Louisville Mandolin Orchestra

Mandolin Heaven

4th Annual National Convention of the Classical Mandolin Society of America To Be Held in Louisville November 8-11

By Paul Moffett

Louisville will be the site of a maximum mandolin blowout in November, according to Mike Schroeder, organizer of the event.

"If you're interested in mandolin at all, this will be the event to attend," he commented. Schroeder is the organizer and director of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra as well as playing mandolin with the Buzzard Rock String Band and the New Horizon Band. In his spare time, he holds down a full-time position with Louisville magazine.

Modern Mandolin Quartet

Schroeder has been working on bringing the Mandolin Society's annual convention to Louisville for several months, particularly after the early success of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, which will serve as the host for the convention. The event will attract players from all over the country and some from other nations as well.

Starting at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, the convention will feature master classes, workshops and seminars and a concert at the Macauley Theater on Saturday, November 10. Final activities will run through Sunday afternoon.

The concert will feature a who's who in mandolin, including individual performances by Windham Hill recording artists The Modern Mandolin Quartet, Sam Bush (of New Grass Revival), Keith Harris from Germany, Neil Gladd from Alexandria, Va., Dave Evans from Baltimore, and North Star recording artists the Mair-Davis Duo, from Providence, R.I.

The Modern Mandolin Quartet, formed in the mid-'80s, is comprised of Mike Marshall, Dana Rath, Paul Binkley and John Imholtz. Marshall gained fame playing with the David Grisman Quartet and Montreux. He and Rath assembled the quartet to make more accessible all kinds of music through the sound of the mandolin. Their first self-titled album was highly acclaimed and they have just released their second album, Intermezzo, on Windham Hill.

Keith Harris was in Louisville at the invitation of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra in the spring of 1989 to teach and conduct. Harris, an Australian now living in West Germany, is in great demand throughout the world. He has been described as "the Paganini of the mandolin."

Dave Evans conducts the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra and Mark Davis of the Mair-Davis Duo conducts the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. The Mair-Davis Duo has a current North Star recording, A Spanish Serenade.

In addition to the soloists, there will be a performance by the LMO of one movement of a recently completed suite in three movements by LMO player John Goodin, entitled The Louisville Suite. The entire composition was given its premiere performance by the LMO at the University of Louisville's "Lunchtime Learning" series on September 14. The first movement, "Up River Road," was performed in the spring of 1989 by the LMO, with Keith Harris soloing. Harris was sufficiently impressed with the piece that he took it back to Germany, where it has been performed twice. It also has been performed on the Lonesome Pine Specials.

The second movement is "Cave Hill," which will be the movement performed during the concert. The third movement is entitled "Locust Grove."

The finale of the concert will be Dick Van Kleeck of the Lonesome Pine Specials conducting the En Masse Orchestra, featuring Sam Bush and the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

Tickets for the concert are $10 and can be purchased at the Kentucky Center for the Arts ticket office.

The daytime activities are open to all levels of players and will focus particularly on correct technique.

The convention will be held at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 120 W. Broadway. Special rates are available from the hotel. Prices for the convention are $30 for members of the CMSA and $40 for non-members. Annual dues for membership in the CMSA are $20.

For more information, contact Mike Schroeder at (502) 589-6971 or write him at: 201 E. Main St, Apt 301, Louisville, Ky 40202.

For hotel room reservations, contact the Holiday Inn at (502) 582-2241.