Mandolin Orchestra

Christian McKee
Musical Director
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Since COVID-19 has forced many concerts to cancel, many music lovers have helped to support cash-strapped artists through donations.

While applauding that generosity, the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra would like to point out an often-overlooked part of the equation – concert venues.

“It’s easy to forget the venues,” said Michael Tognetti, OMO Board president.  “But if they don’t host concerts, they don’t take in any revenue.  That can be devastating for nonprofit venues, which generally operate on small margins while bringing music to the community.”

Tognetti and the OMO Board are urging music fans and supporters of the arts to consider donations to:

  • The Old Church Concert Hall – 1422 S.W. 11th Ave., Portland, OR  97201 

Donations can made through The Old Church website: https://bit.ly/3drBfqD   Gift cards can be purchased by visiting https://squ.re/2AcJ4Ci

More information:503-222-2031.staff@theoldchurch.org


  • Artichoke Music -- 2007 S.E. Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202

Donations can be made through the Artichoke website:https://bit.ly/2WENbhR

More information:503-232-8845.rth@artichokemusic.org


  • National Independent Venue Association – 1 Penn Plaza #6263, New York, N.Y.  10119

The association is lobbying Congress to support vulnerable venues, especially those that may be unable to reopen unless they receive help after the lockdowns and social distancing are lifted.

Petitions can be signed on the NIVA website:https://bit.ly/2WJlhBk

More information:info@nivassoc.org

Support The Arts

As America fights the novel coronavirus, artists have been forced to make some of
the biggest sacrifices when concerts are canceled and performance venues are shut

The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra urges all to donate to support the arts and help
artists during this trying time. Here are some suggestions:

  • COVID-19 Oregon Musicians’ Relief Fund -- The fund was established to help with medical bills and other unexpected costs faced by musicians in Oregon and in Clark County, Washington.

  • Artichoke Music -- This nonprofit music school, shop and performance café has
    helped thousands of budding musicians over the years to learn in a supportive environment.


  • Portland Area Artist Emergency Relief Fund -- Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford co-established this found to help artists in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties who have been affected by COVID-19.

  • Regional Arts & Culture Council -- Donations to the fund will be distributed directly to individual artists and creative workers in need.

  • Musicians Foundation Grants -- Costs incurred by musicians are covered by these grants. The grants are not paid to musicians.

Our Roots

The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra is dedicated to bringing the beauty of mandolin music to audiences while providing opportunities for local musicians to perform.

The mandolin was the most popular instrument in America in the early 1900s. That love affair fully bloomed when mandolin orchestras sprang up in cities across the country, enchanting concert-goers with a distinctive collective tinkle of musical rain.

Although tastes shifted over the years, appreciation of the mandolin was rekindled during the Folk Revival of the 60s. This set the stage for the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, which was founded by Brian Oberlin and Elizabeth Farrell in 2010.

Today, the nonprofit, all-volunteer Oregon Mandolin Orchestra counts two dozen dues-paying members who play mandolin, mandola, mandocello and mandobass – all the varied voices of the mandolin instrument family.  Acoustic guitars and upright string basses occasionally round out the mix.


Our Leadership

Christian McKee, Musical Director, has made music since childhood, playing Suzuki violin as a youngster, and singing in choirs until the age of eighteen. Since then, Christian has toured and performed on the West coast in multiple ensembles on mandolin, mandola and mandocello.


Christian believes that at its best, music is a true conversation amongst the musicians that is shared with the audience and guided by the vision of the composer. Best of all, like any good conversation live music is pleasantly unpredictable and different each time. Christian brings a great deal of enthusiasm to his role as the Orchestra’s musical director, and invites everyone in the Pacific Northwest to enjoy this beautiful music along with us.

If you are interested in performing with the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, contact Christian at christian@oregonmandolinorchestra.org.

Contact Us

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