Crescent Super Band selling holiday CDs to fund trip to Carnegie Hall
Last spring, the Crescent Super Band, comprised of high school students from around Utah and directed by Caleb Chapman, received an invitation to play a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 21, 2013.
In addition, Chapman got permission to take two other of his groups, the Voodoo Orchestra and the La Onda Carebeña, which is a salsa band.
The challenge of taking 76 young musicians to the Big Apple is the price.
"Usually, when we tour internationally or nationally, we’re get paid to perform, but in this case, we’re just lucky to have received an invitation to perform in Carnegie Hall, let alone New York," Chapman told The Park Record. "The city has a lot of unique expenses and is a pretty pricey city to operate in."
The total tab is $300,000, Chapman said.
"Thanks to generous donations from the business community, we’ve already raised $100,000, but we still have a shortfall of money that we’d like to raise to get the musicians out there," Chapman said.
So, the musicians, themselves, are stepping up to raise the remaining balance, but instead of selling cookies and candy bars door-to-door, they are selling the new Crescent Super Band CD, "A Crescent Christmas," Chapman said.
The CD was recorded in September and features 10 tracks of well-known holiday songs including "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Sleigh Ride," "Jingle Bells," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "I’ll Be Home For Christmas" and "Auld Lang Syne," to name a few.
"Some of these are done in arrangements that many people haven’t heard before, but are fun to hear, and there are other less familiar tunes such as ‘Cool Yule’ and ‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus’ that fit with the Super Band."
Chapman chose the songs and arrangements he thought would make a great CD that people would love to have, and showcase the strength of the band.
"I’d like to think we succeeded on those points," he said.
The CD features Park City and South Summit High School students including saxophonist Derrick Dymalski, bassist Brett Howard, trumpeter Tyler Webb, drummer Parker Swenson and percussionist Grady Tesch, who all play in the Super Band.
"I can’t be more proud of it," Chapman said. "It’s a fantastic record and the kids outdid themselves."
The CD wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for a local nonprofit organization called the Legacy Music Alliance.
"Its executive director Gaylen Rust approached us last spring after we got the invitation to New York, and he asked how we are planning to raise the funds to get there," Chapman said.
Since the Crescent Super Band usually isn’t in a position to fundraise, because it is a professional group that gets paid for most of its appearances, Chapman wasn’t sure what he was going to do.
"Gaylen asked if we would consider him helping us out, and proposed that Legacy Music Alliance fund a full-length Christmas album, recorded by the Super Band, which the musicians would sell instead of candy bars to help cover the tour cost."
Although Chapman agreed, he was a little skeptical about how quickly the musicians would be able to finish the CD.
"But sure enough they went in, and within three days, recorded all the songs," he said.
That was a feat, because the band had undergone some changes just before the recording sessions.
"We reaudition the band every year, because once musicians graduate high school, we age them out of the band," Chapman explained. "We held auditions in mid September and put the band together at the end of the month.
"In the meanwhile, we had to have the whole album finished recorded, mixed, mastered and packaged with the artwork by October 15, in order to have it out by Halloween, when the Christmas-music season begins."
"A Crescent Christmas" is now available at http://www.crescentsuperband.com or by contacting one of the young musicians in the Caleb Chapman Music program.
The musicians who are selling the CDs locally are Derrick Dymalski, Brett Howard, Tyler Webb, Marisa Wilde, Orville Clarke, Leo Peters, Jack Weinrauch, Will Schumacher and Peter Hanaman.
"CDs are $20, which is a little more than what is normally paid for a CD, but we want to get a decent amount of funds to the kids," Chapman said. "Furthermore, 100 percent of the sales of the discs will cover the musicians’ tour costs, and we’ll make sure the money donated by people in Summit County through the website will cover the expenses of the musicians from that area."
The deadline for the fundraising is March 1, 2013.
"We’ll be in New York for about a week, and we will participate in some great performances and education opportunities," Chapman said. "We hope we can raise the money in time."
For more information about the Crescent Super Band and Caleb Chapman Music, visit http://www.calebchapmanmusic.com.
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