Sunday, April 21, 2013

Off to Minnesota with the Providence Mandolin Orchestra (Post #100)

Off to Minnesota (mp3) (pdf score, parts available on request)

According to the Blogger internal counting algorithm today's post is number 100 since I created this blog back at the start of 2007. You can see from the archive that I have been a little inconsistent over the years; 25 posts in 2007 but only 3 in 2009. Lately though I have found a rhythm and I believe that this is the 28th consecutive week that I have posted a piece of music here. (I have nothing for next week yet but we'll see what the coming week brings.)

I'm especially pleased with this week's "tune" because it features the remarkable Providence Mandolin Orchestra performing my arrangement of my simple tune "Off to Minnesota" (really just a variation on the classic tune "Off to California"), which I originally made up in 2007. It appeared here in its basic form, with guitar and mandolin, in June 2008. A little later I created the mandolin orchestra version and gave it to my good friends in the Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra.

The MMO has performed this piece many times in recent years and I have had the honor to join them on occasion. We performed the piece in Minneapolis during a concert at the annual Classical Mandolin Society of America convention last fall and Mark Davis, director of the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, liked the piece enough to ask me for the music. This resulted in the performance I'm sharing today.

The PMO is, by any standard, one of the premiere plectral ensembles in North America. They are especially well known for focusing on the performance of recently composed music for mandolin orchestra. In January 2013 the orchestra played a concert as part of the Music at Lily Pads series in Peace Dale, RI that featured a program of all original music for mandolin and guitars, including some recent award-winning pieces. I was extremely honored that Mark and the group chose to perform Off to Minnesota as their encore that afternoon.

Thanks to the hard work work of PMO member David Miller, and the generosity of Mark and the group, I have permission to share that performance here. It's an especially appropriate choice for today's post because I just returned last night from my second of two trips this weekend "off the Minnesota" to play tunes with buddies in Contratopia. I hope you enjoy the fine playing of the folks in the PMO!

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