2019 CMSA Convention
October 9-13, 2019 in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois
Held at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
2019 CMSA Convention
Following the option of one of three pre-convention workshops, 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 host orchestra 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 2019 CMSA Convention will be at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal, Illinois.
Reserve your room at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
The Marriot Hotel is offering a special CMSA group rate of $129 per night for convention attendees arriving 10/7/2019 and departing 10/13/2019. Onsite parking (normally $10 per day) is complementary for those booking online through our website link. Book online before 9/15/2019 to receive the discounted rate.
If you want to take a few days to vacation in the Land of Lincoln before or after the convention, our negotiated hotel rate is valid three days prior and three days post-convention dates. IMPORTANT: If you plan to take advantage of this and are unable to get the preferred rate online, please reserve your room by phone at 1-888-236-2427. Identify yourself as belonging to the “CMSA Group Block”.
By air to Bloomington-Normal
Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI) is served by American, Delta, Allegiant, and Frontier airlines. The hotel offers complimentary airport shuttle service, on request.
By air to Chicago
You can fly into Chicago Midway (MDW) or Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and catch a shuttle or rent a car. Peoria Charter Coach runs daily shuttle service from Midway or O’Hare to Uptown Normal.
The Amtrak station is one block from the Marriott. There are ten daily trains at this stop along the Chicago to Saint Louis corridor. From other locations, you can connect through Chicago or Saint Louis.
We are located in central Illinois at the junction of I-55, I-74, and I-39. Historic Route 66 runs through Bloomington-Normal.
Sebastiaan de Grebber
Dutch mandolinist Sebastiaan de Grebber will be one of the guest performers and will offer a pre-convention workshop. As well as being a true ambassador of the virtuosic and original Italian mandolin repertoire of the 20th Century, de Grebber’s interest also lies in modern music. By portraying the versatility of the mandolin he wishes to inspire contemporary composers to write for the instrument in different formations. Currently, Sebastiaan is music education and mandolin teacher at the ArtEZ Conservatory in Zwolle, is the concertmaster of ‘Het Consort, is the director of the ‘Kamper Mandoline en Gitaar Orkest’ and gives mandolin solo, duo and Quintet recitals and concerts with Eva van den Dool (piano) and much more. For more information, visit Sebastiaan’s website at http://www.degrebber-mandolin.com/.
Naeim Rahmani will be a guest performer and will offer a pre-convention workshop on classical guitar. Award winning guitarist Naeim Rahmani was born in Isfahan, Iran and immigrated to the United States as a refugee in 2003. Currently based in Seattle, Naeim completed his Master’s degree with Rene Izquierdo at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Naeim has performed throughout the US and internationally and enjoys bringing his music to small community or arthouse spaces where he can interact with the audience. Outside of his performance career Naeim is the director of the Seattle-Isfahan Guitar Project. Naeim is an experienced and popular teacher. He served for several years as the lead classical guitar instructor at the Latino Arts Strings Program in Milwaukee, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the artistic development of youth in the community. While there he also served as director of the annual guitar festival and competition. Naeim currently teaches at Bellevue College and is a booking coordinator for Aranjuez Artists, Inc. For more information, visit Naeim’s website at https://www.naeimrahmani.com/.
This year’s composer-in-residence is composer and guitarist Robert Lunn. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition from The Ohio State University in June of 2010. Winner of the 2008 Ruth Friscoe Award for his Sonata for Guitar, Dr. Lunn was a three-time recipient of the Donald and Marilyn Harris Scholarship at Ohio State. He was also awarded the Graduate Teaching Award in Music Theory while teaching at Ohio State. He received a BA from Hope College and a Masters in Music Theory and Composition from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lunn has taught at The Ohio State University, Grand Valley State University, Hope College and Lake Michigan College. He is currently a full-time instructor at Lake Michigan College where he teaches music theory, music technology, guitar and directs the jazz band. He studied guitar with Larry Malfroid at Hope College and participated in master classes with Christopher Parkening and Paul O’Dette. Dr. Lunn has released twelve albums that can be found on iTunes, Spotify, as well as many other online shops. For more information, visit http://robertlunn.com.
En Masse Orchestra Conductor
Returning as conductor of the EnMasse Orchestra is our own Jim Bates—AND he will offer a pre-convention workshop in conducting! He is Director of Orchestral Activities at Otterbein University in Columbus, OH and serves as an assistant conductor for the Westerville Symphony (OH) and Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras. Conducting duties in the department include leading the string orchestra and directing the early music ensemble. As a conductor and teacher, Dr. Bates is able to draw on considerable experience as an educator, performer and historian. He has served as president of Kentucky ASTA and as string coordinator for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. From 2010-2012 Dr. Bates chaired the Coda Bows for America Community Outreach Program for ASTA, and currently serves on the state board of the Ohio String Teacher’s Association. In addition to string education he is very involved with the Classical Mandolin Society of America and period instrument performance. He is on the National Board of Directors of CMSA and chairs their educational initiatives. Dr. Bates is music director of The Early Interval, Columbus’ professional early music performance ensemble and serves on the board of directors for Early Music Columbus. He has degrees from the University of Louisville (B.M.E.), a Masters in double bass performance from Indiana University, where he studied bass with Lawrence Hurst and baroque performance with Stanley Ritchie, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Kentucky. He has two sons, Ethan and Gideon.
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.
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.
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).
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.