Louisville Mandolin Orchestra Returns from Spain

By J. Park Snyder

Returning from their third international festival, this time in La Caruna, Spain, the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra performed an encore presentation of the program they took abroad. The concert was held at the Third Lutheran Church on November 1.

This well-rehearsed ensemble was founded in 1988 by the visionary Mike Schroeder and has been conducted by the warm and personable Jim Bates since. Made up of a mandolin section, a mandola section, a mando-cello section, three guitars and a double bass; this night the LMO featured seventeen talented and obviously dedicated musicians in all.

Opening with "Overture to Iphigenie en Aulide" by Christoph Gluck, the Orchestra immediately displayed the drama and the romance of the Mandolin family. Manfred Flachskampi's "Irish Folk-Suite" exemplified the beautiful relationship between the instrument and the folk idiom. But the validity of the instrument goes well beyond its identity as just a folk instrument, as the Orchestra so eloquently proved with selections by Johann and Josef Straus, Raffaele Calace, Louisville composer John Goodin, and A. Paul Johnson.

Jim Bates' clever arrangement of a collection of Stephen Foster tunes was very creative and quite fun. The dynamic rendition of Aaron Copland's Hoe-Down from "Rodeo" provided a perfect closing to an enjoyable and entertaining program.

Check out their Website at http://www.iglou.com/dba/LMO