James W. Parker: When New Orleans Becomes a Brown Sea

63% ($1,560)
April 30th, 2017
Raised $1,560 of $2,440

About The Artist

James W. Parker, Composer

James W. Parker (b. 1992) is a composer residing in Austin, TX. James received a BM in Composition from Ithaca College in 2015, where he studied with Dana Wilson and Jorge Grossmann. He's received a few grants and scholarships from the schools he's attended. James has participated in lessons and masterclasses with a handful of incredibly kind and smart composers, including David Rakowski, Anna Clyne, and Aaron Jay Kernis. In 2017 James was selected to participate in the composition program at the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, Maine, and in 2017 he will attend the Valencia International Performance Institute (VIPA), where he is excited to work with the B3:Brouwer Trio, Melinda Wagner, Stefano Gervasoni, and Jorge Grossmann. James is very interested in folk music (of all...

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The creators of a brand new opera When New Orleans Becomes a Brown Sea, premiering in April at UT Austin's Bi-annual Cohen New Works Festival, are seeking donations to support this exciting and dynamic project. The New Works Festival is a major event at UT and attracts many producers and artists from around the country including from The Public Theatre and Here Arts Center in NYC and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Donations received will go towards set construction, costumes, musician payment, and videography/recording costs.

When New Orleans Becomes a Brown Sea is the story of Terrance and Judy, a black man and a white woman,  stuck on a roof together in a flooded neighborhood of New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina. To survive, they must confront issues of race and class, their personal pasts, and the ghosts of the city they once called home. The opera will be performed in the B Iden Payne theater under the baton of Composer/Conductor James W. Parker, and features thrilling lighting and video design by MFA design candidate Iman Corbani. The libretto by UT MFA playwright Travis Tate is brought to life with James' music and the direction of Adam Sussman, an MFA directing student at UT Austin.


  • Printing: scores, parts, scripts, publicity materials, etc. 1 $100.00 $100.00
    • lapel mic rental (for vocalists)
    • condenser mic rental (for string quartet)
  • Musician Payment 7 $150 $1,050.00
  • Rehearsal Pianist 1 $300 $300.00
  • Videography 1 $250.00 $250.00
  • Costumes (bought from second hand stores to be altered and made to look wet)
    •  6 costumes total = 2 singers, 4 instrumentalists 6 $40 $240.00
  • Set (Breakdown below) 1 $500 $500.00
    • Plywood sheets 3 50 $150.00
    • Paint 1 75 $75.00
    • Roofing materials 1 50 $50.00
    • Screws 1 15 $15.00
    • 2x4 1 40 $40.00
    • Projection material 1 100 $100.00
    • Misc Props 1 $70 $70.00

Total $2,440.00

Not comfortable donating online?  We accept donations via check as well.  Please mail donations to BELTÀ, 1712 E. Riverside Dr., Suite 25, Austin, TX 78741.  Be sure to mark "James W. Parker" in the memo line so that your support can be routed towards this project.