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Help launch the East Coast's newest chamber orchestra, dedicated to performing substantial new works by emerging composers.
Help launch the East Coast's newest chamber orchestra, dedicated to performing substantial new works by emerging composers.
Help launch the East Coast's newest chamber orchestra, dedicated to performing substantial new works by emerging composers.
167 backers pledged $7,560 to help bring this project to life.

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Concert Debut - Orchestra Devoted to New Music

$7,560

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Latest News

The 2015 Call for Scores has launched! Composers can submit two representative works and contribute $25 to the Kickstarter for the 2-year Comp-Pass, an all-access pass to every event and call for submissions competition at Symphony Number One for the next 2 years. Learn more or apply now using our online form.

We finished our challenge grant and we're well on our way to Stretch Goal 1! 

We have a very special prize for one backer: the Symphony Number One Torte. Read about it here.

Check our Twitter feed for more updates.

About Us

Symphony Number One is the East Coast’s newest chamber orchestra. Led by a team of dedicated musicians including Jordan Randall Smith, Nicholas Bentz and Sean Meyers, Symphony Number One will offer a unique and innovative model for presenting new music by bringing together great composers of the past, virtuoso performers of the present, and leading compositional voices of the future.

With your help, Symphony Number One will challenge tired programming models; it's not enough to simply perform the same music by the same composers the same way it's always been performed. Our programs will juxtapose new compositions with repertoire from the classical canon. These programs will also serve a larger mission: provide similar grassroots ensembles with exciting programs to re-invigorate the American classical landscape.

In a time where arts organizations struggle to find their way, Symphony Number One invites you to participate in an alternative business model. In our model, the musicians are central to both the music-making and the organization. This is not only a more artistically pure way to design thrilling performances, it’s a more economical structure as well.

Our Plan

We need funds to produce our concert debut and start our organization. On May 8th and 9th we will debut with two electric nights of music played by top musicians at the historic Baltimore War Memorial. The music includes:

  • Anton Webern's Symphony, Op. 21
  • Mozart's Concerto for Flute & Harp
  • Schubert's famous Symphony No. 5
  • World Premiere of Mark Fromm's Symphony No. 1
Jordan Thomas, Harp and Raoul Cho, Flute
Jordan Thomas, Harp and Raoul Cho, Flute

Armed with your support, Symphony Number One will function as a conduit in service of modern composers and diverse audiences. Your funds will serve to:

  • Hire virtuoso musicians like soloists Jordan Thomas and Raoul Cho
  • Secure great concert venues like the Baltimore War Memorial
  • Produce quality recordings 
  • Commission works by composers like Mark Fromm
  • Publicize, create programs, web development 
  • Pay critical municipal and state organization fees
Baltimore War Memorial
Baltimore War Memorial

Reward Tiers

We want to thank each and every supporter for their contribution to bringing our organization to life. Each tier carries the rewards of the tiers before it. NOTE: Updated rewards  with bonuses will be indicated here but will not show up in the right-hand column.

$5 - Mention: You will get a shout-out over Symphony Number One's Facebook and Twitter accounts thanking you for your support! After the concert, we’ll make sure to let you know when we post content across the web. 

$12 - Personal Message: The Symphony Number One creative team will send you a personalized e-mail and/or Kickstarter message thanking you for your support. We will also include your name on the website and in the concert program as a Sponsor. UPDATE: All backers at this level or higher now receive a complimentary VIP ticket to either the May 8 or May 9 level!

$25 - Digital Audio: You will have access to an exclusive pre-release digital recording of Symphony Number One’s debut concert! Composers will receive a 2015-2016 Comp Pass, allowing them to enter all Symphony Number One composition competitions and Call-for-Scores for free throughout the 2015 and 2016 calendar years ($40-75 value).

$40 - Concert Notes: We will send you digital program notes (written and audio) with tons of information about the pieces on our premiere program, written and narrated by Symphony Number One’s creative team. Your listing on our website as a Sponsor will be linked to your business or organization and we will also send out one Facebook Post and one Tweet about your organization or business. 

$65 - Sketches: You will receive a unique, printable, digital version of a sketch from our featured composer’s piece along with a special note of thanks. Sketches make great wall art! We will also run a small banner advertising your business or organization on our website and in our program. (All web links and banners will run through May 2016.)

$100 - Video: You will receive a digital video recording of Symphony Number One’s premiere concert. You will be listed online and in the program as a member of the Symphony Circle.

$150 - Score: We will send you a spiral-bound copy of our composer-in-residence, Mark Fromm’s final draft of his brand new Symphony No. 1. We will increase the size of your banner and program ad.

$210 - Photo: You will receive a personalized, signed, and framed photo of Symphony Number One’s musicians and featured composer. You’ll also receive a personal thank you phone call (non-US calls via Skype or Facetime) from a member of the creative team.

$360 - All-Access + DVD: You will receive an all-access pass to Symphony Number One’s rehearsals for the 2015-2016 seasons and a DVD of our debut concert. You will be listed as a member of the Founder's Circle online and in the program and we will run up to two banner ads on our sponsor page (web and concert program) which link to your business or organization.

$400 - Primo (Limit 6): This level is an extension of the “All-Access + DVD” level, but with the exclusive naming rights to a principal musician chair (e.g. “James Duncan - Enoch Pratt Principal Clarinet”). 

$600 - Private Dinner: 2-3 musicians from Symphony Number One will join you for a private dinner in Baltimore or Washington, DC with you and your other guests (you host), where we will personally present your other rewards. In addition, you’ll receive your score in an artisanal, hand-bound edition courtesy of Pierrot Plus along with your composer sketch printed on fine paper and signed and personalized by the composer. (Dinner only available in Baltimore, MD or Washington, DC.)

$625 - Virtuoso (Limit 3): This level is an extension of the "Private Dinner" level, but with the exclusive naming rights to the concertmaster chair and soloist chairs (e.g. "Nicholas Bentz - Paul Laurence Dunbar Concertmaster”). 

$900 - House Concert: Symphony Number One will provide you with a private, in-home chamber music concert featuring 1-3 of our musicians. Invite your friends! We're taking your requests: We will gladly work with you to include perfomances of any favorite tunes of yours and will look forward to discussing the music before and after the concert. Play an instrument yourself? We'll have to play together! (Concert, dinner only available within a 45-mile radius of Baltimore, MD.) 

$1000 - Maestro (Limit 1): This giving level is an extension of the $900 "House Concert" level but with exclusive naming rights to the Music Director chair (e.g. "Jordan Randall Smith - Milton S. Eisenhower Music Director”). As a special thank you, our conductor will give you a one-hour conducting lesson at your home and you will have a chance to lead the orchestra during a Symphony Number One rehearsal for 5 minutes in a portion of our concert repertoire selected by you. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within a 45-mile radius of Baltimore, MD.)

$1800 - Private Chamber Concert: Symphony Number One will come to you and provide a private, in-home performance of a chamber music version of our debut concert featuring members of our orchestra playing great works by the same composers. (This level does not receive the “House Concert” tier.) In addition to your other ads, we will also run one link or small banner on our website home page. (Concert, dinner only available within a 60-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or 30-mile radius of Washington, DC). 

$2000 - Compositore (Limit 1): This level is an extension of the "Private Chamber Concert" level, but with the exclusive naming rights to the composer-in-residence chair (e.g. "Mark Fromm - Johns Hopkins Composer-in-Residence”). As a special thank you gift, the composer will give you an original handwritten page from the sketchbook for his Symphony No. 1 and you will also receive the “Maestro”-level conducting lesson and time with the orchestra. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within a 60-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or a 40-mile radius of Washington, DC). 

$3,900 - Impresario (Underwriter - Limit 1): This level is an extension of the "Private Dinner" level, but with the exclusive naming rights to the concert (e.g. "Symphony Number One - underwritten with the generous support of Joseph Meyerhoff"). It also includes a guarantee that the music director, concertmaster, soloists, and composer-in-residence will be in attendance for your private dinner, and that the complete orchestra will assemble to perform our complete concert in the venue of your choosing (you provide the venue). As a special thank you, the composer will create a special arrangement of a brief tune of your choosing, dedicated to you, and it will be performed at your special concert. You will also receive the “Maestro”-level conducting lesson and time with the orchestra. On top of that, you will receive a one-of-a-kind clothbound edition of Mark Fromm’s Symphony No. 1 printed on archival paper and handbound, all courtesy of Pierrot Plus. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within an 80-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or a 50-mile radius of Washington, DC).

Stretch Goals

$5,500 - Stretch Goal 1: We’re a disciplined organization and can do this concert on our Kickstarter budget, but we have so much more we want to bring to you! If we reach this goal, Symphony Number One will be able to pay all local, state, and federal fees to complete the establishment of our organization. We’ll be able to pay the musicians slightly more and reimburse some pre-launch expenses. In addition, rather than waiting until next year, we’ll have the money to send 2-3 Symphony Number One musicians into local schools and hospitals for our first outreach performances.

$8,500 - Stretch Goal 2: Symphony Number One will make a short film documenting the concert process including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. All donors pledging at or above the $250 level and donors who refer additional pledges totaling $250 will receive a digital version of this video. Those donating at the $650 level and above will receive a special version of the film both as a one-of-a-kind signed DVD and in digital format. This will include a personalized thank you video from the creative team.

$12,000 - Stretch Goal 3: Symphony Number One will professionally record and master the concert. The Webern Symphony Op. 21 will be licensed to be included in the commercial release of the concert. Donors at the $400 level will receive both the digitally edited and mastered version and the special live version, and it will be professionally distributed in digital and CD format. This level will allow us to distribute our recording in a shrink-wrapped jewel case with production-quality liner notes and cover art. 

$16,000 - Stretch Goal 4: Symphony Number One will be completely funded for our preview concert, all nonprofit formation fees will be covered, our musicians will get a bonus, our creative team will get paid, and we will have a down-payment on our 2015-16 season. The first Fall 2015 concerts will also be funded. We will also be able to pay for professional-quality videography and lighting for the concert and post-production. If we reach this goal, all donors at the $100 dollar level and above will get a USB drive containing all of the digital assets at their giving level, including bonus behind-the-scenes footage and a special file containing a professionally animated version of our logo. As a special thank you to the Kickstarter community, we’ll include a special Kickstarter-only “bonus track” containing music recorded but not performed live, distributed exclusively to our Kickstarter backers.

$25,000 - Stretch Goal 5: Don't mistake our thrift for lack of ambition! We know exactly how to put all of your investment to good use. We have ambitious plans that take us several years into the future. While we can't publicly announce a all of those plans, we'd be happy to discuss them with you!


Our Creative Team

Jordan Randall Smith, Founder, Music Director

Award-winning conductor Jordan Randall Smith was Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Dallas Festival of Modern Music and Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Opera Theater. According to the Ft. Worth Music Examiner, Jordan, "drove an intensity in the air," leading the festival’s ensemble in residence, Ars Nova Dallas, in a series of performances of Schoenberg's landmark Pierrot Lunaire. New York Philharmonic Music Director Allen Gilbert called Jordan’s conducting of Boulez’ Le Marteau sans Maître, “impressive.”

Smith received a prestigious Bruno Walter Fellowship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2010 where he studied with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, and Jennifer Higdon and conducted the festival orchestra in concert. Jordan formerly served as Apprentice Conductor of the Dallas Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus. He has mentored hundreds of young musicians in ensembles across the country including the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Cross Timbers Youth Orchestra. Currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, Smith is a student of Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, and Marin Alsop.

Jordan Randall Smith, Music Director
Jordan Randall Smith, Music Director

Nicholas Bentz, Concertmaster, Executive Director

Nicholas Bentz is quickly building a reputation as a rising star across the globe. As a composer, Bentz has been commissioned by the Annual Robinson Jeffers Association Conference, SONAR New Music Ensemble, the College of Charleston Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. As a violinist, Nicholas has soloed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Philharmonic, Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and has performed with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Nicholas was a finalist for the Dorothy DeLay Fellowship Competition in 2012 at the Aspen Music Festival and was a finalist for the 2014 Marbury Competition. Nick won the 2014 Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy Concerto Competition. He is also a founding member of the Adorno String Quartet.

He received the David and Karen Stahl Memorial Scholarship from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League in 2013, and is currently enrolled at the Peabody Institute as a recipient of both the Eugene Scheffres and Richard E. Hartt Scholarship as well as the Randolph S. Rothschild Scholarship. Bentz is pursuing composition and violin studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he is co-concertmaster of the Peabody Concert Orchestra and a student of Kevin Puts and Herbert Greenberg.

Nicholas Bentz, Executive Director
Nicholas Bentz, Executive Director

Sean Meyers, Director of Development & Artistic Operations

Saxophonist Sean Meyers is an active collaborator with young composers in writing new works for saxophone. His collaboration with Justin Porter, Watermill Portrait for soprano saxophone and electronics, was recently selected for performance at the 2014 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Athens, Greece.

Other premieres include works for saxophone quartet and mixed ensembles in the 2013-2014 Synesthesia Project, a multimedia concert series featuring collaborations between Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) interdisciplinary artists and Peabody composers and performers. In addition, Sean has premiered solo and chamber works by James Young, Sean William Calhoun, Benjamin Learish, Andrew Posner, and Nick Dulworth.

Sean is currently pursuing degrees in Saxophone Performance and Music Education at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. He studies saxophone with Gary Louie and conducting with Dr. Harlan Parker.

Sean Meyers, Director of Development & Artistic Operations
Sean Meyers, Director of Development & Artistic Operations

Contact Us

Let's continue the conversation!

Website: www.symphno1.com

E-mail: symphno1@gmail.com

@SymphNo1: Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | Twitter

Risks and challenges

With a team of people who have launched successful Kickstarters and other funding campaigns for projects in the past, we walk in with our eyes open to the challenges that young organizations face. Hidden venue or rental costs, last-minute changes, and even the weather can conspire to make projects like these challenging to complete. But that is also the thrill of live performances: With our experience, these beautiful and fragile performances are in steady hands from beginning to end.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Mention: Shout-out over Symphony Number One's Facebook and Twitter accounts thanking you for your support.

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    Personal Message: Personal E-mail or Kickstarter message from the Symphony Number One creative team thanking you for your support. Include your name on the website and in the concert program as a Sponsor.

    Plus:
    -Mention

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital Recording: Exclusive pre-release digital recording (mp3) of Symphony Number One's debut concert. Composers receive Comp Pass.

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    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Concert Notes: Digital program notes (written and audio) with information about the pieces on our debut concert, written and narrated by a member of Symphony Number One’s creative team. Sponsor listing will link to your business or organization website plus one Facebook and one Twitter post about your business or organization.

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    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Sketches: Printable digital file of one of our featured composer's sketches. Web and program banner on sponsor page.

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    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Video: Digital video recording of the complete debut concert. Membership in Symphony Circle.

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    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Score: copy of the composer's score plus a signed page of composer's sketches. Increased banner ad size on web and in program.

    Plus:
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    Photo: Framed and signed photo of Symphony Number One's musicians and featured composer. Personal thank-you phone call.

    Plus:
    -Score
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
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    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    All-Access + DVD: Invitation to all 2015-2016 season rehearsals as well as a DVD of our debut concert. Founder's Circle membership. Two banner ads.

    Plus:
    -Photo
    -Score
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    PRIMO: This level is an extension* of the $360 “All-Access + DVD” level, but also includes the exclusive naming rights to a principal musician chair (e.g. “James Duncan - Enoch Pratt Principal Clarinet”).

    *Also includes items in the $400 "All-Access + DVD" Level

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Private Dinner: Dinner in Baltimore or Washington DC with 2-3 Symphony Number One musicians (you host). Hand-bound edition of score. Composer sketch on fine paper, signed by composer.

    Plus:
    -All-Access + DVD
    -Photo
    -Score
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $625 or more About $625

    VIRTUOSO: This level is an extension* of the $600 "Private Dinner" level, but with the exclusive naming rights to the concertmaster chair and soloist chairs (e.g. "Nicholas Bentz - Paul Laurence Dunbar Concertmaster”).

    *Also includes items in the $650 "Private Dinner" level

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    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    House Concert: Private, in-home chamber music concert featuring 1-3 Symphony Number One musicians. Request your favorite tunes. (Concert, dinner only available within a 45-mile radius of Baltimore, MD.)

    Plus:
    -Private Dinner
    -All-Access + DVD
    -Photo
    -Score
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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

    MAESTRO: This giving level is an extension* of the "House Concert" level but with the exclusive naming rights to the Music Director chair (e.g. "Jordan Randall Smith - Milton S. Eisenhower Music Director”).

    As a special thank you, our conductor will give you a one-hour conducting lesson at your home and you will have the opportunity to lead the orchestra during a Symphony Number One rehearsal for 5 minutes in a portion of our concert repertoire selected by you. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within a 45-mile radius of Baltimore, MD.)

    *Also includes items in the $1,000 "House Concert" Level

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    Pledge $1,800 or more About $1,800

    Private Chamber Concert: Private, in-home concert of a chamber music version of the debut concert by Symphony Number One. (Concert, dinner only available within a 60-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or 30-mile radius of Washington, DC.)

    Plus:
    -Private Dinner
    -All-Access + DVD
    -Photo
    -Score
    -Video
    -Sketches
    -Concert Notes
    -Digital Recording
    -Personal Message
    -Mention

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    COMPOSITORE: This level is an extension* of the "Private Chamber Concert" level, but also includes the exclusive naming rights to the composer-in-residence chair (e.g. "Mark Fromm - Johns Hopkins Composer-in-Residence”). As a special thank you gift, the composer will give you an original handwritten page from the sketchbook for his Symphony No. 1 and you will also receive the “Maestro”-level conducting lesson and time with the orchestra. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within a 60-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or a 40-mile radius of Washington, DC.)

    *Also includes items in the $2,000 "Private Chamber Concert" Level

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,900 or more About $3,900

    IMPRESARIO: (Underwriter - Limit 1): This level is an additional extension* of the "Private Chamber Concert" level, but with the exclusive naming rights to the concert (e.g. "Symphony Number One - underwritten with the generous support of Joseph Meyerhoff"). It also includes a guarantee that the music director, concertmaster, soloists, and composer-in-residence will be in attendance for your private dinner, and that the complete orchestra will assemble to perform our complete concert in the venue of your choosing (you provide the venue). As a special thank you, the composer will create a special arrangement of a brief tune of your choosing, dedicated to you, and it will be performed at your special concert. You will also receive the “Maestro”-level conducting lesson and time with the orchestra. On top of that, you will receive a one-of-a-kind clothbound edition of Mark Fromm’s Symphony No. 1 printed on archival paper and handbound, all courtesy of Pierrot Plus. (Concert, dinner, conducting lesson only available within an 80-mile radius of Baltimore, MD or a 50-mile radius of Washington, DC.)

    *Also includes items in the $2,000 "Private Chamber Concert" Level

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Funding period

- (35 days)