Nigel Gatherer has been MD of EMGO since its inception in 2008. Apart from EMGO, Nigel is very active in the folk scene – e.g. giving regular mandolin, whistle and mixed instrument classes based on traditional music. Many members of EMGO “graduated” through such classes – or continue to attend his seminars in Trad music – and Nigel’s enthusiasm for getting people started on the mandolin has been, and remains, a huge source of recruitment of new members for EMGO.
Peter Siekmann has been chairman of the Mandolinen und Gitaren Orchester Dortmund (MGOD) for a good many years. He organised the very first visit of a sister group to EMGO in 2013 – a visit which was (most enjoyably) repaid in 2015. Peter collaborated with EMGO guitarist, Richard Lathe, in arrangements based on “Flow Gently Sweet Afton” – which has been performed both “home” and “away”. Through the link with MGOD, EMGO has been introduced to a number of attractive pieces. Currently the Telemann “Don Quixote Suite” is being much enjoyed by EMGO.
Per Graversgaard is Copenhagen based where he plays and teaches guitar. In late 2015, when Per took part in the Edinburgh visit by the Norwegian Mandolin Orchestra (conducted by Reidar Edvardsen), he generously also joined up with EMGO and provided a much needed sound – an acoustic bass guitar. So agreeable was this for EMGO that they persuaded Per to come back and join us at the BMG Festival in Glasgow in March 2016. Per has also generously given EMGO a number of his arrangements for mandolin and guitar orchestra. Two of these – “Creole Belles”by Scott Joplin and music from the film “La Vita e Bella” have been great favourites with us in 2017.