Music to Honor Iraq Veterans

Jake Runestad

Project: Dreams of the Fallen

Goal: $4,000
Deadline: Thursday, March 22
Dreams of the Fallen has already surpassed its monetary goal.

Why it’s good: Jake Runestad may be only in his mid-twenties, but he already has a master’s in composition and has been awarded for music that includes pieces for chorus, orchestra, jazz ensemble, and opera. His latest creation, Dreams of the Fallen, is a commissioned work that matches Runestad’s music with the words of Brian Turner, an award-winning poet and Iraq War veteran. A choir will sing Turner’s words as a solo piano, representing the individual soldier, responds. The subject of war extends to the donations themselves, as the project’s creators encourage people to give in honor of friends or family members who have been in the military. Dreams of the Fallen brings together two acclaimed artists to explore a timely and worthwhile subject: the experience of American soldiers before, during, and after deployment.

Rewards: “I wanted to choose rewards that would be of interest to the donors and provide a personalized and meaningful ‘thank you’ for their donations,” Runestad says. Those offerings include recognition in and signed copies of the printed score, but the most intriguing reward is for givers who donate $250 or more: a personalized phone or Skype call from Runestad himself to discuss Dreams of the Fallen–or whatever topic the donor chooses.

Why Kickstarter: Funds raised on Kickstarter will go toward the costs of engraving and copying each score and instrument part for the choirs and orchestras that will perform the piece, scheduled to premiere during the 2013-14 concert season. Though he had never used the platform before, Runestad now recommends it as an easy, effective way to raise funds as well as spreading word about projects. “I am amazed by the generosity of those who have contributed and I truly appreciate their gifts,” he says. “Donors have included close family members and people I have never met.”

Last word: Runestad says, “With all of the bad that we hear on the news every day, it gives me hope that there are so many wonderful people in the world willing to support a project that I hope will make a positive change.”