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My First Mandolin Symposium

Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
I am looking back at my first Mandolin Symposium, and enjoying the memories of hearing and seeing great players at close range, teaching and rehearsing, and showing why we refer to them as great. I am thinking of new friends, such as Al, Bill, and Kaden, Eugenio and the nice homme francais from Nice, Alan and Amy, and of course Steve, Pete, and Patrice. Too many other names to recall; I am counting on Steve’s email list to help maintain contact until next year. Caterina described feeling a letdown afterward, and I sure did, but it lifted as I realized how much of the experience I get to keep, as both memory and as new understanding of playing and its purpose.

Donnie says mandolin is the greatest instrument in the world; it sure seems that the fellowship of mandolin players is hard to equal. There is a role for every type of instrument and player at the Symposium, and the range represented is huge, both in register and repertoire. Age and experience cover a wide range, too, and all find a place.

The nightly performances of the instructors were wonderful, and the visiting artists--the virtuoso choro players and the masterful Tim O’Brien--were an unexpected treat. The final concert was a pleasing mixture of groups and solos, and moved smoothly through the program.

The setting, with towering redwoods and the wide view of ocean, is another unique feature of this event. The convenience of housing and dining, outdoor and indoor jams, and the handy Porter College for the classes and rehearsals, as well as the fine recital hall, would all be hard to replicate elsewhere, even without the perfect weather.

So long until next year, but plenty of work to do before then. Many thanks to the founders, David and Mike, and to their musical and life partners Tracy and Caterina, to Steve, Pete, and Patrice, and to all the instructors for their constant good cheer and dedication.

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  1. lorrainehornig's Avatar
    I loved your blog...I am planning to attend in 2015. I check the Mandolin Symposium website every week to see if it has been updated for 2015. I've viewed all the YouTube videos that were posted for this year's events. Thanks for your very positive comments regarding this event!