About CMSA

Learn more about us and our mission

CMSA’s mission is to promote and nurture the art of the classical mandolin playing. We welcome players of all mandolin family instruments, classical guitarists, other musicians, and music lovers. Our members have varied musical backgrounds, interests, and playing abilities from beginner to professional. Interest in classical mandolin has grown as people are attracted to the beauty of its sound and the joy of making music together.

While there were other organizations promoting the mandolin before CMSA, we are the only group currently in North America dedicated to classical mandolin and its rich tradition. Formed in 1986 by Norman Levine, CMSA is a vibrant community whose activities include the annual convention; publishing a quarterly newsletter; social media; education, resources, and networking for existing and new ensembles; grants to support our mission; and scholarships for students to attend the convention. Our sister organizations around the world include the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles, British BMG Federation, Bund Deutscher Zupfmusiker, European Guitar and Mandolin Association, Federazione Mandolinistica Italiana, and the Japan Mandolin Union.

Our annual convention is hosted by member orchestras in a different location in North America each autumn. View a sample convention schedule or visit our previous convention page for a flavor of past conventions.

CMSA has several hundred members throughout the US, Canada, and other countries. Many perform in the 30+ mandolin groups listed in our directory of ensembles

Meet Us!

Officers & Board

Support Staff

Web Development Team

CMSA Honorary Board of Directors

The Honorary Board of Directors (HBOD) program acknowledges individuals outside of North America who have made substantial contributions to the classical mandolin and who potentially can serve as liaisons for CMSA in their home countries or regions. 

Members of the Honorary Board of Directors

  • Carlo Aonzo (Italy)
  • Keith Harris (Germany)
  • Caterina Lichtenberg (Germany)
  • Werner Ruecker (Australia)
  • Ken Tanioka (Japan)
  • Alex Timmerman (The Netherlands)
  • Michael Troester (Germany)
  • Gertrud Weyhofen (Germany)

CMSA Fellows

The Fellows program honors living individuals who have made substantial contributions to classical mandolin in North America since the founding of CMSA. CMSA Fellows are elected to a non-renewable five year term.

CMSA Fellows

  • Jim Bates
  • Lou Chouinard 
  • John Goodin
  • Mike Schroeder 

CMSA Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame honors deceased individuals for their contributions to classical mandolin, in accordance with CMSA’s mission.  

 Members of the Hall of Fame

  • Giuseppe Anedda
  • Walter Kaye Bauer
  • Siegfried Behrend 
  • Hermann von Bernewitz
  • Rudy Cipolla 
  • Hugo D’Alton
  • Tony Fazzio
  • Hisao Itoh
  • Kurt Jensen
  • Norman Levine
  • Antonina Nigrelli
  • Hibbard Perry
  • Antoine St. Clivier

Learn more

CMSA By-Laws

Read the CMSA By-Laws

IRS Tax Statement

View the IRS Tax Statement


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