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Mandolin player featured at Lewiston history program

LEWISTON – Jean Dickson, a mandolin historian and musician, will share her research and her music at “Mandolin Mania, the Music that Swept Western New York from 1880 to 1920,” at the monthly program of the Historical Association of Lewiston at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 915 Oneida St.

Dickson will bring some mandolins and mandolin players who will demonstrate the sound and music.

In the 1880s there was no television or radio, so people flocked to live performances. Even plays included live music between or during the acts and each theater of decent size had its own orchestra. Western New York was one of the wealthiest regions in the nation and there were a lot of theaters and a lot of music, both professional and amateur.

Groups of young Italians played violins or mandolins, instruments that are tuned to the same pitch, and traveled across North America, popularizing the mandolin.

The program is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served.