2023 CMSA CONVENTION
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, 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.
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.
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.
COMING EARLY or STAYING LATER? 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 contact the hotel directly. Do not book online. Please contact: Laura Lovisone, Convention Services Manager, by email at [email protected] by phone at 816-303-4556 to make your reservation. Be sure to tell her you are attending the Classical Mandolin Society of America Annual Convention.
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.
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.
For more information, refer to pages 19-21 of the November 2022 Mandolin Journal (members only).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
At the 2023 convention, Phil will be one of the Composers in Residence.
At the 2023 convention, Jim will conduct the En Masse Orchestra.
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.
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.
At the 2023 convention, Robert will lead the Octive Mandolin (GDAE) sectional.
At the 2023 convention, Kristen will lead the Alto Mandola section.
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.
Tuesday, November 7th and Wednesday, November 8th
This year’s convention will offer a choice of three pre-convention activities on Tuesday, November 7th, and continuing on Wednesday, November 8th led by Jacob Reuven, Adam Levin, and Masataka Hori.
Each pre-convention workshop is requires an additional registration fee. Register early as spaces are limited!
Pre-Convention Workshop: Mandolin
Watch this space for a full workshop description.
Pre-Convention Workshop: Classical Guitar
Watch this space for a full workshop description.
Pre-Convention Workshop: Mandocello
Watch this space for a full workshop description.
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.
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). Note that you do not have to attend the convention to place an ad in the Program.
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.
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.
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.
- Full convention pass
- Play in the En Masse orchestra
- * $325 ($50 discount) prior to October 9 *
- Full convention pass
- * $285 ($50 discount) prior to October 9 *
- One day pass
- Excludes En Masse Orchestra and Gala Banquet
- Must be a CMSA member