The aim of the British BMG Federation is to promote the performance and education of banjo, mandolin and guitar. It is committed to creating educational opportunities for players of all ages to learn and improve on their chosen instruments through running workshops and courses and advertising courses run by other individuals and organisations.
The Festival is one of the main events in the BMG Federation’s calendar and takes place every other year. It is a weekend event with a social and friendly atmosphere and is an exciting opportunity to meet other players, attend workshops, enter competitions and browse traders’ stalls.
The Summer School is the other main event that the BMG Federation organises. This is an annual residential weekend, usually in June, offering courses for banjo, mandolin and guitar.
Frances Taylor – President
When I became Vice-President of the British BMG Federation in 2014, I reflected upon the two things in my life which I am so passionate about and which also happen to be the objectives of our organisation: promoting the performance and the education of the mandolin and other plucked instruments.
From the very first moment I heard the mysterious and evocative sound of the mandolin I was mesmerised. I wanted to make that sound for myself and I wanted to share it with other people. But finding the music was altogether more complicated. It seemed that music shops in the early 1980s didn’t stock anything besides Ranieri’s Method and the Vivaldi mandolin concertos. Consequently, I attended evening classes at the local university and studied how to unearth lost and forgotten music. At the same time, I travelled throughout the country visiting music clubs, churches, art galleries, restaurants and any other art space that would have me, even though at first, I didn’t really have any original repertoire. And then came a few serendipitous events. I started playing at the Royal Opera House and I had the opportunity to study in Italy with Ugo Orlandi. But searching for music and giving voice to the soul of the mandolin is only half of the story. I have always been an enthusiastic educator, running a 14-year mandolin project in three London schools, currently having a thriving private teaching practice, not to mention all the workshops, courses and mandolin projects I have been involved in up to now.
So, it is a privilege and a huge honour to be asked to step up now into the role of President and to continue supporting and encouraging our shared dreams and future achievements. I look forward with great excitement and anticipation to the next chapter in our story.