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Seattle Mandolin Orchestra
Concerts
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.

Next concert:

Happy Holidays I

Redmond Library
15990 NE 85th St. (Map)
Redmond WA 98052
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m.

We're excited to bring our holiday program to Redmond. We'll play Christmas and Hanukkah favorites from here at home and around the world. This will be an octet concert—not the full orchestra, but enough mandolins to make some noise. Bring the kids and enjoy the show. We might even ask you to sing along! Do your Christmas shopping at the library too: pick up copies of our holiday CD, Rejoice, for family and friends!

Happy Holidays II

Bellevue Public Library
1111 110th Ave. NE (Map)
Bellevue, WA 98004
Sunday, Dec. 10, 1 p.m.

Greetings! We're bringing our library concert back to downtown Bellevue—and this time, we hope the fire alarm won't interrupt the show. We'll present Christmas and Hanukkah favorites from here at home and around the world. It's not often that we play on the Eastside, so bring the kids and don't miss the show. We might even ask you to sing along! Do your Christmas shopping at the concert too: pick up copies of our holiday CD, Rejoice, for family and friends!

Mandolin Messiah I

Green Lake United Methodist Church
6415 First Ave. NE (Map)
Seattle
Sun., Dec. 10, 2017, 7 p.m.
General admission $20
Students/seniors $15
Buy Tickets

Mandolin Messiah II

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts
565 Camano Ave. (Map)
Langley, WA 98260
Sun., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.
$22 • Buy Tickets

Handel's beloved oratorio—like you've never heard it! Featuring:

Julie Finch, soprano
Elizabeth Peterson, 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.”

For Seattle concertgoers, the pristine acoustics of Green Lake United Methodist Church, located at 6415 First Ave. NE, provide an ideal setting for this unique performance. But Mandolin Messiah also returns  this year to the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, where it played to a near sellout crowd in 2014.

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.”

The orchestra's holiday CD, Rejoice, will be for sale at the Mandolin Messiah concerts. 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.

Here's a short video preview:
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