WMQ was founded at the turn of the century (um, the most-recent one) to apply the quartetto classico version of the mandolin quartet to a completely new repertoire. Whatever your preconceptions are about what a mandolin quartet is like, forget them.
We are thrilled to be offering our first CD, "The Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet." Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The current, and founding, members of WMQ are: Ellen Cohn, mandolin; Colin Healy, mandola; Betsy Rome, mandolin; and Gary Wikfors, mandocello.
Gary had acquired a chronic itch to arrange music for mandolin quartet, and eventually a mandocello and mandola to do so. After experimenting with multitrack recordings, Gary felt the need to impose this affliction on some musical friends. Betsy likes to joke that this is the first band she was invited to join by email.
All WMQ members are playing out of their normal elements in this group: Betsy is a well-known flatpick guitarist anchoring the bluegrass-swing quartet "Too Blue," Colin is a fiddler and multi-instrumentalist at the center of the "Ash Creek String Band," Ellen is a sought-after accompaniest of traditional Irish and Quebecois tunes on piano and guitar, and Gary usually plays the wee-little mandolin with "The Fiddleheads" and others.
WMQ made its public debut in 1999 at the NOMAD festival in Newtown, CT. Since then, we have played other folk and traditional-music festivals, coffeehouses, concerts, apple orchards (?), and private events. To be honest, we have some trouble getting past the "Mandolin quartet? No, we don't do THAT kind of music!" reaction. So, we hope this site helps people re-define what "THAT kind of music" is and consider including this in their events.
WMQ very-much enjoys entertaining at private events and at festivals and coffeehouses. We infuse our arrangements with a healthy dose of humor and especially appreciate it when audience members leap to their feet to "sing along" with our instrumentals!
Not classical. Motown, TV themes, surf, O'Carolan, hard rock, traditional Swedish... A common response is "I can't believe you can play that on mandolins!"
Antique Gibsons and a late-model Nugget.