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New York Mandolin Orchestra 80th Annual Concert

By Chaim Caron
June 2, 2004 - 10:10 pm

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On June 6, 2004 at 2:00 p.m., the New York Mandolin Orchestra will be celebrating 80 years of music making. The program will consist of familiar classical music, popular music, folk music and modern music commissioned for the orchestra. The tickets, available at the door, will be $10 standard and $5 for seniors and students. Children under 14 are admitted free. The concert will be held at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services located at 345 East 15th Street between Second and First Avenue (closer to First). It is easy to get to by the #15 buses on First and Second Avenues, the #14 cross town buses and the LL subway line.

In 1924, when the New York Mandolin Orchestra was formed, there were over a dozen mandolin orchestras and groups in every neighborhood. Mandolins could be purchased for about $8, if there was not one already lying around in a home. The mandolins were the round (bowl back) type and were usually transported in a home-made cloth case, a paper bag, or a pillowcase. It seemed easy and fun to play. You got together with friends from "the old country" and made music even if you already belonged to an orchestra. This was true not only in New York but across the country.

Dan Barratt, the conductor, is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. He has been active in New York City as a cellist, composer, arranger and conductor for many years. He has directed The New York Bach Ensemble, the Absolute Chamber Players, recorded a soon to be released CD of Alvin Brehm's solo work "Variations for Cello Alone" and much more.

Rehearsals are on Tuesday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the High School for Health Professions and Human Services at 345 East 15th Street. If you play or know someone who wants to play the mandolin, or any of the instruments in the mandolin family, please call Irene Roberts: 212-534-4440

Update: Wayne Fugate, an alumni of the New York Mandolin Orchestra, has written a great book for those aspiring to learn or improve their mandolin technique. "Mastering Mandolin" is published by Alfred Printing. Wayne will be appearing to give a brief talk and demonstration of jazz progressions and fiddle tunes. Books will be available for purchase and he has graciously offered to sign and answer questions about the book.

For further information, please contact Irene Roberts: 212-534-4440.

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