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High School Student Raising One Million Dollars by Composing Symphony
In a unique twist on fundraising, a U.S. high school student is raising one million dollars by writing a symphony and selling the musical notes that make it up. Money collected will help fund music in American public schools and his college tuition.
With college tuition costs at an all time high and rising, students are coming up with increasingly creative ways to get together the cash necessary to attend. Songofamillion.com is an example of just this. The site's creator, a recent high school grad from Massachusetts, says that his goal is to leave graduate school debt free, and to give something back to the school music programs that helped him get into a top college. He came up with the idea of symbolically selling notes in a piece of music after reading about websites that sell advertising space for revenue. "The concept is basically the same," he says. "The difference is the incentive for the buyer." In this case, the main incentive for donors is potentially getting $50,000 in return. Once the million dollar mark is hit, half of the money will go to funding music programs in public high schools. The remainder will be split the student's own tuition costs and a raffle of five $50,000 prizes, given back to randomly selected donors. It's a clever idea, and as the site says, "all it takes is a dollar" to have a shot at winning. And the odds, when compared to something like a state lottery, are quite good.
Up for sale on the website is everything from a sixteenth note, at $1, to a golden whole note, at a lofty $500. The higher the note value, the more heavily it is weighted in the drawing for the prizes. Each represents an actual note in the orchestral piece, titled "Song of a Million." As the money comes in, the symphony gets composed. Once completed, the site's founder plans to have it performed by a symphony orchestra, recorded, and uploaded to the website for all to watch. Progress made in composing the piece is tracked on a blog.
This project looks like it will be more of an experiment than anything else. The question is how people will weigh the odds: is it worthwhile to contribute a small amount with the possibility of getting a larger amount back? Will people contribute simply out of charity? Will nobody contribute? Whatever happens, Song of a Million represents a unique and potentially viable form of fundraising because, in the end, everybody wins.
You can visit the project's website at http://www.SongofaMillion.com.
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Song of a Million is an experimental fundraising project started by a New England high school student.