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.


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


Sep 26 Tuesday
Sayers Common Church, Sayers Common, West Sussex. 7:30pm

We will be joined once again by soprano, Nicola Stock and flautist, Kathy Rogers.

All details can be found at the festival website.

Oct 20 Friday
Crowborough Community Centre, Pine Grove, TN6 1FE. . 7:30pm

This will be our second visit to the Crowborough Community Centre where we hope to entertain another excellent audience. Local sopranos, Nicola Stock and Maria Porter will be joining us. Featuring work by Monteverdi, Delibes and many others.
Tickets £8 are available from
Also from The Community Centre, on the door or from Wardrobe dress shop in Crowborough High Street.


Mar 2 Friday
Davison High School, Worthing. 5:00pm

We will be hosting the BMG Festival over this weekend as well as taking part in it.
More details to follow in due course.