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


We always welcome new members of whatever standard including complete beginners. We have instruments to lend and teachers to help. If you would like to find out more see our Contact page or just come along on a Tuesday evening between 7.30 amd 9.30 at St George's Church, Kemp Town, Brighton and see what we have to offer.


Listen to some of our new live recordings here on SoundCloud

Find videos on our Resources page.

Check out our Facebook page


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Upcoming concerts


May 21 Tuesday
St George's Church, Kemptown, Brighton. 7:30pm

Back again at the Fringe with our new program which will include a performance of "the other ocean" written by Esmeralda Conde Ruiz and featuring film provided by Screen Archive South East. Find more about this on our 'Adopt A Composer page.
Also on the program, a wide range of music spanning 16th - 20th Centuries, including Portuguese Fado, and the Brook Green Suite by Gustav Holst.
Do come for this unique experience.

Tickets from Brighton Fringe Box Office or on the door...

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