• Newly Formed Michigan Mandolin Orchestra Announces Debut Concert

    Michigan Mandolin Orchestra

    Grand Rapids, Mich. — The newly formed Michigan Mandolin Orchestra has announced their debut concert to be held in Rockford. Mich. at 7:00 p.m., November 23 at the Rockford United Methodist Church, 159 Maple St. NE.

    The newly formed orchestra is dedicated to reviving traditional, community-based ensembles that feature members of the Mandolin Family of Instruments.

    "We're excited to have this chance to perform with our brand new Orchestra after rehearsing nearly every Monday night!," said Brian Oberlin, the orchestra's founder and music director. "We know many people haven't heard a mandolin orchestra, and we think they will be surprised by its beauty and versatility — and pleased."

    The Debut Concert program features music from Beethoven, Schubert, Telemann, two pieces written for mandolin orchestra by Japanese composer Yasuo Kuwahara and Rockford's own Brian Oberlin — and of course several Italian mandolin standards and American marches.

    New take on an old tradition

    Founded in the summer of 2019, the Grand Rapids-based orchestra is reviving the tradition of community-based mandolin ensembles popular during the early 20th century. Today, the all-volunteer orchestra boasts 16 members who play first mandolin, second mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello, guitar and bass to create a warm, distinctive sound something like musical rain.

    Rockford's own Brian Oberlin, a professional mandolinist and educator of 20 years, established the Michigan Mandolin Orchestra, with much focus on bringing the great sound of the mandolin, including its distinctive tremolo, to classical music lovers of West Michigan. In 2010, Oberlin founded the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra in Portland and they continue to thrive and be the finest mandolin Orchestras on the West Coast.

    Additional Information

    Michigan Mandolin Orchestra