The Seattle Mandolin Orchestra performs from Labor Day to Memorial Day. to book a concert or special event.
The SMO Quartet, consisting of principal players from each section of the orchestra, accepts concert and event bookings year round. for more information.
It'll Be Italy
Festa Italiana Seattle
Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, 12 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, 11 a.m.
Both concerts will be held on the Festa mainstage at Fisher Pavilion.
The Seattle Mandolin Orchestra is being sponsored by the Italian Festival. Both concerts are free to the public. Stop by and enjoy a program of Italian favorites with the orchestra and coloratura soprano Julie Finch—including selections from our CD, Coloratura. You can also take in more great music, cooking demonstrations, a grape-stomping competition, and a cappuccino made the right way.
Saturday, Nov. 1
Red Lion on the River
We'll perform as part of the 2014 annual convention of the Classical Mandolin Society of America. More details to follow.
Rendezvous with Radim
Weekend of Nov. 8–9
Award-winning Czech virtuoso Radim Zenkl joins the orchestra for a dazzling display of 8-string musicianship. A one-man mandolin orchestra, Radim brings both technical prowess and melodic enthusiasm to everything he does.
Happy Holidays I
Seattle Public Library, Ballard Branch
5614 22nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Sat., Dec. 6, 2 p.m.
Greetings! It's time to honor a longstanding tradition: the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra's annual free holiday concert at the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library. The library's performance space is one of our favorite places to play. We'll present holiday favorites from here at home and around the world. Also, this concert is a great opportunity to buy a copy of our new holiday CD, Rejoice.
You won't want to miss this memorable afternoon. Bring the kids! We look forward to seeing you there.
Happy Holidays II
Mercer Island Presbyterian Church
3605 84th Ave. SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Sat., Dec. 6, 7 p.m.
Admission: Pay what you will
We'll repeat most of the repertoire from the afternoon's library concert—in a new venue. This holiday music performance at Mercer Island Presbyterian is a rare opportunity to hear the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra on the Eastside. No matter what side of the lake you live on, we hope you can join us for an hour or so of seasonal favorites. Don't miss the chance to pick up a copy of our holiday CD, Rejoice.
Bring the kids! We look forward to seeing you there.
Weekend of Dec. 13–14
Handel's beloved oratorio—like you've never heard it! Featuring:
Julie Finch, soprano
Elizabeth Giesbers, mezzo-soprano
Derek Sellers, tenor
Gustave Blazek, bass
“Messiah is one of the most popular and well-known pieces of music in the world,” said Joseph Pollard White, SMO Artistic Advisor and conductor for the evening’s performance. “Changing the instrumentation can help us hear it with fresh ears, as if for the first time. The transparent quality of the mandolin sound supports the voices beautifully, revealing aspects of Handel’s music that one might not notice in a conventional setting.” The orchestra will present an abbreviated version of the oratorio, featuring Part I, or the “Christmas section,” plus the famous “Hallelujah” Chorus.
In another unconventional move, the soloists will also constitute the entire chorus. “Obviously the chorus can’t get any smaller,” said White. “Our intention is to create a sense of intimacy, rather than overwhelm the audience.”
First presented in 1742, Messiah has been played by groups large and small, with a variety of orchestrations and arrangements, although recent trends have favored smaller ensembles. “We know that Handel was familiar with the mandolin, because he wrote a small part for it in one of his later oratorios,” said White. “But mandolin orchestras didn’t come on the scene until the late 19th century. While we’re taking liberties with the instruments, we haven’t changed a note and are using the same string parts as a conventional orchestra.”
Rejoice, will be for sale at the Mandolin Messiah concert. Covering the spectrum from Handel to Irving Berlin, Rejoice features the vocals of Julie Finch. Most of the songs were recorded in one of the sacred spaces of alternative rock: Seattle's Studio Litho, operated by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard.