2018 CMSA Convention

November 14 – 18, 2018 in Santa Rosa, CA

Held at the beautiful Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, the 2018 convention is hosted by the Aurora Mandolin Orchestra, the Gravenstein Mandolin Ensemble and the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra. “Come play with us!”

About CMSA 2018

Following a pre-convention workshop, the convention kicks off on Wednesday afternoon with a set of workshops and the first En Masse Orchestra rehearsal with returning conductor Dr. Jim Bates, followed by the Welcome Party in the evening. Evening concerts featuring our guest performers and our three host orchestras will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can also look forward to open mic concerts, daily workshops on classical and non-classical topics, and late night sight reading and other ‘jams’. Friday includes our Gala banquet and raffle. The general CMSA membership meeting is Sunday morning, a last chance to spend time with bleary-eyed, sore fingered friends.


The 2018 CMSA Convention will be at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, the heart of Sonoma County. Sonoma County is north of San Francisco, about an hour’s drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. Though Santa Rosa had terrible fires in October 2017, the hotel area was not damaged, and indeed, most of the county did not burn and is still beautiful.

Reserve your room at the Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa:

Online booking works for guests arriving 11/13/2018 and departing 11/18/2018. Note that when booking online, the default reservation is for the first night of stay for “1“ adult. If needed, change the departure date and number of guests, then press “update”. CMSA has also negotiated the ability for our members to book rooms three (3) days prior or three (3) days post convention, at convention rates. However, if your booking includes dates outside the actual convention dates, you must call the hotel directly at 707-545-8530 to make your reservation. Similarly, if you have special requests, you must call the hotel directly. When you call, please reference the group: Classical Mandolin Society of America (CMSA) Annual Convention.

Are you looking for a room-mate to share the expense of a hotel room? Provide your name to Carol Ginsburg at [email protected] and she will try to match you with other individuals who are also looking for a room-mate.

Online reservations close 10/23/2018.


Getting to Santa Rosa will be easy for those on the west coast, in Phoenix, and starting recently, Minneapolis, with direct flights to Santa Rosa. Alaska and United also have connecting flights to Santa Rosa. For some, flying to San Francisco or Oakland then renting a car or taking the Airport Express bus to Santa Rosa may be most economical. The closest Amtrak station is in Emeryville, north of Oakland.

Are you driving to the Convention? All parking at The Flamingo is complimentary and self. There are approximately 170 parking spaces, 1 per room, and also street parking.

Guest Performers

Dorina Frati

Dorina Frati, along with her accompanist Daniele Roi, will join us from Brescia, Italy. Dorina started mandolin at age 6, later studying under maestro Giuseppe Anedda.  She became the first in Italy to graduate in classical mandolin studies. In addition to performing at concerts and festivals around the world, she has also played first mandolin for the Teatro alla Scala in Milan for years. In 1981 she founded the Plectrum Orchestra of the Mauro and Claudio Terroni Music Association of Brescia, which she continues to coordinate and conduct. She has many recordings, including the 2017 release “Bach and Vivaldi for Mandolin” with the Mandolin Orchestra Mauro and Claudio Terroni. Additionally, this busy mandolinist currently holds the chair of mandolin instruction at the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Music.

Takumi Mamiya

CMSA is excited to announce that Mr. Takumi MAMIYA, an up and coming young artist from Japan, will be joining us in Santa Rosa.  Bio to follow soon.

Winner of the 10th ARTE International Mandolin Festival & Competition

Winner of the 25th Japan Mandolin Union Solo Mandolin Competition

To introduce North American mandolinists to his performance style, Mr. Mamiya has provided us with this solo performance of “Jongara”, a piece by well-known Japanese composer Yasuo Kuwahara.

Pre-Convention Workshop

Nov. 13th, 6:00 PM & Nov. 14th, 8:30 AM

The instructor for the Techniques Class this year will be Ms. Dorina Frati. The content will be divided into two segments, and will address mandolin technique by exploring these themes:

  • The Italian mandolin in the Baroque period with reference to the compositions of Domenico Scarlatti, Giuseppe Gaetano Boni, Antonio Vivaldi and Johan Sebastian Bach (original works and transcriptions)
  • Beethoven (the Sonatine for mandoline and piano) and Hummel (works for mandoline)

This class will offer best value to anyone playing at an intermediate level and above.

This workshop will take place prior to the convention on Tuesday, November 13th starting at 6:00 PM and continuing on Wednesday, November 14th at 8:30 AM. This 6-hour seminar is separate from the convention and requires a registration fee of $50. Musicians who choose to register by mail rather than online are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment.



Every year CMSA awards a variety of scholarships to mandolinists looking for extra assistance to come to the annual convention.  We currently have scholarships for students, and one specifically for second mandolinists.  Learn more and apply below. E-mail [email protected] if you have any questions.


If you would like to be a convention volunteer, please send an email to Carol Ginsburg, the Host Committee’s Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected].

Vendor Room

Anyone selling instruments, sheet music, music equipment or supplies, clothing or other goods is asked to rent a table in our Vendor area. We try to situate our Vendor areas so that they receive a high volume of traffic as our members move from activity to activity. Please ensure table is manned during convention hours.  Vendor tables can be rented on the event registration form.

Open Mic

Look forward to lunch-time open mic sessions where single or groups of performers can show off the latest pieces they have been learning. We will have an Open Mic session on Thursday and on Saturday – 11:30 AM to 1 PM. This is a very popular event!

Keep in mind that the Thursday Open Mic will have much more room for performances than the Saturday Open Mic. The organizers will do their best to slot you into your preferred day and time, however adjustments may have to be made in order to balance the sessions.


We invite you to help sponsor our annual convention and to reach out to our members.  Benefits such as ads in the Mandolin Journal and vendor tables allow you to connect with members. Learn more about bronze, silver, and gold levels of sponsorship below.


Help us support our programs and scholarships.

Your dollars will allow us to support the creation of new music for mandolin family instruments and orchestras, build an online library of historic and new mandolin music, support luthiers, and continue our educational goals to provide stimulating and innovative workshops, and support artists from around the world. Your generosity also supports our scholarship and Mando-for-Kids programs, supporting mandolin students.

Ad Space

The official Program of the Annual Convention reaches hundreds of musicians every year. To place an advertisement in our official Program, please indicate this when completing the online registration form (prices and sizing will be indicated).


T shirts and tote bags are available for pick up from the convention venue for those who wish to order them.  Convention gear can be ordered during registration.

The T shirts are black, short sleeved, 100% cotton with the convention logo printed on the front. They will be available in men’s crew neck and women’s shallow v neck. This shirt is described as being generously cut and runs true to size. It is 100% cotton so will shrink some. Sizing will be in Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, 2XL and 3XL. Shirts are $20 each. Please add $2 for 2XL sizing, and add $4 for 3XL size.

CMSA tote bags have lots of pockets and measure: 14.5″ (w) x 16″ (h) x 4″ (d)

This year’s convention will be crowned with our famous En Masse Orchestra performance, conducted by Dr Jim Bates. Any 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 black slacks / skirt and white shirt / blouse.

You may access the En Masse music by signing in below. All En Masse music is available now! Note that the sheet music provided here is under copyright. By accessing the music, you agree not to redistribute the music in any form or file format for commercial or any other purposes.

The following content is accessible for members only, please sign in.

The following recordings can be slowed for rehearsal. On the YouTube video, tap the 3 vertical dots in the right upper corner, select playback speed, and choose your pace. NOTE: These videos are for reference only.

Watch our video

Pricing &  Registration

Registration fee includes the welcome banquet, attendance of convention workshops, open mic sessions, and late night jam sessions.  The pre-convention workshop, tote bags and t-shirts are additional.

* The $50 early registration discount ends Oct. 23.

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