Canberra Mandolin Orchestra
The Place for Plucked Strings in the National Capital
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Canberra Mandolin Orchestra Home Page


Home of the finest (and fun-est) plucked orchestral music in the National Capital !


Photo by Michael Szabo


Formed in 2003, the CMO brings together players of mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar and bass. It keeps alive the rich tradition of the mandolin groups that emerged in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. The CMO's repertoire includes original Australian compositions, ritzy tunes from the dawn of the jazz age, light classics, film themes, world folk music and popular tunes. The orchestra meets every Monday evening at the Hellenic Club in Moore St, Civic. New players are always welcome and we provide tuition at the same venue from 6 pm each Monday (see below). We can also provide instrument loans for beginners.



The last FAME Festival was held in the national capital, Canberra, in January 2019 and was a huge success. For more information on the next festival to be held in Adelaide in January 2020 visit


The main activity of FAME Festivals is a week of intensive rehearsing in preparation for the performance of a concert for the public on the Saturday evening before the Festival concludes. Interspersed with rehearsals of the Festival Orchestra are social events and outings, in-house concerts in which the various orchestras or small ad hoc ensembles or individuals perform for the other Festival participants. Jam sessions are known to happen at sporadic intervals



  • Improving your skills on the mandolin, mandola, mandocello, bass or guitar?
  • Playing a wide range of musical styles from folk, ethnic and classical music through to ragtime?
  • Playing and practising with a group of like-minded musicians who enjoy playing together?
  • Performing in concerts at a variety of musical venues?

The Canberra Mandolin Orchestra is keen to encourage new musicians to join its ranks. Why not come along and be part of an enthusiastic, well known and popular group of musicians?


We conduct beginner sessions for prospective and new members at 6.00pm every Monday night at the Hellenic Club in Civic. You'll get expert guidance on playing skills, repertoire, sight reading and more. For more information Ian Bull on 02 6231 5974.


The CMO rehearses at the Hellenic Club in Civic each Monday starting at 7.30pm.



Mandolins pluck the music of 'After the War' millions
at Goulburn's Hume Conservatory

The music brought to Australia by more than four million immigrants between 1945 and 1985 will be showcased at a concert by the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra at the Hume Conservatorium on Friday 18th October 2019.


In the final concert in the 2019 'Homegrown' series at the Conservatorium, the massed mandolins, mandolas, mandocello, guitars and bass will play folk, popular and light classical music from Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Russia, Spain, South America and beyond.


The popular 'Homegrown' series showcases artists with links to Hume Conservatorium and the local community and in this instance features one of their own in tutor Tony Stuart.


CEO / Artistic Director, Paul Scott-Williams said the 2019 concert series has been a great success, with the Goulburn community coming out to support their local musicians in many different genres throughout the year's events.


With three of the four concerts this year featuring Hume Con tutors, it has been a wonderful opportunity for students to watch their teachers on stage working as professional musicians; and a nice change for the tutors from being in the audience watching their students perform!


The Canberra Mandolin Orchestra was formed in 2003 and brings together players of many instruments. It works like a string orchestra except that mandolin family instruments are plucked and not bowed.


Orchestra leader Ian Bull said the concert, dubbed "After the War" was virtually a practice run for an album the orchestra is planning to record early next year.


"We have been very lucky to be awarded a grant from the Capital Arts Patrons Organisation (CAPO) to produce the album featuring the wonderful range of music that washed onto Australia's shores after the Second World War and especially the music of the communities who settled in the Canberra region," he said.


The mandolin originated in Italy and was mentioned in Australian playbills as early as the mid 1800s. A "banjo, mandolin and guitar festival" was held in Sydney on 27 August 1896. The first official orchestra was established in Sydney in 1932 and there are now mandolin ensembles in nearly all Australian capital cities.

Don't miss this opportunity to see them live in concert here in Goulburn in October.


Hume Con are currently looking for submissions from local musicians, and those with a local connection, to be part of next year's Homegrown concert series. Interested performers can contact Hume Con for further information.


Tickets for the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra concert are $20 for adults, $15 for concessions/members and $10 for children.


They are available at or by calling (02) 4821 8833. There will be limited tickets available at the door.






Next Performances

We're finalsing plans for more interesting and entertaining concerts. We're also working on our first CD which will be released later in the year. So please revisit this page soon !


Every Monday, 7.00 pm, Hellenic Club, Moore St, Civic.


Beginner sessions start at 6 pm. New players welcome at any level. Call 6231 5974