2019 CMSA Convention

October 9-13, 2019 in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois

Held at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center


2019 CMSA Convention

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 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 10/6/2019 and departing 10/13/2019. Onsite parking (normally $10 per day) is complementary for those booking online through our website link. Book online before 9/19/2019 to receive the discounted rate.


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.

By train

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.



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. 

Vendor Area

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.

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).

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.


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