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Newsletter for March 2012

This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is provided in printed form (or e-mailed in PDF format, if requested) to players and Friends of the Orchestras.

From the Chairman …

In Saturday’s concert we can look forward to a really exciting (and tricky) programme with heart-rending melodies, high jinks, and everything in between.  Piano, harp, marimba etc will make fitting everyone on stage 'interesting' if not almost impossible!

The Friends of the Havant Orchestras have generously underwritten the general costs of this concert and Rob Blanken, Nicholas Light and Bill Clarke have helped to make it possible.  We are most grateful to them all.

We are disappointed that Alexander Karpeyev is not able to be our soloist on Saturday but in his place at very short notice we welcome Benjamin Powell.

We also learned recently that members of the Arnold Society will be at Ferneham Hall for the concert and offer them a very warm welcome.

News of progress towards the appointment of Peter’s successor with HSO will be given in the May Newsletter following more trial rehearsals which will be held shortly.

I look forward to seeing you all on March 24 for what should be a really splendid and enjoyable evening.

Tony Gutteridge
(023 9247 4681 or

Saturday 24 March Programme

6.30 Angela Blackwell talks about Sir Malcolm Arnold’s 4th Symphony in the Auditorium
and Upbeat Club in the Meon Room
also CDs, etc on sale
7.00 Interlude in the Octagon Lounge
7.20 Take your seats in the Auditorium


Overture: Cyrano de Bergerac   Wagenaar
Variations on a Theme by Haydn   Brahms
Piano Concerto No 2   Shostakovich
Soloist: Benjamin Powell
Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No 4 – Sir Malcolm Arnold

End of concert and …
A Safe Journey Home

Our Concerto Soloist – Benjamin Powell

Benjamin was born and raised in West Sussex but has lived in Manchester since 1999.  He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and later (thanks to scholarships from the MBF, DAAD, and Lynn Foundation) with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Alexander Melnikov at the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne and the RNCM respectively.

Ben won the British Contemporary Piano Competition in October 2010, and Philip Mead the Artistic Director commented that ‘...he has shown himself as a consummate musician with a transcendent pianistic technique in the service of a refined musicality.  Some of his performances during the competition were truly breathtaking.  He was a worthy first prize winner.’

Equally at home in chamber music, song, and solo recitals, Ben has performed across the UK and Europe.  His recent solo recital at the Purcell Room was highly acclaimed by Ivan Hewett in the Daily Telegraph: ‘Benjamin Powell demonstrated an immense range of tone and sound in his programme: granite and stern for Stockhausen, brilliantly light-fingered in Elliott Carter, fiery and moody for Anthony Gilbert, volcanically sensuous in Skryabin’.

Peter Craddock’s Thoughts…

When this concert was originally planned in Autumn 2010 it was envisaged that the then chosen programme would need a nice warm resonant acoustic – somewhere other than Ferneham Hall.  Alas, it proved impossible to locate such a venue on both financial and availability levels and as a result the programme was re-fashioned to suit our regular haunt. The Symphony was to have been Bruckner 6 with its cathedral-like sonorities but in its place I opted for the cleaner, brighter sound of Malcolm Arnold – his Symphony No 4.  I’d always had a particular affection for it since I heard the broadcast premiere in 1960 and have since performed it twice with HSO.  Such a wonderful engaging work – full of direct-appeal melodies, exciting climaxes and brilliantly colourful orchestration – and such fun to play and conduct.  Needless to say, the critics didn’t like it!

I also had second thoughts about the concerto – Prokofiev 3 – which on reflection would have been a bit tough for us, and probably you, too, and I chose instead the piece that Shostakovich wrote for his son Maxim to play on his 19th birthday.  What a superb, durable present it turned out to be – sparkling outer movements of tremendous vitality and drive and a central romantic slow movement that I am sure will sound familiar and have you reaching for your handkerchiefs.  Sadly our original soloist, Alexander Karpeyev is unable to undertake the engagement but we have been really fortunate to find, at short notice, a brilliant up-and-coming young pianist who hails from nearby Storrington and who performed the concerto quite recently.  Please extend a warm welcome to Benjamin Powell.

In this 50th Anniversary year, the members of the Orchestras were invited (for the first time) to nominate works they would like to see included in the programme and we have already played some of these in earlier concerts.  Rob Blanken’s suggestion of the Wagenaar Overture was a delightful surprise – I latched onto it straightaway.  What an ideal launch-point for a festive evening – heroic and romantic in style and introducing a new composer and Dutch music as a pure novelty.

Tonight’s huge orchestra has entailed a great deal of logistic planning and, even at this stage, we shall have to see whether the blueprint works and gives us playing comfort, textural balance and clear visibility for the players and you as well.

Finally, a special thanks to those instrumentalists who are playing as guests this evening.  In addition to several rank and file string players, there are new faces to be found in Double Bassoon, Tuba and a whole host of exotic percussion including Tom Toms, Tam tam, Marimba, Maracas, Bongoes and Celeste.  Also stepping in for the leader of the Violas is Tim Griffiths from Four Marks whom I first met when he led Basingstoke S O and I was called in when their regular conductor was unavailable.  Tim has since played in both our Orchestras on a fairly regular basis and to him and all the other guests I offer our warmest appreciation for their support.


in the Meon Area at 6.30pm

Dear Upbeaters!

I’m sorry that I won’t be with you on Saturday but I am trying to organise an exciting session for you all to enjoy.

It’s rather difficult as so many people are very busy at this concert but watch the website for a last minute announcement.

I’ll be back for HCO on 19 May!

Becky Hill

The Pre-Concert Interlude in the Octagon Lounge

Saturday at 7.00pm

Our planned entertainment has fallen through but we are sending out SOSs and hope for Good News by Saturday.

If they fail – more time to browse the CDs, etc and talk to friends!

Poster deliverers for Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent …

If you could donate an hour or so, just six times a year to delivering posters in these areas  the Orchestras will be very grateful: or, if you don’t live anywhere near ‘Stub’ or ‘Lee’ and you have any ideas of ways of telling folk about the concerts – perhaps a short talk to a society you belong to or simply handing out brochures or bringing friends to concerts, they will be equally delighted!

If you live in an ’un-postered’ area you would be giving even more potential listeners the chance to enjoy the concerts.

Sandra will be happy to give you more information and advice, so please call her on 023 9248 3228 or e-mail her at:

CDs for this concert

Sourced by GE

Brahms  ‘Haydn’ Variations
LPO / Marin Alsop 
c/w Symphony No 3
Naxos 8.557430  Bargain Price

Shostakovich  Piano Concerto No 2
Dmitri Alexeev / ECO /  Maksymiuk
c/w Piano Cto 1 and other orch works
EMI Classics for Pleasure 3822342   Bargain Price

Arnold  Symphony No 4
Ireland National SO / Andrew Penny
c/w Symphony No 3
Naxos 8.553739  Bargain Price

Wagenaar  Overture: Cyrano de Bergerac
This was originally recorded on Olympia OCD 504 which appears to be unavailable.  Searches on the ’net have found 3 copies of a 1990 Decca CD No 425 833-2 (but not listed in their current catalogue) on E-bay at prices ranging from £12.70 – £19.06 + p&p.


10% of Sale Price to Orchestra Funds


back by popular demand
in aid of The GOLD FUND

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

Reminiscences, please …

There have been enquiries recently about the history of the Orchestras (referred to Peter) plus requests for members’ memories and photographs.

If you’d like to help us, please send them to Tony or Sandra – e-mail addresses on pages 1 and 2 and mail addresses in the Programme Book.

We’ll include a selection of memories, provided we get some, in the July Newsletter and display photos at the concert.  (News of former members would also be welcome.)


The May Newsletter should include a copy of the BROCHURE for NEXT Season!  Please check the envelope before recycling it.  In case you haven’t noted the dates for 2012-13, they are: 22 September, 20 October, 8 December, 9 February, 16 March, 18 May and 6 July.

Musical Evenings at Stansted House

Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle, PO9 6DX

Thursday 22nd March
South Downs College Music Students – a musical miscellany  (To be attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Havant)

Thursday 17th May
Musica Spei: music for flute, cello & piano.

Thursday 13th September
The Albertine String Quartet

Thursday 4th October
Veronica Williams, soprano and Friends.

Recitals start at 7.30 pm.  Tickets are £8.00 including refreshments from Stansted Office:  023 9241 2265.

Other musical events

Music In Winchester

Baroque Music at the Guildhall
First recital Wednesday 21 March, continuing in May and June.  Brochures available at our concerts, see the link on our website or:

Winchester Chamber Music Festival
at various venues from Thursday 19 April to Sunday 22nd April.  Info as above or:

Music in West Sussex

The Consort of Twelve,
From Sunday 6th May to 30th September
beginning at Boxgrove with Crispian Steele-Perkins, trumpet.

Brochures and link, as for Winchester events; website:

Wednesday  18 April, 7.30pm
Funtington Music Group
at Chichester University
Chichester University Students’ Showcase
Guests welcome - contact  01243 378900  for details.

Chamber Music in Portsmouth

Music in the Round, Third Floor Arts Centre

Friday 4 May 7.30pmMartin Roscoe, piano
Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy

Friday 18 May 7.30pmLawson Trio
Mozart, Debussy, Brahms & David Knotts

Tickets £15 with concs: tel: 023 9284 3023.

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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