Get the Grant: Project Description from June 2009 (Part 6/7)

Below is a project description I submitted to the Canada Council in June 2009.  I requested $6,200 and received $4,900 to tour Western Canada in October 2009.

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There are many advantages to touring as a solo pianist.  It is easily organized, requires a fraction of the costs and most importantly, has the potential to create a more intimate relationship between the performer and an audience member.

Funds requested will be used to subsidize costs for travel and accommodation.  In regards to performance fees, I have also asked for one fee that includes $500 for each performance and $150 for each workshop.  Most of the itinerary represents work with new contacts in communities that I have not previously visited including the Victoria Jazz Society and the Edmonton Jazz Society.  All of the workshop opportunities (mentioned below) also represent new, promising relationships with their respective music communities.  I am very excited to have contracted and tentative performances in Kamloops BC and Salmon Arm BC where in an effort to increase audience interest, my wife, Natalie Donnelly, will be joining me as a guest vocalist.  You will notice that I have included her airfare and performance fee in the budget as well.

My performances will highlight original compositions from a new set of music called Metamorphosis, composed thanks to the Canada Council.  More importantly however, my performances will feature the music of Canadian composer and pianist Doug Riley.  Over the past year, I have learned many of Mr. Riley’s composition and this tour will be a perfect opportunity to feature his music as a means to increase audience’s awareness of his enormous contribution to Canadian music.  Moreover, I will be performing jazz standards and a few pieces with cross-genre qualities by Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti and Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin.

Because I am very dedicated to my audiences, all of my tour performances will be audio recorded, video recorded, documented in a tour diary, and made available online.  In some cases, sheet music and transcriptions of my repertoire (especially Doug Riley’s compositions) will be made available as well.  This is in a unique effort to educate, build and retain relationships with my audience.  In the long run, I hope for these relationships to revolve around an appreciation for music and develop into a larger community of arts supporters.

Although these steps will be made to enhance an online community, I am working diligently to organize activities that engage the music education communities.  I am in contact with representatives from The Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association, Brandon University, Grant MacEwan College, The Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association, The Irene Besse Academy, The University of Victoria, The Victoria Jazz Society, Capilano University and the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers Association.  I am confident that these contacts will result in a number workshop, masterclass and school performance opportunities.

At this point in my career, this tour is meant primarily as a means to develop and nurture an audience for my music and the arts in general.   However, on a personal note, I would like to build my own awareness of the communities throughout Canada that support and are engaged in the arts.  As an emerging artist who has not yet toured all of Canada, but ultimately wants to represent Canada internationally, I feel it is important that I visit and experience the parts of Canada that make up its artistic communities.

With the funding provided by the council, I will be able to explore these opportunities without the stress of travel expenses. I am confident that this tour and the approval of this application will ultimately aid in the advancement of my music career and help me focus on representing and contributing to new Canadian music. I sincerely appreciate the council’s time in reviewing my application and hope to be given the honour of receiving this grant.

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