The mandolin orchestra was extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century. A uniquely American musical contribution, it has been largely relegated to history books and rare early recordings. Lloyd Loar was a musical virtuoso and acoustic engineer, who was born in Cropsey and grew up in Lewistown. He essentially established bluegrass music in part with his iconic Lloyd Loar F5 mandolin. Every typical bluegrass mandolin today has the Gibson F-5 shape, envisioned and designed by Loar. James Stanlaw, a professor of anthropology at Illinois State University, will discuss the history of mandolin orchestras in America and Loar's contributions to the genre. Included will be demonstrations of early Gibson mandolin-family orchestra instruments, which attendees will be encouraged to try. This event is sponsored by an Illinois HumanitiesVision Community Grant and is part of the Paul Mickey Learning Series.
The central Illinois roots of Lloyd Loar
Wednesday, Feb. 5,
Illinois State Museum
502 S. Spring St.