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Mandolin orchestra to perform at Town House

 The Providence Mandolin Orchestra will perform at the Town House on May 19 at 3 p.m.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra will perform at the Town House on May 19 at 3 p.m.

The Providence Mandolin Orchestra will present a concert entitled “Locally Sourced,” featuring new works for plucked strings primarily by New England composers, at the Peterborough Town House on May 19 at 3 p.m.

The orchestra, under the direction of Mark Davis, has established a firm reputation as one of the leading mandolin orchestras in the United States today with a penchant for discovering and presenting contemporary original works.

This program will feature original works from regional composers August Watters, Frank Wallace and Michael Nix, with other works from Providence Mandolin Orchestra Director Mark Davis and Boston’s Owen Hartford and James Dalton. Boston University Professor Robert Margo will contribute an arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Stone Flower.”

The current Providence Mandolin Orchestra was founded by Hibbard Perry in 1971 as a modern counterpart to the original Providence Mandolin Orchestra, which was directed by Rhode Island mandolin virtuoso Giuseppe Pettine circa 1913. Today’s music director, Davis, has directed the orchestra since 1989. Since then, the orchestra has become established as a forward-looking orchestra with an ambitious outreach program and a predilection for programming original contemporary works from around the world.

In 1989, the orchestra was the first American mandolin orchestra to perform at the Festival Internacional de Musica Plectro in Logrono, Spain, and has since then arranged international concert exchange programs with the Ensemble Roggenstein (Germany), Het Consort (Netherlands) and the Ensemble a Plectre de Toulouse (France). In addition, the orchestra has hosted many artists including Simon Mayor, Tamara Volskaya, Joe Brent, Alon Sariel, the JZO Northrhine-Westfalia, and Carlo Aonzo’s International Mandolin Academy Orchestra, and the Saarlandisches Zupforchester.

In an effort to present the best work of contemporary composers writing especially for the plucked string ensemble, the orchestra has performed new pieces by Stopler, Lalor, Assad, Audain, Trester, Mandonico, Beath, Schulz, Carr-Boyd, Hartford, Kioulaphides, Charlton, Paliotti, and Behrend.

The orchestra has found a vital source of repertoire in the Latin-American and rock ‘n’ roll field, and have performed arrangements from such perhaps unlikely sources as Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Karl Jenkins (“Palladio”), Jobim (“Stone Flower”), Piazzola (“Libertango,’ Oblivion”) and the Beatles (“I Am the Walrus”).

Tickets for the concert are $15 and available at the door. For more information, contact August Watters at 617-306-8055 or visit

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