The Hampton Trio performs original music and arrangements for ensemble of mandolin, mandola, and classical guitar. Inspired by the groundbreaking work of groups such as Trio Nuovo (Japan) and Trio Chamorro (Spain), the Hampton Trio’s goal is to popularize and add to the existing repertoire for this instrumentation. In addition to their trio repertoire, the group’s programs often include classical guitar duos by Mark and Beverly Davis, and mandolin solos by Robert A. Margo.
The members of the Trio also perform in the New American Mandolin Ensemble and have appeared in plucked string music festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA.
About Hampton Trio Members:
Mark M. Davis, madolin: Mark Davis has played mandolin and guitar professionally since 1976. Initially involved with folk and rock music, Mr. Davis began classical instrumental studies with Hibbard Perry of Providence, RI, continuing his studies with Robert Paul Sullivan of the New England Conservatory, and later becoming a protégé of the German guitarist/conductor Siegfried Behrend, studying at his annual summer classes in Bavaria and performing and recording under his direction with the Deutsches Zupforchester (National German Mandolin Orchestra).
He was active through the ‘80’s and ‘90’s with his pioneering mandolin and guitar ensemble, the Mair-Davis Duo, giving their debut in Weill Recital Hall and performances in Japan, Europe, and New England. Besides recording arguably the first LP of concert music for guitar and mandolin duo (“Music for Guitar and Mandolin”, 1980), the group produced many other CD’s including the Grammy nominee “Vienna Nocturne” (chamber music for mandolin, guitar and strings). Numerous composers, including Ernst Krenek, Guido Santorsola, and Stephen Funk Pearson wrote and dedicated works for them.
In 1989 Mr. Davis assumed the role of Music Director/Conductor of the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, a group that dates back to the first decades of the 20th century. Under his direction the group has been recognized as one of the top plucked string ensembles in the US with a reputation for featuring new works. The PMO has performed in Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, has produced three CD’s, and has performed over 75 original contemporary works, many of these written for the PMO.
Since 2001 Mark Davis has worked (as both classical guitarist and mandolinist) in a duo with the guitarist Beverly Davis, recording their first CD, “Ayres and Dances for Two Guitars” in 2006. They travel widely and have performed in Europe, Australia and the USA.
In 2011 Mr. Davis was guest conductor at the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles(FAME) annual mandolin festival in Perth, Australia. He also conducted the premiere of Phil Moloso’s “Kindertoten II for 12 guitars and narrator” in Phoenix, AZ; conducted the revival of Steve Jobe’s medieval folk-rock opera “Joan of Arc”, has directed the Festival Orchestra at the Classical Mandolin Society of America’s annual conventions, and was guest conductor at the 2012 Carlo Aonzo Manhattan Workshop for mandolin.
Mark Davis feels that today is the true “Golden Age’ for plucked string instruments because of the impressive number of new pieces being written for these instruments, and in 2013 formed the New American Mandolin Ensemble (NAME) with the goal of presenting original contemporary works for plucked strings in the USA and abroad. NAME has performed in Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands as well as the USA, and was a featured ensemble at both the Classical Mandolin Society of America’s Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon (2015) and Eurofestival Zufpmusik 2014 (Bruchsal, Germany).
Mr. Davis is in demand as a teacher and workshop leader. As well as teaching classical guitar at the University of Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts University, he developed the classical guitar ensemble program at The Wheeler School in Providence, RI. He was a founder of the American Mandolin and Guitar Summer School (Bristol, RI), which he helped direct for many years. He has presented various workshops for the Classical Mandolin Society of America on subjects as diverse as The New Repertoire for Plucked Strings; Playing with Musicality; The Mandolin Works of Victor Kioulaphides; and The Care and Feeding of the Modern Mandolin Orchestra.
Robert Margo, mandola, madolin: Robert Margo is an accomplished performer on classical guitar, classical mandolin, mandola and renaissance lute. He studied classical guitar with William Newman in Philadelphia and with John Johns in Nashville, and in master classes with Sergio Assad and Manuel Barrueco. He has given solo and duo performances on classical guitar in Nashville and in Boston, and also regularly accompanies singers. On renaissance lute Margo studied with Catherine Liddell in Boston, and taken lessons with Paul O’Dette, Ronn McFarlane, and Nigel North.
An avid fan of new music for plucked strings, Margo has commissioned pieces from Clarice Assad, John Goodin, Francine Trester, and Frank Wallace. Twice a prize-winner at the national performance competition of the Classical Mandolin Society of America (CMSA), Margo frequently writes articles on mandolin topics for the CMSA’s quarterly journal. Margo’s arrangements for solo mandolin and for mandolin ensemble have been performed by Chris Acquavella, the Baltimore Mandolin Quartet, the CMSA En Masse Orchestra, the Dayton Mandolin Orchestra, the New Expressions Mandolin Orchestra, and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.
Beverly Davis, classical guitar: Beverly Davis has been involved in plucked string ensembles since the 1980’s when she studied classical guitar with Reed Desrosier and performed with the Keene State Guitar Orchestra, one of the first such ensembles in the USA to tour internationally. She continued her work with the Providence Mandolin Orchestra. As President of that organization she has organized numerous international tours and directed the 2001 International Festival of Mandolins in Providence, Rhode Island. She has performed as a duo with Mark Davis since 2001, and as guitarist in the New American Mandolin Ensemble since 2014.
International concert tours have taken Beverly Davis to the Festival Mandolines de Lunel (France), Eurofestival Zupfmusik (Germany), Festival Ciudad de Cristal (Spain), the Sydney FAME Festival (Australia) and the Festival Internacional de Plectro La Rioja (Spain)
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