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San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra performs Celebration by the Bridge
All Souls Episcopal Church
Berkeley, CA
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San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra performs Celebration by the Bridge
San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra "Celebration by the Bridge" Concerts

San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra's 13th season will reach its finale with its four May-June concerts, conducted by Maestro Achille Bocus

Sunday, May 20th, 4:00 pm  All Saints' Episcopal, Palo Alto
Sunday, May 27th, time tbd  Crissy Field/Marina Green, San Francisco
Saturday, June 2nd, 7:30 pm  All Souls Episcopal, Berkeley
  - plus pre-concert lecture (7 pm)
Sunday, June 3rd, 5:00 pm   Mission Dolores, San Francisco
  - plus pre-concert lecture (4:30 pm)
Details and tickets at

The concerts will see the premier of three new pieces composed specially for the orchestra and the finalists of our new music competition. The pieces are musical tributes to the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Drive is a collection of views of the Bridge. Steel Harp portrays the strength yet delicacy of the structure itself.  Chrysopylae Reflections is a musical re-creation of the composer's personal encounter with the Golden Gate Bridge as a sleepy child in the back seat of a car.

To accompany our music for the birth of the bridge in 1937, although some 20 plus years earlier, we have some new arrangements of piano works by French composers: a curious and charming mazurka by Claude Debussy and some whimsical works by Erik Satie. The short Satie pieces with names such as "Children's Menu," "Waltz of the Chocolate Almonds" and "Unfortunate Offences" are really poems with musical accompaniments. Translated into English, they will be narrated by Angela Neff, well known in San Francisco Fringe and The Marsh circles for her one-woman shows.  

The rest of the selection was originally written for mandolin orchestra. SFMO performs two dances  a bolero and a tarantella  by Rafaelle Calace, one of great names of the Neapolitan mandolin tradition. This passionate and vibrant music from the heart of Italy at the turn of the 19th century, shows the traditional mandolin orchestra at its most typical.

As a contrast, and an echo of our recent Baroque season, we invite back alto singer, Twila Ehmcke, to perform Vivaldi's aria, Transit Aetas from Oratorium Juditha Triumphans, originally for solo mandolin with pizzicato violins.

Finally: as a solid tribute to America in general, and the Golden Gate Bridge in particular, we will sound the "horns"  on electric mandolin  of Aaron Copland's Fanfare to the Common Man.

The San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra is a plucked string orchestra with 20-25 members, playing instruments of the mandolin family (mandolin, mandola and mandocello), as well as guitar, and double bass. The orchestra formed in May, 2005, and rehearses in San Francisco's Mission district on Sunday afternoons. It is a 501 (c) (3) organization. More information can be found at

The Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Anniversary celebrations are organized by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and the City and County of San Francisco. More information can be found at


All Souls Episcopal Church (View)
2220 Cedar St.
Berkeley, CA 94709
United States

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