The Fretful Federation: Home

The Fretful Federation, Brighton's Mandolin Orchestra


On 16th March 2014 we returned from Bristol with the BMG Coronation Trophy for entertainment.



Hello and welcome to the Fretful Federation's website. Find here information about who we are, current and past events, resources and how to contact us.

Brighton's very own mandolin orchestra currently has 25 players from Brighton and the surrounding areas. The group was founded in 1995 by Ian Harris with the goal of reviving the tradition of mandolin orchestras, which were hugely popular in the UK up until the 1930s. In April 2012 Ian passed the Musical Director baton to Lindsay Stoner.

Originally playing pieces typical of mandolin orchestras from the beginning of the twentieth century, the Fretful Federation has always been expanding and developing its repertoire. We now play a wide range of material including exciting contemporary music by living composers, as well as classical and popular pieces and concertos, and have collaborated with other mandolin orchestras, choirs and the Early Music group The Pastores Ensemble.

The music is written in part form for mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, mandobass, percussion and guitars. We welcome new recruits playing any of these instruments or their relative bowed cousins -- the violin family -- from beginners to advanced players. We perform concerts all over Sussex and have toured abroad.

Listen to some of our new live recordings here on SoundCloud

Check out our Facebook page

Latest news from the Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Rally here :-


Upcoming concerts


May 11 Sunday
All Saints Chapel, Darley Road, Eastbourne BN20 7PE. 3:00pm

A return visit to this lovely venue with guest appearance of classical guitarist, Sam Brown ( Our set with Sam will include work by Carulli, Boyle and Naslund. This will also be a chance to hear our exciting prize winning program from the recent BMG Orchestra competition.
Tickets priced £8/£6 are available from

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May 20 Tuesday
St George's Church, Kemptown,Brighton,East Sussex,BN2 1ED. 7:30pm

This year's Brighton Fringe Concert will include a colourful mix of Baroque/Classical works, contemporary and traditional mandolin orchestra music, and popular melodies. We are delighted to welcome back guest soloist, Sam Brown, as well as an appearance by The Brighton Youth Mandolin Ensemble. - See more at:

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