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Newsletter for March 2009

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 ...

Those of you who came to the February HCO concert will no doubt have noticed that the Viola principal was not Sheelagh Bridgman.  We had no time to make an announcement as she only withdrew the night before.  However, no-one realised how ill she was and we are very sad to tell you that she died less than a week later.

Sheelagh had been the leader of the violas in the Chamber Orchestra since it was founded in 1965 and was also a founder member of the Symphony Orchestra.  Her funeral at Bosham was attended by many who had played with her over the years, some of whom provided a most moving musical accompaniment to the service.  In recent years I have been privileged to play chamber music with Sheelagh and have appreciated her deep musical understanding, her modest firmness and her quiet sense of humour.  She will be greatly missed by us all.

Our sympathies go out to her husband Mark and their family.

This concert contains a lively mixture of delightful music.  Sibelius’ unfamiliar Scènes historiques are great fun and it is always a great pleasure to welcome Richard Harwood as soloist.  The Lalo Cello Concerto is another discovery for me and most attractive it is too.  We have been fortunate to enjoy the solo part in rehearsal played beautifully by Stella, our section leader.

As Peter explains below, we shall sadly be without our Bob Harding Bursary Holder, Jessica Cottis at this concert but look forward to her valuable contribution to the July concert.

We shall have a large contingent of special guests with us on Saturday to whom we all owe a very large vote of thanks for their support.  The Friends of the Orchestras are supporting the general expenses of the concert; David and Allison Goodall have sponsored the hiring costs of the music for the Sibelius; the Bedhampton Charitable Trust has made a donation towards Richard’s performance of the Lalo and an anonymous Season Ticket Holder’s donation has covered the purchase costs of the score and parts for the concerto.  Our grateful thanks to all these kind people and we hope they will enjoy the Orchestra’s and Richard’s performances.

If you have access to the internet do take a look at our website which our webmaster, Jonathan Scott, has recently considerably expanded.  If you click on the ‘About’ button and then ‘Information’ you will be able to access a list of all the works we have ever performed, all the soloists who have ever played with us and all the Bob Harding Bursary Holders.  We would welcome your comments on the site so that we can continue to develop it.

Time rushes on and at the next concert we will already be presenting next season’s programme but for now do enjoy the concert and all the extras – pre-concert talk, CD and book sale, chat with friends and for the younger ones of course, Upbeat.  See you there.

Tony Gutteridge

Ferneham Hall, Saturday 28 March

6.30 Pre-concert talk by David Goodall which he has called “An Extraordinary Meeting of the Finnish Historical Society” in the auditorium – all welcome.
7.00 Books and CDs for Sale in the Meon
7.30 The Concert
Overture Merry Wives of Windsor  Nicolai
Scènes historiques  Sibelius
Cello Concerto in D minor 
Soloist: Richard Harwood 
Interval - 20 minutes
Symphony No 3, Rhenish  Schumann
9.35 approx end of concert

... then have a safe journey home

The Pre-Concert Interlude

At present (Wednesday 18th) this has not been arranged but there are possibilities.  However, if you can suggest a small group of young musicians who would like to play from 7.00-7.20 pm on Saturday, please contact Sandra straightaway (see Contacts page).  Free concert tickets for the players and companions!

Notes from the Conductor ...

I’m sure it’s been apparent to most of you that I’ve been suffering from a degree of discomfort recently.  It’s time for me to come clean – if only to scotch any  further rumour regarding ‘too much drink’ (it may be true, but it’s not showing yet!).  The fact is I am awaiting a second hip operation which will hopefully obliterate severe leg pains, the anguish of standing and the wobbly nature of my gait.  I now have a provisional date for the op in mid-April so thankfully I won’t miss Saturday’s concert.  However, the May HCO date may well find me out of action.

Our Bob Harding Bursary Holder, Jessica, was to have shared the conducting with me on Saturday and I was really looking forward to joining you in the audience for the second half and listening to Jessica conducting Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ Symphony.  Sadly, Jessica has not been at all well and is still very weak from her illness, so she and I decided it would be best if she didn’t have Saturday’s commitment to worry about but re-gathered her strength in time for the July HSO concert.  We all wish her a speedy recovery to her livewire self and look forward to her rejoining us next term.  This now guarantees a REAL front seat for me in the Schumann – and I do mean ‘seat’.   No pressure, then!

There is so much to enjoy in Saturday’s programme from Nicolai’s wonderfully inventive Overture through the excitement, mystery and majesty of Sibelius in pageant mode to the lovely eloquent cello concerto of Lalo – with Richard Harwood as our distinguished soloist.

What a treat in store!

Then the quasi-programmatic Schumann with its five strongly contrasted movements and moods will provide us with the ultimate challenge.  Clear articulation, and balance of textures will be required to cut through Schumann’s sometimes opaque orchestration – but it can be done (Despite what some carping critics say) and when it does factors like melody, harmony and colour are at their zenith in this inspired piece.

Peter Craddock

A message for The Friends

Dear ‘Friends’

The concert on Saturday forms our sponsorship for this season and musically looks to be another enjoyable evening.

Making a return to play the Lalo concerto is ‘home grown’ International Soloist Richard along with his lovely cello.  You are invited to join the Chairman, other sponsors, Richard, and members of the Committee for a drink during the Interval.

I am hoping to arrange another Friends Social Event and am in the throes of following up some ideas at present.

I’ll keep you posted!

I look forward to seeing you all at Ferneham Hall on Saturday.

Kindest regards,

BH, Friends’ Secretary.


Hello Everyone!

We have great plans for UPBEAT in the new season and are getting organised NOW!

To this end, lots of our young members will be gathering information from concert goers on Saturday.  The young ones will be asking for your help and we hope you will give them the details we need to plan a really exciting programme starting in October.

As a taster, please encourage all young and young-at-heart musicians to join us  at 6.30pm on Saturday to hear about and try ‘The Woodwind Family’.  We are a friendly bunch and would like lots more young, interested-in-classical-music, people to enjoy our meetings.

Don’t forget, tickets cost just £1.00 a concert for all under 16s and under 19s in full-time education.  That must be a bargain!

Waiting to see you on Saturday.

Becky Hill
Upbeat Leader and principal viola, HSO.

Important Announcements


Only two STHs have pointed out the discrepancy on the date for the next concert on the Season Tickets.  We hope that you will come to the concert on:

Saturday 16th May

as detailed in the Programme Book and not trust the date on your ticket.


In a very strange series of events, we have been unable to locate either our set of parts or any other set in the UK for Dello Joio’s Arietta programmed for May and so Peter has chosen to insert Sibelius’ Romance in C which is in a similar vein but slightly longer.  No doubt if the Arietta’s parts re-appear it will be included in a future season.


As a result of the change in rules for visa holders in the UK, our soloist for 4th JULY, Andrew Brownell has had to return to America and will not be able to play Brahms’ 1st Piano Concerto with HSO.

We have been fortunate to book another very talented pianist for the date but it will involve a (?small?) change to the published concerto.  The new soloist whom we shall announce in the next Newsletter will be playing Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto - and so will HSO!

Looking Ahead to Next Season

Our article about the programme book in the last issue produced only two replies (both positive) - so what do we deduce from that?  Presumably that means you are all very happy with the varied styles of our programme note writers.  If you would like to make a comment, there is still time so please don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to see in the programme.

Comments, as before, to: Tony or Sandra and Peter, please - after the concert! by email or post (see Contacts page for contact details).

We Need a ‘Think Tank’!

We’re always looking for ways to develop the range of activities we offer to our audiences and supporters, and we’re developing a ‘Think Tank’ to help us do this. Would you like to be part of it?

We’re particularly focusing on three aspects :

  • Bringing in new listeners and players
  • Ensuring that our finances stay healthy so that our programmes can continue to be as exciting as they are now.
  • Finding new ways of developing links with young players and listeners


  • If you think you can suggest (and help set in motion!) ways of alerting the ‘don’t know about the Havant Orchestras at Ferneham Hall’ group;
  • If you have a special talent that would help us achieve ‘full houses’ for all our concerts;


  • If you’d like to be part of the discussions of how we can move forward -

Please contact our President, Pauline Buzzing (see Contacts page), or speak to Sandra or Tony in the Interval at the Table in the Octagon Lounge.

May Study Afternoon

Last year, we ran a successful Study Afternoon, looking and listening at two works in more depth than is possible at a pre-concert talk.  This year, our President Pauline Buzzing invites you to another Study Session on the afternoon of the May concert, starting at 2.00pm in the Octagon Lounge at Ferneham Hall.

The main part of the afternoon, from 2.00 until 4.15, will focus on Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 (May Concert), and the Brahms Piano Concerto No 2, to be played on July 4th.  There’ll be time to look at the background to the works, and to explore the themes and their development.  No previous musical knowledge is necessary, and there will be opportunities for discussion.

Some people will want to have a break before the concert, and stop at this point, but for those with stamina and interest, we hope to have a further session until 5.00, looking at Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, which opens the May concert, and doing a bit of score reading.

Please book as soon as possible and additional details will be available on Saturday.

Contact details are in the printed newsletter, or alternatively contact Sandra (see Contacts page).

CDs for the May concert

Sourced by GE

Beethoven  Overture: Egmont
LSO  /  Kertesz  c/w Violin Concerto, Brahms’ Violin Sonata No 3
BBC Legends BBCL 4217-2   Full price

Larsson  Pastoral Suite
Helsingborg SO / Okko Kamu
Swedish Orchestral Favourites collection
Naxos 8.553115 - Bargain price

Bruch  Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor
Yehudi Menuhin / Philharmonia / Susskind
c/w Mendelssohn Concerto
EMI Great Recordings of the Century
566902-2  Mid price

Sibelius  Romance in C for strings
Gothenburg SO/ Jarvi; c/w Symphony No 2 in D
BIS  BIS CD 252  ?Mid price

Gade  Symphony No 4 in B flat
Stockholm Sinfonietta/Jarvi c/w Symphony No 3
BIS  BIS CD 338  Full price

CDs, Books, Music & Scores FOR SALE

Browse before the concert, during the interval and afterwards in the Meon Area

10% of Sale Price to Orchestra Funds

News of Previous Bursary Holders

Andrew Gourlay (06-07) conducted the chamber orchestra with the RCM Orchestra and Chorus at the College on 5 March in a performance of Britten’s War Requiem.

Ben Pope (91-92) will be the soloist with Horsham SO on 20 June in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 21, K467 at The Capitol, Horsham.  The programme is completed by Strauss’ Overture Die Fledermaus and Dvořák Symphony No 7.  Tickets (£12/£10/£5) from 01403 891356

Other Music in our Area

Sunday 29 March, 2.30pm

Christ Church, Old Market Avenue, Chichester
Consort of Twelve Chamber Ensemble

“Mr Handel’s Hautboys”

Visitors’ tickets £7.00.  Information: 01243 786124.

Saturday 4 April, 7.30pm

St Paul’s Church, Northgate, Chichester
Chichester Symphony Orchestra

Overture The Hebrides  Mendelssohn
Kol Nidrei 
Soloist: Raymond Greenlees
Vltava (The Moldau)  Smetana
Symphony No 3, Rhenish  Schumann

Tickets £9; cons £7; under 16s free from Bastows Classics 50a North Street and at the door.

Thursday 23 April, 7.30pm

The Assembly Room, Chichester
Zephyr Ensemble of London

Music for Wind Quintet by Arnold, Haydn, Milhaud, Ibert, Holst and others.

Tickets £14 from Chichester Festival Theatre, 01243 781312

Friday 24 April, 7.30pm

The Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth
Pavel Haas Quartet

Quartet No 1  Janacek
Quartet No 2  Haas
Quartet in G, Op 106  Dvořák

Tickets £13.50/£11 concs. from 023 9284 3757

Friday 8 May, 7.30pm

New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth
Hélène Tysman, piano

Partita No.1 in B flat  Bach
Sonata in C minor  Schubert
24 Preludes Op.28  Chopin

Tickets £12, £10, £8 & concs from 023 9264 9000

Society Contact Details are on Page 46 of the Programme Book.

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

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