The Fretful Federation: Home




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. We have also been lucky enough to play with some talented soloists of other instruments.

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.

We have been selected for the Adopt a Composer scheme 2017/18. See main menu above for information.


Listen to some of our new live recordings here on SoundCloud

Check out our Facebook page


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Upcoming concerts


Apr 14 Saturday
St John the Evangelist Church, Lower Church Rd, Burgess Hill, West Sussex. RH15 9AA. 7:30pm

A return to Burgess Hill.
This time Nicola Stock and Naomi Goodall will be singing duets with us.
We will perform the trophy winning program from the recent BMG Worthing Festival.

Tickets £8 can be obtained from the Parish Office, The Town Help Point or on the door.

May 22 Tuesday
St George's Church, St Georges Road, Brighton, BN2 1ED.. 7:30pm

Once again we will be playing the Brighton Fringe as we do every year. This time we are very excited to be sharing the bill with a brilliant professional ensemble from America and we will perform seperately and together. More to follow.