Saturday, February 22, 2014

The South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra (SHMO) is a non-profit musical organization established in 2013

The South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra (SHMO) is a non-profit musical organization established in 2013 by Adam R Sweet, in an effort to revive the beauty and popularity of the traditional mandolin orchestra, which was mainstream in the United States around the turn of the 20th Century.  The Orchestra will consist of volunteer musicians, and will feature composers from around New England and beyond.

To get the orchestra off to a good solid start, it needs to purchase instruments for use by the orchestra, to purchase sheet music for the orchestra library, purchase or lease recording and amplification equipment for the publishing of videos, CDs and other promotional material, pay for the design and publishing of a website, to purchase advertising and marketing for concerts and open rehearsals, and to pay the Director and Manager reasonable salaries.  

Although the SHMO is not currently a registered non-profit organization, we are working towards that goal so that we may accept donations from the community.  

See attached spreadsheet (SHMO - Operating Budget)

Qualifications and Role of Personally Directly Involved With The Project

Adam R Sweet, Music Director
Adam R Sweet has certifications in violin and performance from the New England Conservatory of Music at Rivers, and the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.  He has a BA in Ethnomusicology from Hampshire College.  He opened the Sweet Music Studio in 1986 and has been providing music lessons, sales and service to the community since.  Mr Sweet is a mandolin teacher, plays mandolin in several ensembles and leads a Mandolin Group Class at the Studio.  Sweet is a volunteer member of the South Hadley Cultural Council and the Historical Commission.  He lives in South Hadley with his wife Emily and sons.

Qualifications, Certificates and Associations:
  • Certification: Violin; New England Conservatory of Music
  • Certification: Ensembles; Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music
  • BA, Ethnomusicology, Hampshire College
  • Music Teacher Certification: American Federation of Music Teachers
  • Music Teacher Certification: American String Teacher Association
  • Member: American Federation of Musicians
  • Member: Boston Bluegrass Union

Mary Jennings, Manager
Mary Jennings is, by profession, an administrative assistant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with 28 years in Federal service.  Outside of her Federal service, she has provided administrative support for Eastern Entertainment (Roger Salloom’s booking agency), and has hosted and promoted her own open stage poetry venue at the Black Sheep Deli in Amherst, MA.  Mary is also a performance poet, stage actress, and musician currently studying mandolin with Adam Sweet.  Mary has a B.A. in English from Salem State College, with a minor in music.  She is a resident of South Hadley, MA.

The SHMO will hold open rehearsals at the South Hadley Town Hall on Main St in the auditorium third Fridays of every month, and concerts each year at the same location.  The concerts will be open to the community for a reasonable fee.

The SHMO currently consists of Eight Orchestra Members: four mandolinists, one mandola, one mandocello and one page-turner/assistant (Cynthia’s Mom).  We are actively recruiting new members.  We have received confirmation of interest from an additional mandolon (mando bass) player, and two additional mandolin players that were not able to attend the first rehearsal in February.  The next rehearsal will be the third Friday in March (21).

The members who currently do not have instruments (mando cello, mandola, mandolin) will be able to use an orchestra instrument while an active member of the orchestra.    Members will benefit from playing and learning from published copies of sheet music instead of copies downloaded from the internet as part of an Orchestra Library that will be housed at the Sweet Music Studio.  Members will benefit from the production of high quality video and recordings of concerts and rehearsals that they can share with family and friends and online through social media.

The SHMO currently consists of two administrators: the Director and the Manager who will benefit from a small salary stipend for a specific number of hours worked during each month including rehearsals, concerts, and travel.

The SHMO will need capital funding to get the project started.  Maintenance funding will be needed to keep it running.  See spreadsheet for needs.

Other organizations collaborating directly with this project

  • Town of South Hadley has volunteered use of the Town Hall Auditorium for rehearsals and concerts
  • The Providence Mandolin Orchestra has consulted with the Director and provided access to sheet music and other helpful online resources
  • The Red Barn Music in Amherst has been helpful consulting about community engagement

Names of other organizations carrying out similar projects.

  • Atlanta Mandolin Orchestra
  • Austin Mandolin Orchestra
  • Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra
  • Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra
  • Dayton Mandolin Orchestra
  • Kalamazoo Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra
  • Louisville Mandolin Orchestra
  • Mandolin Society of Peterborough
  • Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra
  • Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra
  • New Expressions Mandolin Orchestra
  • New York Mandolin Orchestra
  • Oregon Mandolin Orchestra
  • Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra
  • Pittsburg Mandolin Orchestra
  • Providence Mandolin Orchestra
  • Seattle Mandolin Orchestra
  • Takoma Mandoleers


Irish Dance Traditions

Dancing in the Middle Ages (England) Irish dance dates back to its origins in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries and became closely ...