Join us in Milwaukee, Oct. 25-29, 2017!

Register soon – early registration discounts end Oct. 3.

As hosts for the 2017 CMSA convention, the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra is excited to showcase our great city. The convention will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, and we are so looking forward to welcoming you. Put it on your calendar now – Oct 25-29, 2017!

This year’s convention features a great line-up of workshops, concerts, open-mic performances, and other activities.  As always, the event will be crowned with an amazing En Masse orchestra performance by those members who have chosen to play.  There will be a welcome banquet featuring tuscan roasted chicken or baked pasta rigatoni, along with several vegetarian items (gluten-free available on request).

Learn more below about about Guest Artists, Accommodations, Transportation, Pre-Convention Activities, Merchandise, Open-Mic, Volunteering, Scholarships, and the En Masse Orchestra.

Guest Artists

CMSA welcomes guest artists Julien Martineau and Alon Sariel, with composer-in-residence Victor Kioulaphides and conductor Dr. Jim Bates.

The Wednesday evening Welcome Party will feature music by the Don Stiernberg Trio. On Thursday, Julien and Rene Izquierdo (Milwaukee’s own classical guitar virtuoso) will perform as well as Alon and Elina Chekan (Milwaukee’s other classical guitar virtuoso). The Friday evening concert will feature the Milwaukee duo of Mischa Litvin (domra) and Stas Venglevski (accordion) and the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. Both Julien and Alon will also have solo performances.

Julien Martineau

Julien Martineau, a much-sought-after concert mandolinist and recording artist, performs as a soloist in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals. A professor at the Conservatoire de Toulouse, he has recorded the complete Preludes by Raffaele Calace, and recently performed live on national TV in France at Victoires de la Musique Classique.

Julien will give a pre-convention masterclass on Wednesday, October 25th.

Alon Sariel

Mandolinist, lutenist, and conductor, Alon Sariel has expertise ranging from early to contemporary music. Born and raised in Beersheba, he now lives in Hanover. He is musical director of Concerto-Foscari, an international Baroque orchestra, and one of the founding members of PRISMA. He tours as a soloist and member of various ensembles throughout Europe, North America, and the Middle and Far East.

Alon will be hosting a pre-convention technique class on the evening of the 24th and the morning of the 25th.

Transportation

Airports

Milwaukee is accessed by General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), served by Southwest, United, American, and a number of other airlines. Southwest has direct flights to MKE.

In addition, Milwaukee is about 90 miles from Chicago. You could fly into O’Hare (ORD) or Midway (MDW). It’s an easy 90 minute drive outside of rush hour traffic.

If you fly in to one of the Chicago airports, you can take a coach bus to downtown Milwaukee.  Departures are relatively frequent.

Airport Transportation

Mitchell Airport has the standard set of car rental agencies, all of which have in-airport counters.

Taxis are available outside Baggage Claim 3. Uber and Lyft are available outside Baggage Claim 2.

Public Transportation is available through the Green Line bus, outside Baggage Claim 1. The stop at Water St and Kilbourn is the closest to the convention hotel. As of Jan 2017, fares are $2.25 one way; however, with the pre-purchased M-Card, one-way fares are $1.75. You can buy a one-day or seven-day pass, or simply add cash to the card.  More details about the M-Card here.

Check the MKE airport website for the most up-to-date information about ground transportation.

Driving & Parking

Are you driving to the Convention? Guests are able to park on the street, following the city parking regulations, for events only.

Hotel parking with in-out privileges is available for $28/day or $33 with valet.  Partial day parking is available for: $15 / 3-8 hours ; $20 / 8-12 hours ; or $17 / 0-10 hours with valet.

There is another convenient parking lot two blocks away (an easy walk) that is $14/day, but with no in-out privileges.  The lot info can be found here.

Pre-Convention Activities

This year, we are offering three pre-convention activities to enhance your musical experience.  All workshops occur prior to the convention, so be sure to adjust your transportation and hotel reservations accordingly.  Each workshop requires a $50 registration fee, which can be paid during convention registration.  Musicians who choose to register by mail rather than online are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment.

Mandolin Technique Class led by Alon Sariel

This workshop will take place prior to the convention on Tuesday, October 24th starting at 6:00 PM and continue on October 25th at 8:30 AM.

Guitar Technique Class led by Rene Izquierdo

This workshop will focus on helping you fine tune your guitar playing to maximize outcome, improving your technique, sound quality, projection and long life as a performer.  The class will offer best value to anyone playing at an intermediate level or above.  This workshop will take place prior to the convention on Tuesday, October 24th starting at 6:00 PM and continue on October 25th at 8:30 AM.

Mandolin Masterclass given by Julien Martineau

This workshop will take place prior to the convention starting 9:00 AM on Wednesday, October 25th. Each musician in the masterclass will prepare a piece of their choice to perform in front of Julien and an intimate audience. Julien will critique your performance, using the piece to gently educate both the performer and the audience. Musicians are asked to register in advance on-line for this activity, as spaces are limited.

Merchandise

This year, convention apparel is being sold through our 2017 Convention Store.  We are excited to offer multiple types and colors of apparel.  You may select between ladies’ and mens’ styles as well as choose which logo you would like.  Apparel may be delivered to your home or picked up at the convention.

ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY 10/2 FOR HOME DELIVERY BEFORE CONVENTION! ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY 10/13 TO BE PICKED UP AT THE CONVENTION!

Also available for purchase are CMSA tote bags with plenty of pockets (14.5″w x 16″h x 4″d).  CMSA tote bags will be available on both the online and offline registration forms and will be ready for pick up at convention check-in.

Participate

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Are you interested in playing at the Open Mic for the 2017 convention in Milwaukee? If so, please submit the following information. Our open mic coordinator will be contacting you to follow up with the details.

  • Time slot requests will be accommodated to the extent reasonably possible, but any particular slot is not guaranteed.
  • Solo performers should be prepared to limit performances to one piece or 5 minutes.
  • You may perform more than once if you are with different groups, otherwise you may perform more than once only if all other performers have a chance.

Contact us if you have questions about open mic.


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Are you interested in volunteering for the 2017 convention in Milwaukee? If so, please submit the following information. Our volunteer coordinator will be contacting you to follow up with the details.


Scholarships

CMSA Student Scholarships

Each year CMSA offers scholarships for full time high school and college students to attend the annual convention. The scholarship covers convention registration giving you access to all workshop and activities.  It also includes admission to one (1) of the pre-convention workshop offerings, admission to all evening concerts, your Gala banquet meal, and a one-year membership in CMSA.  It does not cover air fare to travel to the convention, nor does it cover room & board at the hotel.  Scholarship recipients are responsible for booking their own travel and hotel arrangements.

Attendees under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. (Your chaperone’s banquet meal and evening concert tickets are covered by the scholarship.)

Please note that our pre-convention workshop offerings begin on the Tuesday evening prior to the convention, and carry over to the following morning.  This would require that you adjust your travel plans to arrive by late afternoon on the Tuesday.

Scholarship recipients are expected to:

  • Attend the entire convention Wednesday to Sunday
  • Play in the En Masse Orchestra at daily rehearsals (4) and in the Saturday evening concert
  • Attend morning sectional rehearsals Thursday to Saturday
  • Attend the Gala Banquet on Friday
Apply for Student Scholarship

To apply, please complete and submit our online application form. Applications must be received before October 1st. Scholarships are limited, so apply early if you are interested.


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Lou Chouinard Scholarship for Second Mandolins

At the Austin Convention in 2015, CMSA announced the establishment of the Lou Chouinard Scholarship for Second Mandolins.

During his tenure as President of CMSA, Lou worked tirelessly for the betterment of the organization, leaving his imprint on every aspect of our activities. The financial stability we enjoy today is due in large part to Lou’s steady guidance. As Lou’s successors, Sue & I have benefitted greatly from his wisdom and experience, and his ready willingness to share.

To acknowledge Lou’s contribution to CMSA, we wanted to create something lasting, something that would nurture a cause that was close to his heart. As many of you know, Lou has long been a champion of the second mandolin section of the En Masse Orchestra at conventions. The decision was made to set up a scholarship to benefit other second mandolin players. In the weeks leading to the Austin Convention, we had quietly collected seed donations of close to $1200 for this purpose, and we were able to surprise Lou at the gala banquet with the official unveiling of this Scholarship in his name.

Beginning with the Philadelphia convention, first time convention attendees who register for the second mandolin section of the En Masse Orchestra may apply to access some of these funds in order to help offset the costs of attending the convention. Alternatively, CMSA members may wish to recommend someone for this scholarship.

Apply for Second Mandolin Scholarship

To apply, please complete and submit our online application form. Applications must be received before October 1st. Scholarships are limited, so apply early if you are interested.


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En Masse Orchestra

The En Masse Orchestra concert is the crowning performance of the CMSA convention, comprised of a huge group of CMSA members and featuring music written especially for CMSA by our guest composer. Rehearsals are held daily during the convention. This year we are looking forward to an amazing performance conducted by Dr. Jim Bates with composer-in-residence Victor Kioulaphides.  You too can participate in this exciting activity by purchasing a “playing” ticket during convention registration.

Mandolin players who double on mandola, guitar, or mandocello are encouraged to play lower voiced instruments to help balance the orchestra.

The dress code for the En Masse concert is a white top with black slacks or skirt.  Please also bring a black binder to hold your sheet music, a music stand, and a stand light if desired.

Sheet music may be found in your member account under the “Convention” tab.