Decoda in South Carolina

I’m particularly proud of the work my colleagues in Decoda are doing this week. Cellist Claire Bryant is leading a team of musicians during a weeklong workshop with inmates at Lee Correctional Facility in South Carolina.  It’s truly amazing stuff, and what the video was able to capture is just the tip of the iceberg.  

Lessons Learned From Crowdfunding | Musical America Blogs

I was really honored when Edna Landau called me up to chat over the phone about Decoda’s successful launch campaign in one of her Dear Edina columns.  She gives some great advice on crowdfunding in the article - check out the excerpt below and follow the link to read her full column.  

*Note that prior to June 2013 Decoda was known as “The Declassified”  

I spoke to Paul Murphy, who is a member of the Artists’ Committee of The Declassified and who was integrally involved in their successful Indiegogo campaign to launch the music collective. They sought to raise $20,000 and raised $25,115 in six weeks. The monies were used to cover basic expenses such as a professional website, marketing materials, office space and accounting and legal fees, as well as costs related to events that took place in the launch week. The campaign led directly up to the launch week and was significantly helped by an article about The Declassified that appeared in The New York Times. The size of The Declassified (over 40 members) gave them a built-in network of family and friends that got them one-third of the way. They put a lot of thought into their video and making sure they had a point person to keep their written and video messages consistent and compelling. They focused on clearly and concisely expressing who they are, what they do, why they are excited about it and on inviting people to be a part of it. You might find their rewards interesting, inasmuch as it can be a challenge to offer benefits to donors when you don’t yet exist! When the campaign ended, and following their launch week, they sent out a newsletter to their network and Indiegogo campaign donors to thank them and share the exciting news that they were singled out by Indiegogo as a model campaign. - Read Edna’s full blog post. 

The Soul of a New Ensemble: Musicians as Entrepreneurs -

My colleagues and I have been working hard for several months to prepare for our big public launch campaign - its exciting to have the NY Times cover it!  Read the excerpt below or follow the link for the full article.  

* Prior to June 2013 Decoda was known as “The Declassified”

New York is awash in self-governing groups that focus on new music and often play in once unexpected places, like bars, clubs and galleries. They include the International Contemporary Ensemble, So Percussion, the American Modern Ensemble, the Knights and Sonyc. Such groups have come in waves in recent decades.

But the Declassified has a special pedigree. It consists of alumni of the Academy, a two-year fellowship program sponsored by Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.

The 15 to 20 fellows — accomplished musicians who have finished conservatory or college and are just beginning careers — are trained to interact with audiences, teach and develop a sense of entrepreneurship. Carnegie pays them a stipend, gives them performances at the hall and elsewhere and sends graduates out for residencies at home and abroad.

The alumni decided they wanted to stay together and claim independence from Carnegie. Carnegie agreed to keep funneling them residency work as long as they functioned as a democracy and included future alumni, according to Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director. (Twenty fellows are finishing in June, and the next crop is about to be chosen.)

“Our approach will be to engage them as an ensemble, and they decide who are the players,” Mr. Gillinson said. Carnegie provides no direct financing, but Mr. Gillinson, whose first big project after he arrived at Carnegie in 2005 was to push for the Academy, said he had made a personal donation of $1,000. The group has raised about $12,500 toward a goal of $20,000 to pay for its opening week.

Help Launch Decoda!

I’m really proud of our launch campaign!

Some incredible musicians ask for your help in launching a revolution in classical music. Join us!

*Note that prior to June 2013 Decoda was known as “The Declassified”

Our Story

Decoda is an exciting new collective of some of the world’s best and brightest young classical musicians. The members of Decoda all have a shared history together as alumni of The Academy: A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute.  Having garnered worldwide acclaim performing as “Ensemble ACJW” during their time together as Academy Fellows, they are excited to continue building upon their experiences together, with the shared goal of creating a new professional organization which fundamentally redefines how a performing arts ensemble can meaningfully combine exhilarating performances with a genuine passion for audience engagement.  

Why We Need Your Help

By supporting Decoda’s Launch Campaign, you are helping us to build a strong organization for the future.  We share a collective ambition to reinvigorate the cultural conversation around classical music, and we greatly appreciate your help in making that vision become a reality! Join us!