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Alpenglow Sets Stage for Concert, New Album

By Gregory Woolston

Alpenglow, a five-piece folk band formed in Vermont, will perform in Mead Memorial Chapel at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19.  The band features students Graeme Daubert ’12.5 and Elori Kramer ’13.5. Peter Coccoma ’12, Kenneth Root and Colin Weeks complete the group.

This is the band’s second concert in a month’s time. Their first concert introduced a Kickstarter campaign, which was designed to fund their debut album. Now, their second performance on Saturday will celebrate the band’s successful fundraising over the past 25 days for their album.

“We’re really grateful for everyone at Middlebury because we get to see who all the backers are, and the majority of them are students at Middlebury and it’s really endearing,” Coccoma said. “It’s very positive, and [it] gives you a lot of energy to keep going.”

Daubert and Coccoma began sharing their respective rock and folk songs with one another in the fall of 2010. Kramer soon added another folk component, followed by Root on percussion. By semester’s end, they were performing at the Old Stone Mill’s M Gallery.

“I think when [the individual members] came together, that was the beginning of the sound,” Daubert said. Alpenglow quickly earned local praise and recognition.

“So they pretty much win, hands down, for the best new local band,” Seven Days’ Dan Bolles wrote following the Waking Windows festival in Winooski. “Yep. The five-piece outfit has a sprawling indie-folk sound that fans of bands such as Fleet Foxes and the Low Anthem could eat with a spork.”

GCFM Productions added: “My advice is to speak with your friends quickly between songs, because you won’t want to while they’re playing.”

After performing at various venues throughout Vermont and New York, as well as releasing two tracks online, Alpenglow began recording an album at Burlington’s Signal Kitchen in the fall of 2012. Although beneficial for both exploring and developing their sound, production has been costly.

“The recording is almost finished, but there is still a lot of post-production work to be done, and we need to compensate all those involved for their time and energy,” Alpenglow writes. “$6,000 to record mix, master and press the album is the bare minimum to get this album out there.”

The band turned to Kickstarter, an online funding platform through which donors, or backers, can provide monetary assistance to “kickstart” creative projects. Campaign times are limited – 30 days in Alpenglow’s case – and funding is only received if all or more of the requested funds are pledged. If projects are unable to reach this goal within the timeframe, pledges are returned to backers.

“We thought we set it a little high,” Coccoma says. “And we were like, ‘I don’t know if we can do it, but if we work really hard, and we have thirty days, and we just network like crazy, maybe we can pull it off.’”

Nevertheless, Alpenglow’s debut album was quickly funded. Backers received almost daily updates during the first five days as the $3,000, $4,000, and $5,000 dollar marks were reached. On New Year’s Day, less than ten days after starting the campaign, the project was successfully funded.

“Within six days, we did the whole thing and it was just kind of a shock,” Coccoma says.

“It was definitely significantly faster than we anticipated,” Kramer added.

Backers had incentive to fund the project and ensure its success. As is the case with most Kickstarter campaigns, Alpenglow will send various prizes to its backers based on pledge level. Most backers have donated $15 or $20 dollars, earning them either a digital or physical album two weeks prior to its expected release in May. There have also been two $500 dollar pledges, which earns those two donors a personal concert with friends from the band.

“Right now we’re just really focused on getting this first album done and making sure it’s what we want,” Coccoma says. “So far we think it’ll represent us really well.”

Pledging has slowed since the campaign’s successful funding, and the pledge amount now sits just above $7,000. If Alpenglow reaches the $10,000 mark by Tuesday, Jan. 22, they have promised an additional song to backers as a special thank you.

Listen to the Campus’ complete interview with Alpenglow, or play either Track #1 or Track #2

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