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.
CMSA Honors and Awards
CMSA’s Board of Directors honor individuals who have made substantial contributions to classical mandolin, in accordance with CMSA’s mission statement. Honors and awards programs include Honorary Board of Directors, CMSA Fellows, and CMSA Hall of Fame.