The Bonne Amie Musical Circle, under the performance name "Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra (MMO)," is the oldest fretted-instrument music organization in the United States.
The Orchestra plays music arranged for 1st and 2nd mandolin, mandola, mando-cello, guitar, flute, mando-bass, percussion and voice. The MMO was organized in Milwaukee in 1900 and has been in continuous operation in this city since that time. The Bonne Amie Musical Circle is tax exempt as a non-profit educational group under section 501 (c)(3), and its stated mission is to:
"maintain the Bonne Amie Musical Circle organization and library, to keep the mandolin orchestra a viable art form, and to strive to produce the highest quality music. Members of the Circle shall preserve, study, and perform before the public music that is written or adapted for the mandolin orchestra on traditional mandolin orchestra instruments. The performance ensemble of the Bonne Amie Musical Circle is now called The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra."
Led by Music Director Rene Izquierdo, the MMO's repertoire centers on the best in traditional American mandolin orchestra music (waltzes, tangos, marches and polkas) plus light classical, modern, Italian and Latin numbers. We regularly perform our unique repertoire at music festivals and concert halls around Wisconsin and occasionally outside the State of Wisconsin.
Twice, the MMO was honored to have appeared live on Garrison Keillor's internationally broadcast radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion."
The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra has been fortunate to perform with numerous internationally acclaimed artists such as: Ahlert and Schwab, Carlo Aonzo, Gustavo Batista, Sam Bush, Duo Capriccioso, Caterina Lichtenberg and John Dearman / Mirko Schrader, Dimitris Marinos, Evan Marshall, Mike Marshall and Andy Narell, the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Peter Ostroushko and Dean Magraw, the Don Stiernberg Trio, Guy Van Duser and Billy Novick.
As our Orchestra has done since 1900, with the support of people like you, we will continue to sustain and advance America's mandolin orchestra heritage and traditions.