Syzygia (ˈsi-zə-jēə)

1. The Latin original form of the word “syzygy” (which this ensemble couldn't use because it is already trademarked by a progressive rock band in Ohio.)
2. The straight line configuration of 3 celestial bodies (as the sun and earth and moon) in a gravitational system
3. The exciting and innovative mandolin and guitar ensemble based in Hartford, CT, that is committed to the highest standards of music presentation, and to pioneering new directions in plucked-string ensemble performance.

About us:

Founded in the spring of 2011 by Connecticut mandolinist David Miller, this ensemble brings together a talented, diverse, and like-minded group of string musicians in the Hartford, Connecticut region. Following in the footsteps of the rich history that mandolin orchestras have had in the United States, the ensemble incorporates a diverse range of plucked-string instruments, including mandolin, mandola, guitar, mandocello, and double bass. From the start, however, the focus has been not to simply create another full mandolin orchestra in the traditional sense. Rather, by keeping the numbers smaller and by incorporating several members into the group who are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, the group has been able to focus on a more chamber-like approach to repertoire, and has been able to make use of flexible instrumentation in many of its pieces.

In selecting the repertoire for the group, a process that involves input from all of the ensemble’s members, Syzygia looks to strike a balance between bringing some of the great traditional mandolin ensemble music to its audiences, while at the same time looking forward to what is current and coming next. The group looks to support that small, yet very dedicated and growing, roster of composers who are looking to explore the textures and possibilities presented by a plucked string ensemble. It is constantly seeking to encourage the creation of original music, and works to bring those compositions to its concert audience as well.

As part of its mission, Syzygia also actively seeks opportunities to educate the general public about the various instruments in the ensemble, and to promote the wonderful and unique voices of the plucked string family. Several members of the ensemble are engaged as instructors, and many have also been involved in workshops and presentations outside of the ensemble. The group looks for chances to perform for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and hopes that through its influence, more people will seek to join the ever growing community of players of mandolin and guitar family instruments.

Musicians who are interested in joining the ensemble should contact the music director, David Miller, at david@mandopelli.net, and should be prepared to complete a simple audition process.