You did it!
8 Jun 2011
Inside the Classics

You guys never cease to amaze me, you know that? In the middle of the most challenging economic slump most of us will likely ever know, at a time when an entire cottage industry of pundits cranks out daily treatises claiming that orchestral music is dead or dying, and during a year in which several orchestras have either filed for bankruptcy or worse…

…hundreds of you have bucked the trend, defied the so-called experts, and commissioned us a new symphony.

That’s right, folks, we have officially surpassed our $20,000 goal for the MicroCommission Project! We now have every dollar we need to pay Judd for his considerable efforts, and the piece will be in our hands and ready for our practice stands later this year. We did pick up a few exceedingly generous donations along the way – $1500 was the biggest single gift – but the vast majority was raised, just as we’d hoped, in amounts like $5, $20, and $50. Our donor list runs into the hundreds, and Sarah and I personally got the chance to talk to dozens of you as you tossed a bill or a check into a viola case, or took the time to drop us a card or an e-mail expressing your enthusiasm for the project.

To be quite honest, when we started talking about the MicroCommission idea over a year ago, Sarah and I had no idea whether it was actually feasible or not. It seemed like the kind of thing we could get people excited about, but you never really know whether something that looks good on paper will translate into real-world success. So when we found out last week that we’d hit our initial goal, it was one of the best feelings you can imagine. (And best of all, this means that we’re done begging you for donations at ItC concerts! Woo-hoo! Now I know how public radio people must feel at the end of the last day of the pledge drive…)

Now, if you still want to get on board the MicroCommission train, there’s actually still time to do so. We’re leaving the donation page up and fully active for the time being, to raise funds over and above the $20,000 we initially targeted, and here’s why. Paying the composer for his/her work is the most important aspect of commissioning a new piece of music, but the other major cost is the printing, binding, and distribution of the dozens of scores and parts that must materialize in order for the piece to be played.

Those publishing costs run to the thousands of dollars, and while we have set aside money from our general Inside the Classics budget to cover those costs, well… we’d rather put that money to other uses, like guest artists and video production, if we can. So if you want to have your name added to our list of donors, know that you can still do so, and your money will continue to go directly to the project, while also allowing us to offset some of our in-house costs and bring you more cool stuff at next season’s ItC concerts!

But even if we don’t collect another dime, we are so, so grateful to all of you who have embraced this project and taken it, over the course of a few short months, from a long-shot dream to a fully funded reality. Y’all are awe-inspring, and over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be rolling out a number of ways for you to reap the rewards of your participation, both online and off. For now, though: thank you. Thank you for trusting us, thank you for inspiring us, and thank you for confirming what we already knew, that the Minnesota Orchestra has the greatest supporters in the world!

Sing Along, by Judd Greenstein
Performed by the NOW Ensemble

<April 2020>

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