Why The Ambassador Club?
The Sting Productions AMBASSADOR CLUB - a new way to make new music
An explanation of the thinking behind - and the details of - this new idea, from Paul Bristow
Reasons for the change:
Since I took over as the owner/producer of Sting and Snow Records, in
2000, a lot has been achieved. We have held on to our reputation for
producing good quality Square Dance music and have released 199 new
records (a total of 228 new pieces of music). We have re-released 16 old
records - all of which had been listed as "out of print" - and have made
available the four patter records that required new pressing plates to
be created, (this was achieved by including them as one side of four of
the new patter releases). All of which makes a total of 20 re-releases.
In addition to this we have maintained the availability (in most
formats) of the pre 2000 original 69 record library of Sting and Snow
Records (a total of 73 pieces of music that were originally released).
In real terms this means that during the period from 1986 to 2010 Sting and Snow records have now released a total of 268 records (305 pieces of music), which I believe is pretty fantastic achievement! 25 years, our Silver anniversary (remember that silver is the metal upon which all monetary systems are based and black and silver were the original company colours; we produced Black records and tried to turn them into Silver, in the form of money)! That almost equates to an average of one piece of music per month for 25 years; in every respect this is a story of success!
The success of Sting and Snow Records is due to many elements, none of which are more important than the Staff Callers. Their support, in terms of tune choices and contributions is quite obvious but beyond that it is their support in terms of promoting the company, it's products and ideas and "selling" Sting and Snow Records to the callers and dancers that they met along the way, which has allowed us to enjoy the status of the most successful non-American record label, to date. It has always been my feeling that we have been acting as "Ambassadors" for keeping new Square Dance music available to the activity and I have been very proud to be a part of that endeavour - thanks to all of the Staff Callers for their tireless efforts, in this regard.
We now need to look at the future and how we can continue - I am not ready to quit, yet! Things have changed and I have done everything that I could to keep the company viable and able to continue the production of new music on the existing basis that we had developed; using a process of financial contributions from the Staff Callers as the support to allow us to work towards the point where we would be a "self-sustainable" Record company. I held on to the belief that, by working by the rules of the old system, we would eventually succeed; that has not happened and I now believe that it may never happen.
At present we are thirteen callers, acting for Sting and Snow Records as "Ambassadors" for keeping new Square Dance music available to the activity - this number is not enough; dividing the costs of production between the thirteen of us, still leaves us each with a very high financial cost to pay. We need to include more callers in this "Ambassador" role; more callers to share the financial burden of producing new music and (in exchange) to enjoy the benefits that we have enjoyed as Staff Callers, with regard to each production.
I need to change the basis upon which we operate and propose doing this by establishing the Sting Productions Ambassador Club.
Welcome to the Sting Productions Ambassador Club!
Our plan, in simple terms, is to offer 150 callers the chance to join
together with the Staff Callers of Sting Productions to become members
of the Ambassador Club and receive the next year's output of Sting
music, on CD - at least one year ahead of the majority of other callers;
all of this will be in exchange for an "up-front" payment, which is
currently set at $160.
We offer a guarantee that you will receive a minimum of 14 pieces of
music (of which, at least, 10 tracks will be Singing Calls) and that you
will be one of only 150 callers to join with the Staff Callers and have
exclusive use of that music for the initial twelve-month period.
After that twelve month period the tracks will be released (at the rate of one or two per month) through the regular retail outlets (initially on the Hanhurst's Review service), so that all callers will eventually be able to benefit from using them.
WE WILL NAME THE TITLES OF THE TUNES THAT WE ARE PLANNING TO RECORD
One very important aspect of our "plan" is that we want to remove as
much of the "speculative" element as we can, from both sides of the
equation. To do this and to help you decide to join, we will name the
songs that we intend to record - before you commit - so that you will
know what to expect!
HERE ARE THE DETAILS OF THE PLAN:
The "Launch Date" for the Ambassador Club is 1st August in the year
prior to the planned recording, it will be launched through the
Sting Productions web-site and we will publish the song-list by
that date (at the latest) or earlier (if possible). If we have 150
signed up members by 31st October in the year prior to the planned
recording, we will proceed with the project and request payments; all
payments must be received by 31st December. Once all payments have been
received, we will book the studio and record the music - our planned
recording date is April in the year of the planned recording. Members of
the Ambassador Club will receive the music, on CD, in June of that year.
The music on the CD will start to become generally available to other
Callers in August in the year following the planned recording session.
If this plan works we will repeat the operation, using this same schedule, on an annual basis.
THE STAFF CALLERS
The thirteen Sting and Snow Records Staff Callers (as at December 2010)
will be the Staff Callers of the new Sting Productions company, it will
be our responsibility to select songs to be recorded. We realise that we
need to choose tunes that Callers will want to own and to achieve this,
we will involve all of the members of the Ambassador Club in the process
of tune selection, for each year; don't forget - as I have said above -
we WILL announce the tune titles that we are going to record BEFORE we
take any money.
Please feel free to contact me, or speak with any Sting and Snow Caller, should you have any questions concerning - or require any additional information about - the Sting Productions Ambassador Club.
Go Squareful! - Paul Bristow (Owner and Producer: Sting Productions)
Terms and Conditions:
Sting Productions Ambassador Club - 2012
- Members will receive an Ambassador Club CD - a minimum of 14 tracks (at least 10 will be Singing Calls) in June 2012.
- Use of the Ambassador Club releases will be exclusive to Ambassador Club members for a minimum period of one year
- Ambassador Club membership is available ONLY through Sting Productions and all inquiries, documentation, and payments as well as shipping information should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or the address shown at the top of the page.
- The Ambassador Club payment ($160 US) must be received by Sting Productions no earlier than 1st December 2011 and no later than 31st December 2011. Payment may be made via PayPal or by direct payment to any Sting Productions Staff Caller.
- Any file sharing or pirated copying of Ambassador Club music is strictly prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Members will receive a list of the 2012 Ambassador Club members. If you know of anyone not on this list who is using these exclusive 2012 Ambassador Club recordings it is your responsibility to let Sting Productions know about it.