Mark E. Freemantle has been playing fretted instruments since the age of six when his father showed him how to play his first 3 guitar chords, then handed him a Mel Bay guitar method book. As a teenager he spent a brief period attempting to play in a rock band but abandoned that effort when he acquired a 12-string acoustic guitar. His family obtained a 1912 Gibson F2 mandolin upon purchasing a home from a retiree who no longer planned to play the instrument. During his college days he was able to take both a 12-string guitar and a mandolin with him on a ten-week tour of Germany for the U.S. Army Chaplin Corps while performing with a contemporary Christian music group. He continues to play 12-string guitar in his church's praise band and is also a neophyte jazz guitarist. In March of 1995 he had the opportunity to hear Marilynn Mair perform and immediately joined the local mandolin and guitar orchestra in Arlington, Virginia [www.mandoleers.org]. He switched from mandolin to mandocello a few years later. He has served as the orchestra's webmaster, mandolin and mandocello instructor, digital librarian and is a former president of the organization.