But for now, the music teacher and owner of Sweet Music Studio has founded the South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra, which had its first rehearsal in February.
According to the Classical Mandolin Society of America, it is likely the only mandolin orchestra in the Pioneer Valley.
“They said, ‘Look, we’re a dying breed. There are very few of us left,’” recalls Sweet, referring to the nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis. He said the closest mandolin orchestra the society knew of is in Providence, R.I.
Formed at the urging of some of his students, the South Hadley Mandolin Orchestra has nine members — seven mandolinists, one mandola player and one mandocellist.