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Thread: Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

  1. #1
    Registered User dj coffey's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Minneapolis, MN

    Default Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

    Hey peeps!

    I haven't posted here in some time, but a little report out about an orchestra that is suddenly thriving.

    The MMO has been in existence since 1991, and under Lon Hendrick's direction for quite some time.

    COVID struck, and the organization mustered with video performances. As things opened up, we had regional small rehearsals in people's homes. And then, after things opened, all 25 of us showed up as in person full rehearsals resumed!

    Such a relief. There was concern that we'd lose people in the interim due to health or just getting out of the habit.

    This past fall, we suddenly had an influx of new players. We're at 38 members now, which makes a huge difference in the sound. Our Christmas Concert at our host venue, St. Anthony Lutheran in St. Paul, was just brilliant. We dazzled them with our connection to the music and one another and gratitude to our hosts for allowing us to use their sanctuary for our rehearsals.

    Oh...and bragging for my section...we are up to FIVE MANDOCELLOS...oh, correction, two liuto cantabile's and 3 mandocellos. And 8, maybe 10 mandolas!

    Lon is hitting us with more challenging music and driving super-effective rehearsals. People are excited!

    And I should mention that we performed 19 times last year, and I think we performed 42 different works.

    I don't know if the Twin Cities are ready for us, but we're ready for them!

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  3. #2
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    St. Paul, MN

    Default Re: Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

    Glad to see you folks are doing so well. Am hoping to eventually get to a concert this year. Conflicts with my band(s) rehearsal and/or performance schedule was usually to blame.

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  5. #3
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Default Re: Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

    Good to hear about the popularity. I'll have to visit a rehearsal or a concert sometime soon.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

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  7. #4
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    Oct 2012
    Indepndence OR

    Default Re: Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

    Go MMO Dotty! Should the little mandolin world feel threatened by the growing number and popularity of the big bad mandocello???
    I wonder if it is time to think about declaring the coming of a new "Golden Age II" for mandolin orchestras: new literature, expanding groups, popular venues. All due credit to CMSA and the leadership for pulling us together at a national level, but the real exciting news is the growth and popularity at a local level. Let's keep that happening, and congratulations on your local group's post-covid fresh start.

    Dr James S Imhoff
    Boston University
    Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

    1912 Gibson K4 Mandocello; Thomann Mandocello; Stiver F5; American? Bowlback; Martin 00016; Dusepo Cittern/liuto cantabile

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  9. #5

    Default Re: Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra - Blossoming!

    That's remarkable. You had me at "performed 19 times last year".
    In Seattle we've had a big influx of new players last fall as well - growing from around 20 to 25 - but most of that has been on the upper end. Still in bad need of more 'cello and 'dola players, particularly now that the top end is growing so much.

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