Columbus State University announced early this summer that it will host the 37th annual Conference of the International Trumpet Guild May 22-26, 2012.
Organizers hope one highlight of the conference will be a special ballet and musical collaboration based on a Mexican folk tale/ghost story “The Girl in White.”
The project is currently under development and will feature the Columbus Ballet in conjunction with James Ackley, associate professor of trumpet at the University of South Carolina School of Music in Columbia, along with The Palmetto Camerata and composer Robert Bradshaw.
Ackley and Bradshaw first discussed the idea because they wanted to find a more challenging project than a trumpet solo piece to perform at the conference.
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Columbus Ballet co-founder and executive director Maria Hirsch learned about the project when she received an e-mail from Bradshaw.
When she found out that the ITG conference would be in Columbus in May when her dancers would be rehearsing for their spring show, “Coppelia,” Hirsch thought the timing was ideal.
Most of the communication between Hirsch and Bradshaw has continued to be conducted through e-mail and via Facebook.
“This is our digital world,” Bradshaw said. “We all work together as one world community.”
Bradshaw sent a digital music file to Hirsch, who will choreograph the performance. A recording will be made so the Columbus Ballet dancers will know exactly what the music will sound like.
Musicians Ackley and The Palmetto Camerata will work with Bradshaw on the music. They’ve worked together before on Bradshaw’s opera, “Gabriel.”
Right now Bradshaw is raising money for “The Girl in White” project through www.kickstarter.com. The website serves a platform to allow arts organizations to raise money online.
“As you probably know, classical music and ballet are just about the least-funded segment of the arts,” Bradshaw said.
“This is a social network fund-raiser. Anyone with a credit card can donate as little as $1. You can donate with no risk to you. If you can, give more. You can get a ‘reward.’ The concept is to find as many people as you can do donate small amounts of money.”
The absolute lowest amount of money Bradshaw needs to raise is $2,500, but he hopes to raise far more than that.
The money raised through kickstarter.com will allow Bradshaw to apply for grants.
To bring the ensemble to Columbus next year, he has to find money for renting rehearsal space, transportation, airfare, hotels and meals for the musicians.
“We are all on a timeline,” he said. The kickstarter.com money must be in by Oct. 7. “We have that sense of urgency. We are trying to instill that in everyone. Once we have the money, all we have to worry about is the art later.”