About FAME - the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles
Mandolin orchestras have existed in Australia and New Zealand since the beginning of the 20th century. However, it was not until 1979, when the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles (FAME) was formed, that the concept of an Australasian mandolin movement became a reality.
The inspiration leading to the establishment of FAME arose at an annual music camp held in the 1970s by the Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra in Bendigo, Victoria. The original idea was to form an organisation which could apply for grants and coordinate events which would include all the member orchestras and individual mandolin music players throughout Australia.
The objectives of FAME are:
FAME has succeeded in becoming a valuable and strong link connecting members of mandolin orchestras throughout Australia and New Zealand, and has been conducting highly successful music camps and festivals for over 35 years. As well as linking musicians from all over Australia and New Zealand, it has forged links with overseas performers and composers, thereby nurturing the growth of the local mandolin movement. The musical backgrounds of FAME's members range from folk and light popular music to classical music and their skills also range widely from beginners to professional musicians. The activities supported and sponsored by FAME include Mandolin Festivals, workshops, regular newsletters, purchase and maintenance of musical instruments, recordings, scholarships for students, and encouragement and commissions for new works by Australian and NZ composers to expand the repertoire of the mandolin ensemble.
Community involvement including regular performances by the member ensembles for charity is also encouraged. Fame has also sponsored a tour by the Australian Mandolin Orchestra to Germany in 1980 and supported the tour by the Nagoya Mandolin Orchestra including wonderful performances in Castlemaine and Melbourne in 1998. Another concert tour was undertaken by the AMO to Germany and Holland from mid to late May, 2006!