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Spring Concert 2013

posted Sep 21, 2013, 8:36 PM by Suguru Ishizaki   [ updated Sep 21, 2013, 8:38 PM ]

The Pittsburgh Mandolin Society barely had time to put their holiday repertoire to rest for next year, when we started rehearsing for a very busy spring concert schedule.

The Mars Presbyterian Church so enjoyed the appearance by the Riversong String Ensemble in December that they invited the full orchestra back to perform on March 10th.  The audience responded enthusiastically to Charley’s mesmerizing mandolin technique on the traditional “Karapet”, and many compliments were received after the show.

On April 14, the orchestra traveled to Oil City to participate in the “Arts in the Transit” Series.  Ron briefly traded his mandolin for the custom-made oud that he picked up on his recent trip to Morocco, and played a traditional Middle Eastern tune for the audience.  The Mandolinisti Italiani Quartet played traditional Italian songs on the mandolin, and Gary demonstrated his versatility by singing “O Sole Mio”, “Danny Boy”, and Pittsburgh native Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More”.

The orchestra’s traditional Mother’s Day concert was held at St. John’s Church of Highland on May 11th.  Father and daughter duo Hannah and Suguru made their first featured appearance together as soloists, playing Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto while the orchestra backed them.  The Gypsy Strings also played a portion of the concert, with their violinist George Batyi joining the orchestra as the soloist for “Csardas”.

The following weekend, the Riversong String Ensemble was invited to play at the National Road Festival.  Performing in a historic church in Brownsville, the audience was blown away by a very pregnant and beautiful Emily singing the traditional ballad “The Wild Goose”, and Gary singing the poignant “Misty”.  Then the instrumentalists promptly changed the mood by switching their mandolins to banjos, and playing the raucous “Jackson Stomp”.

On June 15, the Riversong String Ensemble had a return engagement at the Economy Boro Community Days.  Being a local resident, Philip sat in with the band and demonstrated his octave mandolin for his neighbors on some traditional numbers like “The Pennsylvania Polka”, “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, and “The Year of Jubilo”.