do i hear $50?Like to own a piece of potential history? Or maybe just somebody to lug your bags around? Grab some fare or flair, from fluff to full, all to be had at the American Music Center’s 70th anniversary online auction fundraiser. Proceeds will support the Center’s ongoing programs, which have been working to build a national community of artists, organizations, and audiences creating, performing, and enjoying new American music for a good chunk of the last century.

The list of auction items is eclectic, to say the least. I’m not really seeing the musical value in a gift certificate for some beef, or tickets to a comedy club (except maybe to feed that starving artist, and give them a few ideas for that next absurdist chamber opera)…  But there are quite a few truly special treats to be had: how about tickets to the New York City Opera complete with backstage tour? A private salon concert by the wonderful violinist Jennifer Koh? Commission your dream piece from Steven Stucky or Robert Xavier Rodriguez? Get some personal consulting on your composerly career from market-savvy composer Alex Shapiro? Vocal coaching with Paul Sperry? And my personal favorite — name your own David Rakowski piano étude!

The material’s even better for you autograph hounds: not only signed sketches and manuscripts from the likes of Stucky, Bernard Rands, Augusta Read Thomas, Tobias Picker, there’s the conductor’s score of  Three Occasions by Elliott Carter, signed by the grand old man himself! For the ‘multiples’ collector, there are special “Pulitzer Prize Packages” — each of which includes both a signed CD and signed score of their prize-winning composition — from Bernard Rands, David Lang, John Corigliano, and Melinda Wagner. All this and more, more more!

The bidding opens Thursday Nov. 5th and runs through Nov. 20th. Some seriously good stuff, some seriously useful stuff, some seriously silly stuff — no matter, it all goes to benefit the efforts of the most fundamental and over-arching organization in the U.S., for the advocacy of New Music and the people who make and play it.

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