The Louisville Mandolin Orchestra was organized in 1988 to offer Louisville area musicians an opportunity to participate in an orchestral ensemble of plucked instruments.
The orchestration is comprised of mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, guitars and bass, similar to the instrumentation of a traditional string orchestra, and is a carry-over from the mandolin orchestra tradition popular at the turn of the last century.
The Louisville Mandolin Orchestra has achieved a wide reputation during its brief existence. The LMO has appeared on the Lonesome Pine Specials at the Kentucky Center for the Arts as part of a program called "Mando Magnificat." This show has been televised in a worldwide market. In addition, "Mando Magnificat" has been added to the permanent collection of The Smithsonian, making the LMO the first mandolin orchestra to be included in the Smithsonian. Besides numerous appearances in the region, the LMO has participated in international festivals in Germany, France and Spain. In 1994 the LMO became the first American mandolin orchestra to be invited to the Bundesmusikfest held in Germany every four years. The LMO received high critical acclaim for its performances at that prestigious festival. In 1995, the LMO was invited to participate in another international festival held in Remiremont, France. Other countries participating in that festival included Spain, Italy, Bulgaria and Russia. In 1997 the LMO was again invited overseas to participate in the international mandolin festival held in La Coruņa, Spain.
The Louisville Mandolin Orchestra has welcomed the opportunity to represent Kentucky in these international festivals, and as a result has forged many international friendships. Because of these friendships the LMO has been able to bring to Louisville audiences several international artists. Collaborative concerts have featured the Jack Lynn Frets Orchestra (England), The Duo Capriccioso (Germany), the Albeniz Guitar Duo (Germany) and Keith Harris (Germany/Australia).
It is the intention of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra to continue to serve the Louisville community by providing educational and performance opportunities for musicians of the area, while bringing the world's best mandolinists and guitarists to Louisville audiences.
New members are always welcome to join the LMO, for additional information, contact Mike Schroeder at (502) 451-0045. Should you wish to make a donation to the LMO, the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3.