26th March, 2017


The Breakfast Show will play a track from our album! It's the Allegro from Symphony No 1 by William Boyce.

We were chosen as one of only four amateur groups, all the others being choirs. We feel very proud to have been chosen.


Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra - Press Release: 5th March, 2012


Brighton's very own 30 piece mandolin orchestra "The Fretful Federation" brings home the silverware at the recent national rally organised by the British BMG federation. The rally took place in London this year from 2-4 march, and over 300 mandolin, guitar and banjo enthusiasts took part from all over the country.

The Fretties beat seven other orchestras from all over the UK to take first place in the senior orchestra competition for musicianship winning the most sought after prize the Federation Cup and second place in the Coronation Cup for Entertainment. They played a 15 minute suite of pieces titled "The Adventures of the Duyfken" by Richard Charlton, a modern Australian piece which tells the story of the Dutch ship Duyfken (which means little dove), the first European ship to make landfall in Australia as it journeys from Amsterdam in search of new lands. "The standard of musicianship was very high this year" said the judges. They described Brighton's piece as a "splendid sound picture".

This success coincides with the awarding of a grant by Brighton & Hove City Council earlier this year for £1,500 for new mandolins for beginners and new recruits to the orchestra. The group will make mandolins available to children in particular, and mandolin teachers within the orchestra plan to start a youth ensemble this year using these instruments. An adult beginner group is also planned.

At the rally in London, musicians from the orchestra also took part in several other competitions, winning the Francis Day & Hunter trophy for ensembles of 6-9 players, first and second places in the Clifford Essex challenge cup for quartets and quintets, and second and third places in the Clifford Essex London club cup for duos.

"it was a brilliant weekend" said Lindsay Stoner, conductor of the Fretful Federation. "Our only concern at the end was how to get home on the train with all that silverware! The trophies are beautiful silver cups that have been awarded at rallies since the early 1900s."

Our success this weekend was a fitting tribute to our founder and musical director Ian Harris who steps down this week after nearly 20 years as musical director.

You can hear "The Adventures of the Duyfken" and a varied programme of other pieces at the Fretful Federation's Brighton festival Fringe concert on Tuesday 22 may at St Georges church, Kemptown.