History of the Orchestra

History

 

The Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra is currently celebrating its 75th season, having originated in 1941 when a group of six musicians met in the backroom of a local barbershop to discuss their dream of forming a mandolin orchestra. In 1945 these music pioneers formed the Orange and Vicinities Mandolin Society, under the direction of Elia Ciricillo.  The Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra was under the direction of Conductor David Vallillo in December of 1949, but the orchestras often performed together.   In the 1960s the members of four different mandolin orchestras decided to merge as the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra.

 

 The orchestra operates under the auspices of the Bloomfield Federation of Music and is comprised of volunteer musicians from northern and central New Jersey.  Mandola player Peter Longo of West Orange has been a member of the orchestra since its founding in 1941. The current members of the orchestra represent a vast cross section of backgrounds and careers.   The orchestra has an extensive repertoire, which includes Italian favorites, traditional and popular American songs, Broadway selections, and operatic and classical orchestral music. Enrico Granafei became conductor of the orchestra five years ago, following a tenure of thirty-seven years by former conductor and arranger, Gabriele Nevola. An accomplished musician, composer and arranger, Maestro Granafei has enhanced the repertoire of the orchestra by including the arrangements and original compositions of musicians from many ethnic backgrounds and musical styles.