Friday, November 5, 2021

This is a concert announcement from the women's choral group started by my sister-in-law, Rebecca Pearson. Some of you may be interested!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

New Florian Rumpf Album Kickstarter

 If you've chatted with Lou about mandolins for very long, I'm sure you've heard him sing the praises of Florian Rumpf, an up-and-coming classical German mandolin player. Lou and Florian also share a mentor, Chris Acquavella.

The classical mandolin world is smaller than some would like to acknowledge, so producing new albums can be tough, especially for younger players.  Florian is running a Kickstarter to press his new CD, a solo album of his mandolin, baroque mandolin, liuto cantabile, and octave mandolin work.  You can hear some of his previous work on YouTube, for example last year on Mandolin Mondays or earlier this year supporting his yearbook series.

If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, it's an on-line fundraising operation that collects money for artists and entrepreneurs to reach predefined goals.  If the project doesn't achieve its fundraising goal, Kickstarter returns your money.

You can fund projects at different levels depending upon your level of enthusiasm, which also correspond to products you receive.  Re Florian, he's an accomplished sewer, so some of the gifts include custom made mandolin-case quilts and hand-sewn pick envelopes, in addition to his recorded work.  It's worth visiting the Kickstarter page just to check out the case quilts.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Update on article for CMSA Mandolin Journal

Lon, Dave Ingham, Ben Gieske, Jonathon Bredin and I had a lovely luncheon with founders Jack El-Hai and Phillip Rukavina.

In the who knew department:

  • Phil is a past president of the Lute Society of America! He performs in the US and internationally.
  • Jack El-Hai was friends with CMSA founder Norman Levine and was on the CMSA Board of Directors beginning in 1996. Jack is an author of many books.
  • Dave's wife Linda (who, sadly, is no longer with us) was a founder.
Check Phil and Jack out online to learn more.

Speaking of the CMSA, Lou Chouinard is a past president and Lon continues the important role of readying the En Masse Orchestra music for conventions. If you were wondering where on earth Spagna came from and why we read through it.

This year's CMSA convention is again a virtual convention. If you want to dip your toe in the water but not have the travel/hotel expense, this is the convention for you! It runs Friday November 12th through Sunday November 14th. Several of us attended last year's convention -- the organization rallied and delivered an excellent experience, including a virtual En Masse Orchestra. Talk to anyone who's attended the CMSA, the En Masse is a peak experience. (Those of you who contributed to MMO's are more than qualified to contribute your playing to the virtual En Masse video.) You can find out more and register on the CMSA site.

Reasons to attend a CMSA convention:
  • It's inspiring!
  • The mandolin world is small and you can rub shoulders with amazing players no matter what your playing level.
  • You can take your air mandolin playing to a whole new level in the En Masse Orchestra while also improving your non-air mandolin chops.
  • You may get so inspired you might wake up at a workshop/performance some day in New York, Milwaukee, Italy or Japan. (This has happened to MMO members)
Reason to become a CMSA member:
  • Convention discount
  • Quarterly Mandolin Journal Subscription
  • Access to Members Only content including past editions of the journal, the Nankano library and other treats (videos and recordings from past conventions)
You can find out more at their website: Classical Mandolin Society of America.

Monday, September 13, 2021

 I was beginning to write an article about the MMO for the CMSA Mandolin Journal, when it struck me -- we were founded in 1991. It is 2021. We've been in existence for 30 years!

So, the article has expanded in scope. It was going to be about all the great things the orchestra has accomplished despite the year plus of COVID. Now it's going to be celebrating all the great things the orchestra has done these past 30 years (with of course an emphasis on the present and future).

I've just begun outreach to people -- composers, founders, long-timers - and I want to be sure to consider input from anyone who has something to say about the orchestra. My hope is to wrap up the input phase for the article by the end of September to give some time for editing and publication.

If you have a story to tell about the orchestra, or just have thoughts about the meaning of mandolin music in your life, I'd love to read it and consider including in the article, or in some other blog posting celebrating our anniversary.

You can email me (look me up in the roster under mandocello), or reply to this posting.

Dotty Coffey


Member since 2007

Friday, July 23, 2021

Suzuki MD-4 round-back mandola for sale

 Penn Boris, from Faribault, has a round-back mandola (and a few other instruments) for sale. He's asking $235. Details on facebook marketplace:

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Subgroup (BYNRIE?) to play at Greenhouse Village

At rehearsal last night, I mentioned an invitation to play at Greenhouse Village. I'm proposing that BYNRIE play either Thursdays October 14 or 21 at 4:00 or 6:30pm at the BYNRIE RSVP site.

Are you interested in playing during any of those slots, and more generally in an Irish or Celtic ensemble? As incentives, Sherry has offered to arrange (and compose?) new music for us; and since we've last performed together, I've found Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni's trios, about half of which are Irish-ish with a different sound than Sherry's works.

I'll let Allison describe Sherry's offer, but you can get free Winter's Tales Vol 1-3 by ETC from Mandolin Cafe. Winter's Tales, as far as I can tell, are drafts of ETC's Big Book of Mandolins series.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Availability to Play the Landmark Center?

I'm looking ahead to schedule Fall and Spring performances for the orchestra. There seems to be some pent-up performance supply and slots at venues are filling fast.

We've been invited to play at the Landmark Center Sunday 1-3pm April 10, February 27, and January 23. The April schedule fits our normal performance schedule better than the rest, so I'm inclined to book the orchestra.

Would you either mark your availability at the RSVP site or email me with your thoughts on the date by July 5, please? I'm sorry that the date is so far in the future and I recognize there is uncertainty in planning that far ahead in the best of times.

We've played at the Landmark Center twice before. Sherry works upstairs and made appearances from the balcony. It's been good exposure for us in that we get a different audience from our usual setting and the Landmark Center Cortile Atrium is visually striking.

If you have other thoughts on holiday shows, venues, or the spring schedule, please let me know or continue the discussion here.

Enjoy the holiday weekend,

Monday, June 7, 2021

June 7 rehearsal will be indoors

Hi everyone - we can fit the whole orchestra in the living room of the building at Valentine by moving the furniture away to another room, so rather than suffer in the heat we can enjoy the AC indoors.

Please still plan to bring your own stool or chair, remove your shoes at the door, and please wear a mask as a courtesy in case of ongoing pandemic concerns or vulnerabilities.

The entrance is up the stairs on the left side of the building.

See you soon!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Mandolin orchestra rehearsal June 7

 The MMO board and I have scheduled the first full mandolin orchestra rehearsal of 2021. It's Monday, June 7, 7:00 p.m., outdoors at 2412 West Valentine Avenue in St. Paul. Take your own chair. If it's raining on June 7, the rehearsal will be on June 8 instead. We'll play music from the summer concert set lists.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Gloria Reverie: new parts for flute, m1, m2, mc, g

 I made new parts for the Gloria Suite Reverie for flute, mandolin 1, mandolin 2, mandocello, and guitar and put them in the dropbox. The new parts have file names that include "gloria-8." The parts have a few changed notes, so please update your notebooks with the new parts if you play one of those instruments.