Hello, I'm Greg Mackender, the resident composer for Kansas City's own Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. This year's production of The Winter's Tale marks my 22nd season with the Festival (yes, I've been in the park every summer since the first production!). Every year I've written and recorded original music for the Festival, but this season I'd like to add a new level of challenge and creativity: live performance of the music. Over the years I've engaged many of the best performers in Kansas City to record my music for the production, and this year I hope to have some of these musicians join me in playing the music live during the performance. We're very excited about bringing this new element to our stage, harkening back to Shakespeare's time when music could only be played live.
Adding live music comes at a price, however, and we need your help. We're attempting to raise $10,000 from private and corporate contributors, and from the many fans of the festival such as yourself who attend year after year. All donations from this campaign go directly to the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, to an account earmarked to support the 'Live Music' project. HASF has 501(c) 3 non-profit status, so you are entitled to the tax deductions that entails. The largest expense is the salaries of the musicians, hired for the period of time from the beginning of the rehearsal process through the run of the show. Additional expenses will be sound and communication rental purchases, and costuming.
Pictured above are two longtime festival collaborators, Sascha Groschang/ Cello, and Laurel Parks/violin, along with myself in the studio. They perform together as a duo known as 'The Wires'. Check out the video below to view and hear some of the music from past festivals:
I invite you to check out the many perks available to our donors! All donors will have access to The Winter's Tale music production website. This is a private site that I create, prior to the show's opening, to enable the Director and other Designers to see my research and preliminary work, and for Actors to use in rehearsal. Once the show opens, the site becomes public and has a page for downloading music from the show. This year it will also have a contributors page, where donors to this fund can be listed. The site will go up in March, and you will be able to follow the creative process as first drafts of music cues begin to appear for different scenes. And yes, there will be a comments page, and I welcome your input. Check out the other perks that come with different donation levels.
As always, the Festival remains free to the public, but of course we depend greatly on our many fans to contribute at whatever level they're able. If you can't contribute at this time, share this site freely with anyone who you think might be interested, and by all means come out this summer and enjoy the show! Be sure and visit the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival website for more details on performance dates: http://www.kcshakes.org