WI Heritage

Credit for starting America’s interest in mandolin music is rightly given to the Figaro Spanish Students, a string ensemble that arrived in the United States on 2 January 1880.

The Students’ first American concert tour ended in December 1880. No evidence has yet been found to suggest that they performed in Wisconsin during that first visit.  With mostly different personnel, the Figaro Spanish Students returned to the US in August 1882. Their second tour brought them to smaller Wisconsin towns in January of 1883 and to Milwaukee in 1884.

1883 - Wisconsin

1884-02-18 Milwaukee Journal, p4 - Academy of Music w Journal banner
1884, the second Spanish Students tour stopped in Milwaukee, WI
two concerts
In the early 1890s, S.P Fachutar led Wisconsin into the American mandolin craze
1895 - Polks WIsconsin State Gazeteer b
Polk’s Wisconsin State Gazeteer – 1895 – page 636
BAMC i n White Shirts.jpg
The Bonne Amie Musical Circle (Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra) c. 1904 – Director Otto Strey standing to the left. Note the LARGE guitar on the right