Wren Music 

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Mandolin Orchestra Of Devon (MOOD)





Meets:   Ebenezer Hall, North Street, Okehampton,EX20 1AR 


Time and Date:   Saturdays 2pm to 5pm – see Calendar 


Leader:   Matt Norman 


Contact:   matt@mattnorman.org 


Cost:   Term fee = £60 (4 sessions) and by the session = £20 / £15 concessions (Please note that concessions are available for people in receipt of income-related benefit and those in full-time education - please bring proof of status)


Pay Online: Go to 'Shop'


Resources: - music scores and MP3s are available to group members - a link will be supplied by group leader



Group info ...


MOOD is a friendly group of plucked string enthusiasts who come together once a month to make beautiful music. Our repertoire ranges from Early Music through Baroque and Classical as well as folk tunes and some fun pieces. Because the mandolin is a relatively rare instrument it is unusual for mandolinists to get an opportunity to play together. The idea of this Orchestra is to bring players together to meet each other, to learn specific mandolin repertoire, and to develop technique and expertise.













MOOD is open to players of all sizes (and shapes) of mandolin, from piccolo to mando-bass, as well as closely-related instruments such as bouzouki. We also include bass instruments and finger style guitar (playing melodies). Each session will begin with a workshop focussing on elements of technique and answering participants' questions. Then we will learn and rehearse pieces specially written for mandolin ensemble. Repertoire will be drawn from the 'golden age of mandolin orchestra' as well as arrangements of new and traditional pieces. It will be helpful to be able to read music, but not essential for those whose sight reading is not so good .

Parts will cater for a range of abilities - basic knowledge of your instrument required. All ages are welcome - minimum age 14 years old.

The golden age of the mandolin orchestra: In the early twentieth century the mandolin had something of a golden age. Across the country there were ensembles springing up in every major town, some were a mixture of banjo, guitar and mandolin, others were mandolin orchestras; Mandolin orchestras were modelled on the classical string orchestra, with first and second mandolin, mandola, mandocello, and even sometimes the rare mando-bass. Some orchestras played to a professional level, but many were amateur groups who met socially and played at local events. A large corpus of music was written for these ensembles; specially written for these instruments it displays their best qualities. With the lessening in popularity of the mandolin this music has largely been forgotten; although its style is old fashioned it has a charm of its own and represents the pinnacle of music written for plucked string instruments.


MOOD is directed by Matt Norman from Wren's team of ace musicians and workshop leaders. Matt is gaining a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading lights of the new generation of Devon-based folk artists. He is an innovative and entertaining musician, exploring traditional and contemporary English music as a performer, arranger, composer and songwriter. His imaginative approach to repertoire is complemented by his virtuosity on the mandolin. He has developed a unique style on the instrument, using rich textures and dramatic contrasts. Over the past couple of years Matt has regularly performed at major folk festivals in England and Europe, including the Sidmouth and Baring-Gould Folk Festivals. His CD Eight Days Late (Wren CD007) has been well-received by lovers of acoustic folk music. 



Example score and MP3 for the Mandolin Orchestra