at: The Avalon Theatre
40 East Dover Street
Admission: $20 / $15 students and seniors (for concert information and tickets, please call the Avalon Theatre Box Office at 410-822-7299 or Ticketmaster at 410-481-SEAT).
The Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra is delighted to be returning to the Eastern Shore after a long hiatus. The last time the BMO appeared here was at Easton’s Festival of the Arts in 1990. The concert program will include light classical pieces as well as a potpourri of marches, rags, show tunes, and other traditional and contemporary mandolin compositions. Among the highlights will be a mandolin solo by the orchestra’s director, David Evans, and vocal selections by Italian-born soprano Beatrice Gilbert. Come see Baltimore’s other orchestra!
Most people in the U.S. never get to hear a mandolin orchestra; there are only thirty or so in the entire country. But that was definitely not the case at the beginning of the last century. During the so-called Golden Age of the Mandolin, which began in the 1880s and lasted until the late 1920s, mandolin orchestras and smaller mandolin ensembles were delighting audiences in practically every city and town and on most college campuses.
The Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra was founded in 1924 by Baltimore music teacher and band leader Conrad Gebelein. This unique 30-plus-piece orchestra, comprised not just of mandolins, but also some rather exotic vintage mandolas, mandocellos, and mandobasses, as well as classical guitars, reprises the glory days of those mandolin ensembles from a hundred years ago. (Find out more about the BMO at its website, www.baltimoremandolinorchestra.org.)
Mandolin orchestras are essentially the plucked-string equivalent of normal string orchestras. But the shimmering strings of 30 mandolins produce a noticeably different musical sound. It has been described as “having an appealing nostalgia and informality, sort of like comfort food for the ears.” Some people even imagine human voices singing when they hear the soft tremolo of mandolins. BMO concerts are always fun and interesting. You’ll hear something a little bit out of the ordinary and quite unique.
The Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra performs about 15 concerts per year in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and southern Pennsylvania area. Copies of the BMO’s CD, “City by the Sea,” and a recently published illustrated history of the orchestra will be available at the concert.
Tim Finch of Eastman Strings will be on hand selling strings, answering questions, and conversing about all things stringed.
For further information, please contact Jim Blanchard at 410-465-7617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.