2023 Kansas City

November 8-12, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri
Pre-Convention Workshops November 7-8
Held at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza

Health & Safety Protocols

The priority of CMSA and the host committee is to keep us all safe and healthy to enjoy the 2023 convention, which includes participants, artists, volunteers, and our audiences. We will comply with or exceed the city, county, and state COVID and other safety protocols in place at the time of the convention. Based on local public health conditions at the time, CMSA reserves the right to implement additional protocols.

About & Accommodations

The Classical Mandolin Society of America and your host, the Mandolin Orchestra of Kansas City (MOOKC), invite you to attend the 37th Annual CMSA Convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday, November 8th through Sunday morning on November 12th at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, with preconvention workshops beginning Tuesday, November 7th.

Following the option of 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. NO convention activities are scheduled for Sunday morning, a last chance to spend time with bleary-eyed sore fingered friends.


  • Pre-convention Workshops: Tuesday evening, November 7 from 7-9pm, and Wednesday morning, November 8
  • Convention Starts: Wednesday after noon, November 8 (including our first En Masse Rehearsal)
  • Convention Ends: Sunday morning, November 12 (no scheduled activities)

Cost: $375 for playing; $335 for non-playing; $125 for day pass, if available.

Day Passes: Day passes are available for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You may purchase a maximum of two day passes. With a day pass, you have access to all of the day’s activities, but will not have access to the En Masse music (come watch the rehearsal!) You must be a member of CMSA to purchase a day pass. Note: The Friday Day Pass does not include the Gala Banquet, so purchase a Gala Banquet ticket if you plan to attend!


The 2023 CMSA Convention will be held at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri: 4445 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. Phone: 816-303-4556.

Book Accommodations

Don’t be disappointed, book your room at the Convention hotel now . . . you don’t want to be “that person” who has to take a taxi back to your hotel at the end of every evening!

For the nights of Tuesday, November 7through Saturday, November 11, CMSA has negotiated a discounted Queen/King Standard sleeping room rate of $169.00 USD (before taxes) for Single or Double occupancy. This room block will be held for CMSA only until October 17, 2023. To receive this discounted rate when making Online reservations, use this LINK.

Will you be COMING EARLY or STAYING LATER? Please follow these instructions!

The CMSA’s discounted rate is also valid 3 days before and 3 days after the convention, on a space available basis. If you plan to come early/stay late, you must first go online to book the nights you need that are within the Convention block (Tuesday through Saturday inclusive), and then you must contact: Laura Lovisone, Convention Services Manager, at the hotel, to add any additional nights before or after the Convention block. Laura can be reached by email at laura.lovisone@aimbridge.com or by phone at 816-303-4556. Be sure to tell her you are attending the Classical Mandolin Society of America Annual Convention and be able to provide her a copy of your Confirmation email showing your existing Reservation Number.

Cancellation Policy: To avoid penalty, a guest must cancel their room reservation at the Marriott forty-eight (48) hours before the guest’s check-in date. Anyone who cancels forty-eight hours or less prior to arrival, and anyone who is a no show, will have their credit card charged for the first night’s room fee plus applicable taxes.

About Kansas City

With a population of 2.2 million, Kansas City has a lot to offer! We have the bustle of an eastern city, but with the friendliness of a western city. Kansas City boasts several unique museums and attractions. The convention hotel is adjacent to one of the real jewels of Kansas City: The Country Club Plaza. Opened in 1923, it was the first planned suburban shopping center and the first regional shopping center to accommodate shoppers arriving by car.

Want to know about all of the great sights and things to do in Kansas City? Read an article from the KC host committee.

If you have questions about transportation, room-sharing, volunteering, or Kansas City activities, please reach out to the Host Committee at [email protected].

Travel & Transportation

Kansas City is in the Heart of America at the intersection of I-70 and I-35. Missouri or Kansas? Both! The Kansas City Metro is truly a two-state region. We even have “State Line Road”, where you are in Missouri on the northbound lane, and Kansas in the southbound. Our Convention is based on the Missouri side at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza. Highway access is excellent with I-70 to the east and west, and I-35 to the north and south.

The new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport will debut in early 2023 and feature 39 gates, updated amenities and new dining options. Two Amtrak routes stop at the beautiful Beaux-Arts Kansas City Union Station: the regional Missouri River Runner and the long-distance Southwest Chief route.

If you are flying into the Kansas City airport, here are some options to get to the hotel.

  • Ride Share services (Uber, Lyft, zTrip) are available with the App on your phone. The round-trip cost is about $125. Wait until you have retrieved your bags and arrived at the Arrivals curb before booking an app-based ride. For pickup, please follow the signs down to the Arrivals commercial curb, and look for the purple signposts 2K-N.
  • Shuttle Services. 5 Guys Transportation offers shared rides between Kansas City International Airport and the Plaza Marriott Hotel. Go to their website at www.5GTKC.com/CMSA23 and they may be able to match your arrival and trip to the hotel with another CMSA member, allowing you all to share in the cost. Information about additional shuttle services here: Kansas City Meeting Transportation | Visit KC.
  • Taxi service. Call 816-243-2345. Make sure that you give the dispatcher your exact location. Fares may be prorated (shared) when the originating passenger requests it and all other passengers agree. Rates are $2.50 plus $2.10 per mile. Rates may vary due to traffic delays and waiting time.



Hotel Parking

Parking is complimentary for those that are staying at the hotel.  Take a ticket at the garage kiosk. When you check in, the front desk against will ask if you are parking a car. If yes, you will be given a pass to enter and exit the garage at your leisure!

Guest Artists

Jacob Reuven

Guest Performer

Renowned worldwide for his musical integrity and effortless brilliance, Israeli mandolin player Jacob Reuven is one of the most sought-after mandolin virtuosos. Reuven’s broad musical horizons encompass everything from baroque to contemporary music, bringing an exuberance matched with uncompromising musical standards to all he does. He is invested in commissioning new music for mandolin and advancing mandolin as a solo instrument.

Studying under the guidance of Prof. Simha Nathanson at the Beer Sheva Music Conservatory, and later Prof. Motti Smidt at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Reuven mastered the interpretations of repertoire for solo violin, consequently becoming the first mandolin player to ever perform violin repertoire on a mandolin with an Israeli orchestra. He has since challenged his instrument to perform various works written for solo violin on a mandolin. His precision and technical mastery, matched by his transcendental performances, have brought Reuven a worldwide following and recognition. He has performed as a soloist at various prestigious international festivals including Dresden Music Festival, Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival, and Festival Mandolines de Lunel, and he has played under the baton of conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Antonio Pappano, Mendi Rodan and Zsolt Nagy. Nationally, Reuven has performed as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Israeli Sinfonietta, among others.

A highly regarded mandolin pedagogue, Reuven is a professor at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He plays a custom-made mandolin by Israeli luthier Arik Kerman, and is a founder of the award-winning Kerman Mandolin Quartet, Israeli Mandolin Soloists Ensemble, 16 Strings Mandolin Duo and Duo Mantar.

At the 2023 convention, Jacob will lead the Mandolin 1 sectional, perform at concerts, and present workshops. For more information, visit jacobreuven.com

At the 2023 convention, Mari Carmen will lead the Mandolin 2 sectional, perform at concerts, and present workshops. For more information, visit maricarmensimon.com.

Mari Carmen Simón

Guest Performer

Beginning her bandurria studies under the teaching of Prof. Caridad Simón and Pedro Chamorro, Mari Carmen Simón studied later with Luis Giménez at Superior Murcia Conservatory (Spain) where she got her Degree in Plectro Instruments. After she obtained a Mandolin Diploma with Juan Carlos Muñoz by Music Conservatory of Esch-Sur-Alzette (Luxemburg). Mari also studied Baroque Music with the specialist Agostino Cirillo.

Mari performs with a Kerman mandolin, an instrument designed with double soundboard by the Israeli luthier Arik Kerman.

As soloist and chamber musician, Mari has performed in Spain, France, Germany, Greek, Estonia, Israel. She is regularly invited to play as soloist with Barrocade ensemble (Israel) and the baroque orchestra “La Capilla Real de Madrid” (Spain). Member of Kerman Mandolin Quartet, project that involved mandolinist artists from four different nationalities with which have recorded two CDs: “Mozart mandolin quartets” and “Israeli Mandolin Quartets”. Member of mandolin duo 16Strings joining the mandolinist Jacob Reuven. She also participated with other projects as Minus Bandurria quartet performing original plectro music by Turina, Falla or Strawinsky.

Mari has worked with the most important symphonic orchestras of Spain: “Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla”, “Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid”, JONDE (Joven Orquesta Nacional de España), “Ballet Nacional de España”, etc. Member of the Plectro orchestras: “Roberto Grandío”, “Il Forum Musicale” and “Ciudad de la Mancha”. As teacher she has been invited to numerous advanced classes.

Nowadays she is in charge of the superior mandolin lessons in Spain at the Superior Music Conservatory of Murcia. 

Adam Levin

Guest Performer

Praised for his “visceral and imaginative performances” by the Washington Post, prize winning and Billboard top-charting classical guitarist and recording artist Adam Levin has performed on four continents across the globe. Levin has performed extensively at renowned venues around the world. His live performances have been featured nationally numerous times on NPR’s Performance Today, the nationally syndicated Classical Guitar Alive, and studio performances on top radio stations including WFMT Chicago, WCRB Boston, and RIPR Rhode Island.

The recipient of numerous top prizes, Adam Levin has been recognized by the Society of American Musicians, the Lake Forest Concerto Competition, Minnesota’s Schubert Competition, Boston GuitarFest, Concurso Internacional de les Corts para Jóvenes Intérpretes in Barcelona, Concurso Internazionale Di Gargnano, and Certamen Internacional Luys Milan de Guitarra in Valencia. For his promotion, interpretation and performance of Spanish music, he was nominated for the 2011 Trujamán Prize, in which only three guitarists worldwide are selected annually. In 2020, the Community of Valencia, Spain nominated Levin as the Ambassador of Music, to represent the culture and music of that region.

From 2008-2011, Levin was honored as a Fulbright Scholar as well as grant awards from the Program for Cultural Cooperation Fellowship (promoting cultural understanding between Spain and the United States) and the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, to research contemporary Spanish guitar repertoire in Madrid, Spain. An avid chamber musician, Levin has performed with orchestra, string quartet, and various instrumental and vocal duo combinations. His chamber ensemble, Duo Sonidos (www.duosonidos.com), has been celebrated for bringing a fresh interpretation of chamber music to wide-ranging audiences across the globe while expanding the repertoire for violin and guitar through new commissions.

Adam’s newest musical partnership is with virtuoso Israeli mandolinist, Jacob Reuven in Duo Mantar. Together, they explore original and arranged Israeli music. Their album, Music from the Promised Land (Naxos, 2021) reached No.1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Album Chart.

As an ambassador of the guitar, Levin is dedicated to sharing the guitar in underserved and unconventional spaces. He raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims and he was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to conduct hundreds of hours of innovative community work in Boston public schools, prisons, and rehabilitation centers. Demonstrating his long-term commitment to music advocacy, Levin founded Kithara Project (www.kitharaproject.org), a non-profit organization whose mission it is to improve the lives of children and youth through the classical guitar. They currently run four year-round community-based guitar education programs in Boston, Albuquerque, and Mexico City, enrolling approximately 130 students.

At the 2023 convention, Adam will lead the Guitar sectional, perform at concerts, and present workshops. For more information, visit Adam’s website at adamlevinguitar.com.


A native of Chicago’s North Shore, Adam holds bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University in Music Performance, Psychology, and Pre-Med. Levin completed his master’s degree in guitar performance at New England Conservatory in Boston. Levin is a professor of guitar at the University of Rhode Island and also teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Levin also serves as artistic director of the annual University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival (www.uriguitarfestival.org) and the newly created Rhode Island Guitar Guild (www.riguitarguild.org). Adam Levin is an Augustine Artist and performs on a guitar by luthier Stephan Connor and Dominique Field.

Masataka Hori

At the 2023 convention, in addition to being one of the Composers in Residence, Masataka will lead the Mandocello sectional and perform at concerts. For more information, visit masataka-hori.com.

Masataka Hori

Guest Performer and Composer in Residence

Masataka Hori, mandolinist, composer, producer and conductor, studied mandolin, conducting, and harmony under Takashi Kubota in Japan. He was selected to study in Saarbrücken, Germany as an overseas trainee for Heisei Cultural Agency New Artists in 2011, where he studied mandolin under Juan-Carlos Muñoz. He also studied theory of Jazz and improvisation under Kiyomi Otaka.

Masataka has won many prestigious awards such as first place at the Raffael Calace International Mandolin Solo Competition in Italy in 2014 and the Tokyo Governor Prize in 2002. He launched his own mandolin ensemble called “EUPHORIA” and a jazz fusion band (electric mandolin, piano, bass guitar and drums). He also curates and produces the concert series “Il Mandolino Giapponese – another Italian culture”. Its success is generating further concert activities.

Masataka currently plays a mandolin custom built by Daigoro Ochiai.  Ochiai’s mandolins are renowned worldwide and cater for all of Masataka’s demands and ideas without any limitation. He is an endorser for world renowned string maker, OPTIMA since 2017.

Masataka has performed as a soloist at the festival “Rencontres Pince-Cordes” held in Milkur(France) in 2011,  the “Kobe International Music Festival” (Japan) in 2013,  and at the Suntory Foundation for Arts Summer Festival (Japan) in 2015. He toured around Brisbane and Perth in 2018 and 2022. These were such a great success that the various media outlets such as newspapers/webmagazine/radio stations followed and hailed the concert tour.

Masataka released a CD “Preludio” in 2015, which is a classical solo mandolin album.  The CD was highly acclaimed by Shin-ichiro Ikebe, one of the most respected composers in Japan, “Without doubt , this album will send fresh waves widely to the whole music world, not limited to the mandolin world.”

Hye Kyung (HK) Kim

Special Guest

HK Kim holds a Masters degree in Culture and Arts from the Graduate School of Chugye University for the Arts in South Korea, and graduated from the Department of Music, majoring in mandolin at Yewon Arts University. She studied the Kubota Method of Mr. Takashi Kubota.

 Ms. Kim has lectured and performed in Korea, China, Japan, and Germany.

  • 2012ㆍ2013ㆍ2015 Participated in KMA (Kubota Musik Akademie) Concert
  • 2013 Organized Guangzhou (China) Mandolin Ensemble and participated in the 12th Mandolin Festival in Korea
  • 2013ㆍ2015ㆍ2019 Kubota Method Mandolin Lectures in Beijing, China
  • 2014ㆍ2015 Performed with Kubota Philomandolinen Orchester of Japan
  • 2014 Concert of Berlin, Leipzig and Taunusstein (Germany)
  • 2014 German Bruchsal Euro Festival
  • 2015 The 22nd Regular Concert of Japan Kubota Philomandolinen Orchester

In 2020, Ms. Kim Founded LéPé Mandolin Guitar Ensemble. In 2021, she published a translation of the first volume of the Kubota Mandolin Method. She is currently a guest professor of the Department of Music at Yewon Arts University and provides Mandolin guidance in Korea, China and Japan.

Hye Keung Kim

At the 2023 convention, Ms. Kim will perform a concert and lead a workshop Saturday morning introducing the Kubota mandolin method.

Daniel Dona

Daniel Doña

Special Guest

As part of the CMSA’s “Mandolins Make a Difference” program, the Board of Directors has commissioned three contemporary composers to write new works for mandolin ensemble. The first of these, to be premiered at the Kansas City convention, is Susie Ibarra’s Morning Malabar, which includes a part for solo viola.

The viola solo will be performed by Daniel Doña, a long-time collaborator of Ibarra’s.

Daniel received his DMA from Boston University where he serves on the viola faculty and as Assistant Chair of the String department. He is also Assistant Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute String Quartet Workshop, and has taught at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, and for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra Intensive Community Program. Internationally acclaimed for his performances, Doña plays with the TriChrome ensemble and the Arneis Quartet.

At the 2023 convention, Daniel will play the viola solo with the En Masse Orchestra for Susie Ibarra’s Morning Malabar.

Philip DeWalt

Composer in Residence

Dr. Philip DeWalt graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 2016 with a DMA in composition. He studied composition with Dr. Chen Yi, Dr. Zhou Long, Dr. James Mobberly, Dr. Paul Rudy and for his undergraduate work, Dr. Gerald Kemner. He is currently the president and music director of the Mandolin Orchestra of Kansas City (MOOKC) and works as a piano accompanist for the Kansas City Ballet.

Prior to this Dr. DeWalt was a public school orchestra and band director for 25 years for the Kansas City Public School District as well as a pianist for the big band, “The Overtones.” He worked as a colorist for Eclipse Comics for several years in the 1980’s and composed the soundtrack to the movie “The Dark Planet” by Richard Corben in 1990.

In addition to composing for mandolin, he also composes for solo piano, orchestra, chamber ensembles, electronic, electroacoustic, string quartet, saxophone quartet and wind ensemble. His mandolin compositions are published by Hody Music.

Philip DeWalt

At the 2023 convention, Phil will be one of the Composers in Residence.

Jim Bates

At the 2023 convention, Jim will conduct the En Masse Orchestra.

Jim Bates

En Masse Orchestra Conductor

Dr. Jim Bates is Director of Orchestral Activities at Otterbein University and Director of the Capital University Symphony Orchestra. Since 2006 he has served as an assistant conductor for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras and the Westerville Symphony. As a conductor and teacher, Dr. Bates is able to draw on considerable experience as an educator, performer and historian.

For eighteen years Dr. Bates was a conductor for the Louisville (KY) Youth Orchestras and was music director of that organization from 1996 – 2001. From 1988-2001 he was music director of the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra. In 1999 he joined the conducting staff of Interlochen Center for the Arts and continues to direct the Junior Orchestra program and Junior String Institute there during the summer. He has served as a clinician or guest conductor in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Washington, Texas and Colorado. He has served as president of Kentucky ASTA and as string coordinator for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.

In addition to string education, Dr. Bates is very involved with the Classical Mandolin Society of America (CMSA) and period instrument performance. He serves on the National Board of Directors of CMSA and is actively involved with the Education Committee. He is the immediate past president of the Ohio String Teachers Association and is on the board of the Friends of Early Music in Columbus.  Currently, Dr. Bates is assistant conductor and principal bassist of the Westerville Symphony (OH), and is the Creative Director of The Early Interval, Columbus’ professional early music performance ensemble. 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. 

Robert Margo

Section Leader

A two-time prize-winner in the CMSA’s national performance competition, Robert Margo is an accomplished performer on mandolin family instruments (liuto cantabile, mandola, and mandolin). An avid fan of new music for plucked strings, Margo has commissioned works from Clarice Assad, Philip DeWalt, Jesse Jones, John Goodin, Francine Trester, and Frank Wallace.

In addition to performing as a solo artist, Margo is a member of the Hampton Trio (with Beverly and Mark Davis) and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra (Mark Davis, director). Margo’s solo and ensemble arrangements have been performed by Chris Acquavella, the Baltimore Mandolin Quartet, the CMSA’s En Masse Orchestra, the Hampton Trio, the London Mandolin Ensemble, and the New American Mandolin Ensemble, among others.  Margo was recently named “Mandolin Player of the Day (February 25, 2023)” by the German website www.mandoweb.de in recognition of Germany’s “Year of the Mandolin 2023”.  

Margo frequently writes articles for CMSA’s quarterly publication, The Mandolin Journal, and serves as the organization’s Vice-President.

Robert Margo

At the 2023 convention, Robert will lead the Octave Mandolin (GDAE) sectional.

Joel Hobbs

At the 2023 convention, Kristen will lead the Alto Mandola section.

Kristin Stiteler

Section Leader

Kristin Stiteler is a native of Ohio and began playing the violin in 3rd  grade.  She has taught both band and orchestra classes at all grade levels for over twenty-seven years in both Ohio and North Carolina.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University and was a National Board Certified Teacher from 2010 – 2020.

Kristin is an accomplished musician on several instruments and has performed regularly with multiple ensembles.  She has performed with several symphony orchestras in Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina since 1997 and she is currently in her 21st year of playing viola with the Fayetteville (NC) Symphony Orchestra where she held the position of principal violist for several years.

Kristin started her mandolin journey in 2006 and seeks out opportunities to perform every chance she gets. On mandolin, she has performed recitals with the FayAllegro Chamber Music Society and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. On mandola, she has been invited to perform alongside the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra on their recent performance tours in Japan, Italy, and Austria.

Kristin was director of the Cumberland County Youth Orchestra from 2002-2016, and is currently the Director of the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has held several educational leadership roles at both the Region and County levels, led workshops, and has been invited to serve as a guest clinician in nearby NC districts. Kristin is an active member of NAfME, NCMEA, ASTA, and CMSA.


Pre-Convention Workshops

Tuesday, November 7th and Wednesday, November 8th

This year’s convention will offer a choice of three pre-convention activities the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, November 7th, and continuing the morning of Wednesday, November 8th led by Jacob Reuven & Mari Carmen Simón, Adam Levin, and Masataka Hori.

Each pre-convention workshop is requires an additional registration fee. Register early as spaces are limited!

Ricardo Sandoval

Jacob Reuven & Mari Carmen Simón

Pre-Convention Workshop: Mandolin Duets

Jacob and Mari Carmen are phenomenal mandolinists and highly experienced teachers. Why not arrive a day early and work on your mandolin technique—it’s sure to be beneficial! Mari Carmen and Jacob’s joint workshop will be on mandolin duets—choosing repertoire and developing ensemble skills.


Adam Levin

Adam Levin

Pre-Convention Workshop: Classical Guitar

Adam Levin is one of the world’s great classical guitarists, with a long-standing interest in the mandolin. Guitarists, arrive a day early, and attend Adam’s pre-convention workshop, which will offer helpful instruction for players of all skill levels, and will be tailored to the needs of participants. CMSA values its guitarists and our annual conventions always offer guitar activities. Guitarists, we need you to sign up—lots of opportunities this year for guitar!

Masataka Hori

Pre-Convention Workshop: Mandocello

CMSA’s mandocello group has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past several years and, in recognition, we are offering our very first pre-convention workshop on mandocello technique—with guest artist Masataka Hori. This video illustrates Masataka’s fantastic skills on the mandocello. Mandocellists, please take advantage of this unique opportunity!

Convention Workshops

A full slate of eighteen regular workshops is planned for CMSA Kansas City.  Here is a sampler of titles:

Jim Bates, “Stage Fright”. Tips and strategies for coping with the stress and anxiety of performing music in public.

Jeff Brumley, “Conductor’s Roundtable”.  Topics include organizing a mandolin ensemble, recruiting, managing your orchestra’s library, and programming.  Audience Q & A, so come and brainstorm! 

Philip DeWalt, “Composer-in-Residence Session: Scoring for Mandolin Orchestra”.  How to score music for your mandolin orchestra so that it sounds resonant and full, taught by a master of the subject.

David (“Gus”) Garelick, “Sirens: An Imaginary Journey”. A workshop for solo mandolin playing, based on Gus’s innovative new book of original tunes, transcriptions, and arrangements from European and American traditions. 

Neil Gladd, “Mandolin Legend Bernardo de Pace”. A childhood friend of Caruso, and the mandolinist for the Metropolitan Opera for 20 years, Bernardo de Pace recorded from 1917 to 1950 and made 3 film shorts – learn more about his music.

Masataka Hori, “Fingerboard Grammar, Part One”. The first session of a two-part workshop. A new approach to learning the fingerboard, visualizing, hearing and – most important – feeling intervals as you play.


Adam Levin, “Classical Guitar Technique”.   A workshop on classical guitar technique, tailored to the needs and interests of convention participants.

Robert Margo, “Navigating the Suite for Ali. Written originally for octave mandolin but often played on mandolin, Victor Kioulaphides’ five-movement “Suite for Ali” is one of his most popular solo works.  A playing workshop, intermediate/advanced.

 Mari Carmen Simón & Jacob Reuven, “The Art of Mandolin Duets”. Performing as 16 Strings, Mari Carmen and Jacob are experts in the art of mandolin duo playing.  They’ll play and discuss their repertoire and the ensemble issues involved in this most intimate form of chamber music for mandolin.

 Kristin Stiteler, “For Love of the C Mandola”. Kristin will provide tips on reading alto clef, talk about repertoire, and demonstrate how you can best integrate the C mandola into your ensemble.

Plus, additional workshops by Lou Chouinard, Jim Bates, Neil Gladd, Joel Hobbs, HK Kim, Adam Levin, Masataka Hori, Jacob Reuven, and Mari Carmen Simón.



There are many ways to take part in the convention, from Open Mic performance, to Volunteering, to Sponsorship.


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.


Watch this space for how to volunteer at the convention.

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). Note that you do not have to attend the convention to place an ad in the Program.

2015 Convention

Open Mic

We all look forward to the popular lunch-time open mic sessions where single or groups of performers can show off the latest pieces they have been learning. We will have Open Mic sessions on Thursday (for solos and duets) and on Saturday (for ensembles).

Be sure to register for the convention before you request an Open Mic slot. Time limits are approximately 5 minutes for solos or duets (Thursday) and 10 minutes for ensembles (Saturday).

At least one person must be registered for the convention to perform at Open Mic. Please email [email protected] if you have questions about Open Mic requirements.


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.


Order your tee-shirts and totes when you register and they will be waiting for you at the convention.

KC Tee

Kansas City Tee Shirts

White tee shirts with KC Convention logo are available at $20 each for men’s/unisex and women’s/semi-fitted styles in sizes S through 3XL. Please check the vendor website for sizing information. Shirts can be ordered with your convention registration.

Men’s/Unisex crew neck: M&O Gold Soft Touch T-Shirt 4800; white with KC Convention Logo; 5 oz 100% preshrunk cotton; sizes S – 3XL. M&O 4800 – Gold Soft Touch T-Shirt (sportswearcollection.com)

Women’s/semi-fitted crew neck: M&O Gold Soft Touch T-Shirt 4810; white with KC Convention Logo; 5 oz 100% preshrunk cotton; sizes S – 3XL. M&O 4810 – Women’s Gold Soft Touch T-Shirt (sportswearcollection.com)

Mandolins MAD Tee Shirt

A limited number of tee shirts are available for order with your convention registration. Next Level 3600 Cotton Short Sleeve Crew

  • 4.3 oz., 100% combed ringspun cotton, 32 singles
  • Unisex sizes S – XL
  • $20 (convention special price)

All T-shirt sales support our educational outreach programs.

CMSA Tote Bag

CMSA Tote Bags

CMSA has a limited number of older tote bags for sale. Order a tote with your convention registration and it will be waiting for you at the convention. $10 each.

En Masse Orchestra

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 or skirt and black shirt or blouse.

En Masse Pieces

  • Giuseppe Anelli (1876-1926), Sinfonia Romantica
  • Philip DeWalt, Keplerana: Three Orbits for Mandolin Orchestra (CMSA Composer-in-Residence commission)
  • George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), Three Preludes (arr. S. Geis)
  • Masataka Hori, Avvenire, per Orchestra a Plettro, Op. 39 (CMSA Composer-in-Residence commission)
  • Susie Ibarra, Morning Malabar (CMSA “Mandolins Make a Difference” commission)
  • Allesandro Liberati (1847 -1927), Kansas City Star March (arr. C. Heinlein)
  • Eileen Pakenham (1914 – 2009), Fantasy in Five Time

This year, we will be performing three original works commissioned by CMSA. Two have been composed by our Composers-in-Residence. One has been composed as a new work for mandolin orchestras as part of our “Mandolins Make a Difference” commissioning project, led by the CMSA Education Committee.

To access the EnMasse music, sign in to your CMSA account. Select the Convention tab. If you do not see your account information, click the Sign-In option on the top menu bar of the website. 

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.

To assist with practicing your parts, here are links to some select sound files and YouTube performances of some of the En Masse pieces on this year’s program.  In YouTube, remember you can click on “Settings” to change the playback speed (i.e. slower if you wish) without changing the musical pitch.

For additional practice materials, check out the SmartMusic links under the Convention tab of the CMSA sign-in page.


Watch Kansas City Video

Pricing & Registration

Registration fee includes all materials and activities of the convention, including the Welcome Party, convention workshops, Gala Banquet, open mic sessions, concerts, late night jam sessions, and En Masse music for those playing in the orchestra.  Pre-convention workshops, tote bags, t-shirts, and membership renewal are additional.

You must be a member of CMSA to register for the convention.