'n' Roll. Recently, this program that I founded has received residency grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts and University of Richmond's Partners in the Art to integrate ukuleles in classroom instruction at Hanover County and Richmond City Public Schools.

New challenging goals help engage an active community. And it's always a good sign to have an artistic work in progress because the outcome will always be positive and life changing.

Samson Trinh
Director of the Upper East Side Big Band

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Thank you for your pledge! Every dollar helps!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A digital download of “The Christmas Project” album before it's released.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A signed hard copy of the album (CD) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Signed hard copies of SAMSON TRINH & THE UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND's "THE ABBEY ROAD PROJECT" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    SPECIAL UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND T-SHIRT + PRIVATE LISTENING PARTY before the album's released + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    MUSIC LESSONS ON EITHER SAXOPHONE, UKULELE or COMPOSITION (within a 50-mile radius of Richmond or Skype) + private listening party before the album's released + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOU WILL BE CREDITED AS AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ON THE ALBUM + INVITATION TO BE AN AUDIENCE MEMBER FOR UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND's CHRISTMAS TV SPECIAL IN RICHMOND, VA's WCVE STUDIO (if additional $20,000 stretch goal is met) + t-shirt + private listening party at before the album's released + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    UKULELE GROUP LESSONS AT YOUR WORKPLACE or PARTY (pledger to cover cost of travel and hotel if greater than 3 hours from Richmond) + LIFETIME GUEST PASSES TO UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND SHOWS + invite to be an audience member for UES Big Band's WCVE Christmas TV Special (if additional $20,000 stretch goal is met) + t-shirt + private listening party before the album's released + executive producer on the album + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    I'LL COME OVER TO YOUR PLACE AND COOK FOR YOU (6 persons max. Menu to be determined based on dietary preferences. Pledger provides kitchen, cooking supplies, plates and utensils. I will provide the food. Pledger to cover cost of travel and hotel if greater than 3 hours from Richmond) + lifetime guest passes to UES Big Band shows + invite to be an audience member for UES Big Band's WCVE Christmas TV Special (if additional $20,000 stretch goal is met) + t-shirt + private listening party before the album's released + executive producer on the album + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SAMSON WILL COVER AND ARRANGE A SONG OF YOUR CHOICE TO BE PLAYED BY THE UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND AND UPLOADED TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL (details to be discussed over the phone) + AN INVITE TO SAMSON'S FAMOUS X-MAS PARTY (surrounded by good people, spirits and food) + SIGNED DELUXE VINYL RECORD OF THE CHRISTMAS PROJECT (if additional $3,500 stretch goal is met) + lifetime guest passes to UES Big Band shows + invite to be an audience member for UES Big Band's WCVE Christmas TV Special (if additional $20,000 stretch goal is met) + t-shirt + private listening party before the album's released + executive producer on the album + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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

    INTIMATE HOUSE SHOW WITH THE SAMSON TRINH TRIO (Pledger to cover cost of travel and hotel if greater than 3 hours from Richmond) + invite to Samson's X-mas party + lifetime guest passes to UES Big Band shows + invite to be an audience member for UES Big Band's WCVE Christmas TV Special (if additional $20,000 stretch goal is met) + t-shirt + private listening party before the album's released + executive producer on the album + signed hard copies of "The Abbey Road Project" and the upcoming album (CDs) + a digital download of the album before it's released.

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Funding period

- (30 days)