The Shetland Mandolin Band
The Shetland Mandolin Band first got together for an informal session in November 2015, with the aim of providing a setting for Shetland’s mandolin players to meet and play tunes, as well as to encourage mandolin playing in the islands. Such has been the success of the venture that the group has met fortnightly since then, with between 20 and 30 players, of all ages and abilities, regularly turning up for tunes.
The band’s first album, ‘Always on a Monday’, was recorded in Mareel’s auditorium and released in December 2017. The CD contains a selection of 18 traditional and contemporary tunes from around the world and showcases the band members’ wide-ranging influences.
The ‘community’ band continues to enjoy the support and encouragement of both mandolin players and the good people of Shetland. Current players range in age from 9 to 76 and include well-known, experienced players such as Gary Peterson (Hom Bru) and Trevor Jamieson (North Ness Boys), as well as players who have just set out on their musical journey and learn the instrument from tutor, Jenny Henry. Some members are accomplished musicians who have mandolin as a second (or even third) instrument, while others have emerged after years of playing ‘in da hoose’ to come along and enjoy tunes, usually accompanied by bass, guitars and piano.
(New members are always welcome at the band sessions in Islesburgh Community Centre. Contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for Shetland Mandolin Band’s group page on Facebook if you’d like more info.)
Photo Credit: Dave Donaldson