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Newsletter for February 2010

This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is provided in printed form to players and Friends of the Orchestra.

From the Chairman ...

A Happy New Year to everyone.  It has certainly started beautifully - even if inconveniently for many.

This newsletter comes to you earlier than usual so that we can remind you of the special extra event on Sunday 24 January when the Friends of the Orchestras present a recital by our principal viola and Upbeat leader, Becky Hill and her Friends at Newtown House Hotel on Hayling Island.  I hope to see many of you there.  Full details of the programme, the venue and how to get there can be found below.

If after meeting some of The Friends, you feel you would like to join them and make a contribution to the work of the Orchestras the minimum donation is only £5 and if you ‘join up’ at the recital we shall reduce the cost of your ticket accordingly!

In contrast to the Symphony Orchestra’s exhilarating large-scale concert in November the Chamber Orchestra concert on 6th February has a delightful fresh programme.  One highlight is the opportunity to hear our superb 1st flute Cathy Nicholson star in the concerto, then we have ever popular Malcolm Arnold, Gerald Finzi one of my very favourite English composers, and a lovely Mendelssohn symphony to finish.

As I write this the temperature is well below freezing but you can be sure of a warm and welcoming atmosphere both at Hayling Island and at Ferneham Hall.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable afternoon on 24th January and evening on 6th February.

Tony Gutteridge

Ferneham Hall, 6 February

6.30 Pre-concert talk by Pauline Buzzing about Rutland Boughton and the concerto in the auditorium – all welcome
and Upbeat Club in the Meon Area
7.00 Interlude in the Octagon Lounge
and Books and CDs Sale in the Meon Area
7.30 The Concert
Serenade for small orchestra  Malcolm Arnold 
Love’s Labours Lost  Gerald Finzi 
Flute Concerto 
Soloist:  Catherine Nicholson 
Rutland Boughton 
Interval - 20 minutes
Symphony No 1 in C minor  Mendelssohn 
9.30 approx end of concert

then have a safe journey home

Becky and Friends – who, what, where

Newtown House Hotel,
Hayling Island,
Sunday 24 January, 3.00pm

A musical afternoon with Becky Hill and Friends.

Newtown House Hotel and How to Get There

The main part of Newtown House Hotel is a very old building and is located in Manor Road, almost on the seafront at Hayling Island.  It has recently changed ownership and a function suite has been created for all kinds of celebrations and activities.  Becky’s concert will be the first classical event to be held there and we hope that it will be the first of many.

It’s very easy to get to the hotel provided you have transport - there’s no train (the Billy Line closed years ago) and the bus service is limited on Sundays - arriving at 3.07pm.  However, by car you simply turn south off the A27 at Havant onto the A3023, continue straight for about 3 miles to a roundabout just beyond the Junior School on your left; take the 2nd exit (more a fork road) and the hotel is about a mile along on the left with advertising placards on the verge and a large car park.  (If you reach the Barley Mow - you have gone too far!)  For users of satnav, the postcode in PO11 0QR.

Newtown House Hotel - A Suggestion

In addition to enjoying a musical afternoon, you could have a real celebration day by booking a table in the Hotel Restaurant for the delicious Sunday Carvery - a choice of three roasts for £7.95 - available from 12.00 noon.  Reservations are definitely necessary and can be made by calling the hotel on 023 9246 6131 and if you still need tickets for the music, you can order them at the same time.  (Friends’ tickets from Tony, please.)

Advance reports for the menu are most complimentary.

The Performers and Programme

The main players are Becky’s Nadina Quartet – Leon Spicer and Liz Cox, Violins, Becky Hill, Viola and Alison Stakim, Cello – and the guests are mainly from South Downs College

The Quartet will begin the afternoon’s entertainment with Mozart.  First - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik followed by the 2nd movement of his Piano Concerto No 21 arranged for Trumpet and String Quartet.

After the interval the mood will change ‘From Bach to the Beatles’; a selection of pieces from different periods in music including chances for the audience to choose which piece of music is played next in the programme and featuring students from South Downs College.

Tickets are £8 for Non-Friends; £6 for Friends and £5 for children, all including refreshments.  To book in advance Non-Friends can either telephone the Hotel (023 9246 6131) or Tony Gutteridge (023 9247 4681) while Friends should call Tony, please.

The Conductor’s Winter Ramblings!

written 9 January ……

Looking out over the current white frozen landscape evokes powerful images of nostalgia for me - thinking of the hard Winters in Derbyshire during my youth when life struggled on and didn’t grind to a halt after three snowflakes - lots of adventures, some hardships (how many of you have really experienced hot-aches?!) and a corporate geniality that overcame the blues.

What has all this colourful white nostalgia to do with the forthcoming HCO concert, you may ask.  Peripherally not a great deal, I answer but the link is in the power to evoke thoughts of the past - sights, sounds, smells, movement, colours, shapes.

Music, moreso than any of the other arts has, for me, the infinite capacity to tap into vibrant nostalgia.  Even when encountering a work new to the listener the ear is constantly searching for points of familiarity - hints of this or that other composer or style and the images take on even higher definition when the music is descriptive wholly or in part.  The truly original composers will transport you further than happy cosmopolitan ear-ticklings and create their own seeds of sonic nostalgia.  Apropos of all this, a little piece of piano music comes to mind, only 36 bars long, but simmering with imagery and scenic invention.  It comes from Book 1 of Debussy's Préludes and is entitled ‘Des pas sur la neige’  (Footsteps in the Snow).  Marked ‘Triste et lent’ it directs the pianist to evoke the sights and sounds of a frozen landscape with music that stumbles gently forwards and backwards in timeless mode, each step a pristine imprint of sheer originality.

I hope I’ve primed your ears into questing nostalgia during the first half of the concert.  Although most of you will hear three ‘new’ pieces by composers who have strong personal fingerprints there are points of familiarity which can guide you through the encounters.  Malcolm Arnold’s ‘Serenade’ sets out to charm with a gently rocking folk-like tune.  Some strife follows later but the opening movement ends quietly.  The second movement with its jaunty dance tune also contains mystery moments menaced by the timpani but that too dies down at the end.  The finale is sheer entertainment, some of it vaguely nostalgic but often with those strong original Arnold fingerprints.

Finzi’s incidental music is far less extrovert but each movement is a vivid picture in pastoral vein of Shakespearean imagery.  Originality there is a-plenty, but much that will jingle nostalgia cells also.

25 January 2010 will be the 50th anniversary of Rutland Boughton’s death and it is therefore fitting that we should be performing an important, very English, work by him with members of his family in the audience and using a fine soloist from within our own ranks.  The music may sound refreshing and carefree, but Cathy Nicholson assures me that the solo part is extremely difficult and taxing - which is why she has taken time off from her role as principal flautist of both HCO and HSO in order to concentrate on the concerto.  Again the music will evoke veiled nostalgia from the English folk-song era, but the themes are all of the composer’s own invention.  I can’t resist likening the magical central movement to a frozen, snowbound landscape with the same wonderful improvisational style of writing found in the Debussy Prélude.

If the first part of the concert leaves you partially out in the cold, the Mendelssohn Symphony after the interval will thaw you out completely with its warm exuberance and energetic bounding ideas.  Spring is definitely in the air, in more ways than one!

Peter Craddock


Calling all our young listeners!!!  Please come and enjoy your very own pre-concert club. There is no joining fee, just come along at 6.30pm on Saturday 6th February and join Becky Hill in the Meon Area for half an hour’s musical exploration.

Becky has chosen Malcolm Arnold and his music to research on this occasion and will be hoping to find out the answers to these and more questions with some help from her listeners:

  • Where was he born?
  • What music influenced his own composing style?
  • Did she (or anyone at the meeting) ever meet him?

Becky looks forward to seeing you there.

If you need any additional details, please contact Becky by mobile: 07966 216 887 or e-mail:

The Concert’s Interlude

At the time of going to press, details for the Interlude are still in negotiation.  Never fear, there will be music but by whom and what it will be will be a surprise!  (To the Editor as well as the listeners.)

Katya Kabanova Study Afternoon…

We’ve been very lucky to get tickets for one of the six performances of Janacek’s opera Katya Kabanova at the Coliseum in London on 22nd March for the 15 Friends of the Orchestras who signed up well before Christmas.

It’s of particular interest to Friends as Mark Wigglesworth one of our early Bob Harding Bursary Holders will be conducting the performance by ENO of this passionate and dramatic opera.

As it’s not an especially well-known score and because Janacek’s operas give special prominence to the part played in the drama by the orchestra our President Pauline has agreed to lead a study afternoon to explore the opera on Saturday, 13th March from 2.00 to 4.30 at 152 West Street, Havant.

So if you’re interested in learning more about the opera and Janacek’s music we are offering an open invitation to anyone who would like to come.  Please let Sandra (see page 4 or 023 9248 3228) know and we’ll do our best to fit you in.

There’ll be information on the opera’s background, snippets from the opera and discussion over a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

It promises to be an entertaining afternoon.

CDs for the March Concert

Sourced by GE

Beethoven  Overture - Leonora No 3
Zurich Tonnhalle Orchestra, David Zinman
c/w the complete Overtures
Arte Nova 82876 57831-2  2 bargain price discs

Brahms  Piano Concerto No 1
Emil Gilels, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugen Jochum
c/w Piano Concerto No 2 and Piano pieces Op 116
DG 447 446-2 GOR2  2 mid-priced discs

Gade  Symphony No 7 in F
Stockholm Sinfonietta, Neeme Jarvi
c/w Symphony No 2
BIS CD355  full price


Browse before the 6th February concert, during the interval and afterwards as well!

A very kind reviewer of CDs has donated a very LARGE quantity of CDs to the Society.  These will be on sale on 6 February - some at the usual £2.00 / 3 for £5.00 rate but others as a ‘Lucky Dip at just 50p each.

Many are still in their original wrappings (unplayed) while the remainder were probably only played once or twice.  There’s a wide variety of music - from known composers to practically unknown ones and familiar works to way-out ones.

100% of Sale Price to Orchestra Funds


Please donate your spare CDs for resale and support Havant Orchestras

(The full sale price will be added to the funds)

All contributions gratefully accepted at the table in the Meon at concerts or phone Peter on 023 9248 3228


Here are the dates for next season’s concerts so that you can arrange your other diary dates to avoid missing your musical enjoyment.

25 September 2010  HSO, Hayling Island 
16 October  HCO, Ferneham Hall 
4 December  HSO, ??????????
12 February 2011  HCO, Ferneham Hall
26 March  HSO, Ferneham Hall
14 May  HCO, Ferneham Hall
2 July  HSO, Ferneham Hall

By the time you have added all these, you must have noticed that there is a GAP with NO venue listed for HSO in December.  This is because we need your advice, please.

For crucial rehearsal and personnel reasons, we propose to change back to the traditional date of the first Saturday in December but this causes serious a venue problem:

  • Ferneham Hall is booked for pantomime preparation;
  • Holy Trinity Church would not have sufficient space for the Symphony Orchestra;
  • nor would any other church in the immediate vicinity.

There is just one venue that we know has enough space for the Orchestra and a reasonably sized audience plus an excellent acoustic and there’s good parking as well – Oaklands School at Waterlooville.

There are possibilities for overcoming travel problems, particularly for those Fareham-area-based and we do not want any STHs to miss what we know will be a super concert – cannot divulge the details until May so just one hint – a piano will on stage.

Please let us know as soon as possible by e– or snail-mail your reaction to this plan.

Addresses for your response:

Tony Gutteridge
23 Grove Road, Havant, PO9 1AR

Sandra Craddock
152 West Street, Havant, PO9 1LP

Other Musical Offerings

Music in the Round
New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth

Friday 29 January at 7.30pm

Ludwig String Trio: Peter Cropper, James Boyd, Paul Watkins and Bengt Forsberg, piano

BRAHMS  Piano Quartet in C minor Op 60
SCHUMANN  Piano Quartet in E flat Op 47
DVOŘÁK  Piano Quartet in E flat Op 87

Friday 5 March at 7.30pm

Red Priest

Piers Adams recorders, Julia Bishop violin, Angela East cello and Howard Beach harpsichord

The Bach Project: “Johann, I’m Only Dancing!”

Tickets £13.50, (concs) £11.00 and 20% discount for season tickets - from 023 9264 9000

Music on Sundays Christ Church, Old Market Avenue, Chichester

14 February at 2.30pm

Mark Hartt-Palmer, violin and Richard Barnes, piano

Janacek, Brahms, Bartok and other pieces

14 March at 2.30pm

The Reinecke Ensemble

Stephen Pearce, clarinet, Christopher Wellington, viola; and Terence Allbright, piano

Mozart, Finzi, Dale, Uhl and Reinecke

Tickets £8.00; students £4.00 from 01243 527425 and at the door.

Portsmouth Choral Union
St Mary’s Church, Fratton Road, Portsmouth

Saturday 20 March at 7.30pm

Brahms Requiem
Mendelssohn, Elgar and Bairstow

Tickets £12.00  with concessions from: 023 9282 2227 and at the door

Society Contact Details are at the back of the current Programme Book.

Contact information can also be found on the Contacts page within this web site.

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