Members

Phyllis Davispd_s
Phyllis joined the orchestra as a guitar player in the early 1980s, then a few years ago she taught herself to play the mandolin. She decided to move across to the mandolin section but still keeps her hand in playing the guitar at barn dances and with John Hopes when the two of them play afternoon concerts.

jh_sJohn Hopes

Born into a musical family (grandfather singer, mother singer & pianist, father singer & flautist), John sang in choirs and as soloist for over 45 years from aged 7, commencing study of music & voice production with Prof Conway Pearson, continuing for 9 years with Robert Fredericks, both of Bristol. He sang in the Novello Players’ production of Glamorous Nights. Also he studied piano accordion with Prof Handel Lovell for at least 4 years.

Having met Jim Stevens of Bristol, a fine exponent of self-accompanied style of mandolin playing, John became most interested and studied music & history relating to this enchanting instrument. His particular interest is in ensemble playing and he was for several years mandola player with ‘Savante Mandoliers’ under direction of Madame Underdowne of Cotham, Bristol. John was also with ‘Percy Poole Serenaders’ and joined Bristol BMG Club as mandolinist until their demise in early 1970s.

In mid 1970s John was a founder member & musical director of Fingers & Frets and has continued to date. He has over the years made contact with mandolin interests in Italy and collected examples of music, information and instruments of the mandolin family.

 

 

Having left F&F to pursue a solo interest of playing guitar and singing, I returned to the fold in 2006 and am thoroughly enjoying playing again with these excellent musicians.

po_sPeter Oldham

Peter works abroad most of the time in the poorer but sometimes more exotic parts of the world. He first heard of the mandolin while reading Captain Corelli on a train in India. When being posted to Pakistan’s North West Frontier he decided he would teach himself to play the mandolin to help while-away the long evenings. He bought an old round-back for £60 but after a week the neck broke. A local furniture-maker glued it back together and for further strength, Peter bound it with string.

This was the instrument he brought with him when he joined Fingers & Frets to play 2nd mandolin in August 2000. He continues to carry it around the world and we hope it serves him well in Afghanistan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABill Smith

Bill started to learn to play with members of the Bolton BMG Club after attending one of their concerts at a very tender age. Everyone in the club orchestra played a banjolin and Bill’s came with him to Bristol in the 1960s and, in the intervening years, came out of the wardrobe for a couple of hours each Christmas! Pleased to be introduced to F&F in 2006, he is now busy re-learning, arthritic fingers and all!

JOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAune Smith

June is Fingers and Frets’ Treasurer and joined the orchestra in the 1980s as a guitarist, but since 2003 has been indulging a passion for mandolin with encouragement from John Hopes! She originally studied piano but was lured to strings at the age of 12, taking up classical guitar and developing an interest in folk, electric and jazz guitar over time and studying theory and technique with Mike Watson.

celiaCelia Wells

Celia has recently joined the orchestra. Hopefully she’ll be writing a paragraph or two soon about her mandolin playing.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other members.

diana_woodDiana Wood

Diana grew up in a musical family and her grandfather played the mandolin. That mandolin lay idle at home for decades but curiosity led her to find out more about playing it, and coming across Fingers and Frets gave the incentive! Earlier experience learning violin and piano, as well as choirs and school orchestra, all proved very useful when taking up the mandolin in the spring of 2011 and many happy times have been had with the orchestra since.

bg_sBarbara Grove

Barbara joined the orchestra so long ago that she can’t remember when but thinks that it was soon after Tony’s arrival!! The trouble is, if you go to Tony’s page you’ll not be any wiser as he hasn’t yet written his profile. Barbara didn’t actually write this so the ‘editor’ has decided to do some updating herself in the hope that it will prompt more members to put pen to paper!

pete_bryantPete Bryant

Pete has recently joined the orchestra.

Hopefully he’ll be writing a paragraph or two soon about his guitar playing.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other members.

tim_sTim Scullard

Tim has recently joined the orchestra.

Hopefully he’ll be writing a paragraph or two soon about his guitar playing.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other members.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASandra Woodruff

Sandra joined Fingers & Frets early in the 1980s after learning to play the guitar through Soundwell College adult evening classes at Longwell Green Community Centre. Sandra organised several trips to Denmark for the orchestra to take part in the Ballerup Music Festival and also the return visits of the Danish Mandolin Orchestra Magiba.

Sandra is secretary of the National Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar (BMG) Federation committee. If you’re interested in finding out more about the BMG Federation, go to the Links Page and you’ll find it listed under ‘Instrument Related Stuff’.

tc_sTony Counter

Tony is rather vain as he insisted on having a new photo taken for the updated website. He has been with Fingers & Frets for so long that his hair has turned grey.

Tony is Chairman and tries to keep orchestra members in order at the Annual General Meeting.

 

 

 

mlo_sMike Lock

Mike has been secretary of the Fingers & Frets for several years now and takes all the bookings for concerts and barn dances.

Peter Jenkins

 

Peter has recently joined the orchestra.

Hopefully he’ll be writing a paragraph or two soon about his banjo playing.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other members.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeter Cox

Peter came along with his English Concertina to help out at a Barn Dance and has been with the orchestra ever since!

He is very active on the concertina front and is involved in various festivals and events.

mike_williamsMike Williams

Mike has recently joined the orchestra.

Hopefully he’ll be writing a paragraph or two soon about the cello.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the other members.

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