Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra

The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, also known as The Bonne Amie Musical Circle, is a mandolin ensemble which was established in 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are the oldest ensemble of their kind in the United States.[1]


The group was founded in 1900 as the Bonne Amie Musical Circle.[2] It reformed in 1982 under the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra name.[3] As late as 1990, under the direction of Ernest Brusubardis, the group had only 11 members.[4] Starting in the 1990s the group expanded, playing public concerts in other major cities and releasing recorded music.[5] In a review of the concert in 2000 celebrating the group's centennial, Elaine Schmidt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described them as "not the tightest ensemble in town, nor the most polished."[6] The Orchestra was a guest on A Prairie Home Companion twice in 2006.[7] One member, Jacob Scokir, played with the group from 1938 until his death in 2008.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b Stephenson, Crocker (September 29, 2007). "Good friends, long years, a house with mandolin music". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29.
  2. ^ Ruppa, Paul (1988). The Mandolin in America After 1880 and The History of Mandolin Orchestras in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (M.Mus.). University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  3. ^ Noonan, Jeffrey James (2004). The Guitar in America as Reflected in Topical Periodicals, 1882–1933 (Ph.D.). Washington University in St. Louis.
  4. ^ Joslyn, Jay (June 11, 1990). "Link to past provided by Mandolin Orchestra". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1.6.
  5. ^ Parrish, Michael (February 2, 2001). "Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra Thriving in its 100th Year". Chicago Tribune. p. 7.28.
  6. ^ Schmidt, Elaine (December 9, 2000). "Pair bring flair to birthday concert". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. B6.
  7. ^ Shaw, Mary-Liz (November 16, 2007). "Mandolin orchestra to play with master Marshall". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. E18.
  8. ^ "Scokir, Jacob L.". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. May 20, 2008. p. B99.

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