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The Sydney Mandolin Orchestra in recital at the Wollstonecraft Club 7/8/2022

The SMO, led by musical director Werner Ruecker, continued it’s recent return to the stage after the excruciating restrictions of the last two years with an enthusiastic and well-received performance for the members of the Wollstonecraft Club and their guests. Filling the Club’s bar the patrons enjoyed a wide variety of music ranging from popular works of the stage and screen including Franz Lehar’s waltzes from The Merry Widow and Maurice Jarre’s Lara’s Theme, expertly arranged for mandolin orchestra, to contemporary Australian and international compositions written expressly for mandolin orchestra, (for our orchestra in some cases), such as those by Sydney’s Stephen Lalor and Perth’s Robert Schulz and the lively hootenanny-style Shakertown by the late American composer John Goodin.

This concert was a new experience for many in the audience with the enjoyment – foot tapping, smiles and the odd tear clearly evident from the stage, and from the appreciative comments after the performance. It was also a first for the 7 new members of the orchestra, for some, their very first public performance. Despite tales of apprehension, all responded quickly to the audience and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’m left thinking that many similar small to medium sized clubs may well be interested in concerts for members and friends, and the benefits for performers of this intimate environment, so close to appreciative audiences, are not hard to imagine.

We also enjoyed modest interest in our first CD, and look forward to promoting our next, currently in post-production, in upcoming concerts. Congratulations and thanks to Werner. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the show, and I’m sure I speak for all of us.

Bernard Hickey

Photos: John He



Ballsirenen – Franz Lehar (Waltzes from The Merry Widow)
Shakertown – John Goodin (Heavens On Earth 3rd movement)
Odessa Bulgarish-Mazeltov – Arr. Stephen Lalor (Two Yiddisher Songs)
The Rabbi Wants Us To Be Merry – Arr. Stephen Lalor
Serenade Espagnole – Francois Menechetti
Fur Hats & Vodka – Robert Schulz
Recuerdos de al Alhambra – Francesco Tarrega
Lyuba – Stephen Lalor
Four National Dances – Kurt Schwaen
Balmain Bossa – Stephen Lalor (Handpainted Soundscapes 3rd movement)
Lara’s Theme – Maurice Jarre