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Newsletter for May 2014

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.

Come and enjoy our HCO concert on Saturday 17th May at Ferneham Hall,
then hear HSO Strings on Sunday 15th June at Waterlooville Music Festival!

From the Chairman …

This is the time of year when we are very pleased to announce the details of our concert programme for next season.

As previously announced, next season Havant Symphony Orchestra will be performing all three of its main concerts at Oaklands School in Waterlooville, which is more local to the Havant area, has more space for the larger orchestra, and has helpfully warm acoustics.

Havant Chamber Orchestra remains at Ferneham Hall, continuing our connection with our loyal audience and players in the Fareham area.  Separate season tickets will be available for the three concerts at each venue, with a further price reduction when season tickets are purchased for both venues.

We are very pleased to have three of our most popular soloists returning for next season: Viv McLean, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Richard Harwood.  We also have three new soloists: local cellist Philip Handy, pianist Cordelia Williams and violinist Savitri Grier.

We have again held down our overall ticket prices for the main concerts, except that we have slightly rebalanced the prices in one price band (downwards for Ferneham Hall and upwards for Oaklands) to ensure that all individual ticket prices at Oaklands are convenient whole numbers of pounds.

The detailed programmes for the main concerts are described in the colour brochure which is included with this newsletter.  Further copies will be available at concerts.  For those who get the newsletter by email, a PDF file containing a preview of the colour brochure is attached (at lower-resolution draft quality for email purposes and modified to fit A4 paper).

You can now apply for season tickets, preferably using the accompanying form, which can also be printed off from the Tickets page on the website.  As usual, season tickets ordered in advance will be available to collect at the 5th July concert. After that they will be sent by post, so please include a stamped addressed envelope.

There are still plenty of sponsorship opportunities for next season, especially to help cover soloist fees.  Some of our outstanding soloists have been very generous in fitting in with our budget constraints, but it would still help a lot if we could find additional sponsorship.

As mentioned in previous newsletters, moving all of the Havant Symphony Orchestra concerts to Oaklands School next season means we will need more helpers to sell tickets, programmes and refreshments at each concert!  If you might be able to help, please contact us and we will put you in touch with the existing team.

Colin Jagger will again be conducting our pre-season Popular Classics concert at Hayling Island Community Centre in September, with outstanding violinist Fenella Humphreys playing the Bruch Violin Concerto No.  Further advance details of the programme, including how to get tickets, are on the back page of this newsletter.

We have an extra event coming up next month.  Havant Symphony Orchestra was invited to perform as part of the Waterlooville Music Festival on Sunday 15th June, 7.30pm.  After investigating possibilities we decided on a string orchestra concert by the HSO strings. The programme includes favourites such as the Elgar Serenade for Strings, plus the Bach violin and oboe concerto, with David Hedley.  More details are on the back page.

Right now we are looking forward to Beethoven, Hummel and Mendelssohn in Saturday’s HCO concert at Ferneham Hall.  We are enjoying working with Robin Browning and have invited him to continue as guest conductor of HCO for the 2014-15 season.

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 17 May's Programme

at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the Auditorium by Lance Dearsley about the symphony
(but probably no Upbeat in the Meon Room)
7.00 Interlude in the Octagon Lounge
7.20 Take your seats in the Auditorium
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning
Overture ‘Egmont’Beethoven
Trumpet Concerto 
Soloist: Jon Yates
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No 3, Scottish Mendelssohn
9.30 approx End of Concert
We Wish You a Safe Journey Home

Pre-concert Talk

6:30pm in the auditorium

Our regular pre-concert talks in the auditorium provide background information about one or more of the works being performed.  For this concert Lance Dearsley will be talking about Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony.


6:30pm in the Meon Room

We’re sorry to say that our regular Upbeat team are unavailable on this occasion, and at the time of writing we have not found anyone else, so there will probably not be any Upbeat club meeting before the concert.

Pre-Concert Interlude

7:00pm in the Octagon Lounge

Enjoy our pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge, with violin and cello music played by young pupils of HSO and HCO regular players Robert and Barbara Martin.

Notes from the conductor…

Just as I’m putting together these words for the newsletter, I’ve seen the full programme for the next season - 2014 into 2015. Whilst I’m not sure if these have gone to print, or hit the website yet, I can certainly share some highlights with you. We’ve three fabulous soloists lined up with the Chamber Orchestra. A cellist with a strong local following, Philip Handy, performs the Schumann concerto with us in October - such a ravishing piece and a great shame it’s often overlooked in favour of more “exciting” cello concertos. Well-known and much-heralded pianist, Cordelia Williams, returns to HCO in February, for Beethoven’s 4th Concerto. I’m looking forward to hearing her sweet tone and brilliant passagework in one of my favourite concertos for the instrument. And, finally, in May of 2015 we welcome Savitri Grier, a violinist I’ve often collaborated with. Savitri is a fabulous young player, blessed with a sure technique and a poetic exuberance on stage. She’s subtle and refined, and has all the necessary qualities for the Beethoven violin concerto - it’ll be the third time we’ve performed the piece together. One not to miss! Other highlights of next season include three fabulous little symphonies: Beethoven No, Haydn No, and Schubert No, plus works by Mozart, Weber, Mathias, and Mendelssohn.

And of course Mendelssohn features prominently in our next concert, too. His Scottish Symphony is one of my favourites. There’s a slight melancholy, certainly in the opening movement. It’s a kind of darkness which enriches the whole work. It takes a while for this colour to fully change, finally giving way to the gentle uplifting triumph of the closing pages. It’s full of dance, and of great beauty of course, but it’s the gorgeous, darker contours and colours of the opening which draw me so deeply into it. I hope you feel the same way too.

I’ve heard that our soloist for the Hummel concerto, the wonderful trumpeter Jon Yates, has worked on the performance material (i.e. the set of musical parts) himself, having slaved over a hot manuscript for months. This is no mean feat - as you can imagine, interpreting the sketchy markings of a composer’s manuscript can be a huge headache, not to mention time-consuming. Bravo to Jon for doing this, a true labour of love - and that’s before we’ve even rehearsed a note of it! As trumpet concertos go, it’s one of my favourites - I much prefer it to the Haydn, as there’s plenty more depth, to my mind. All three movements show what the newly-invented chromatic trumpet of Hummel’s day could do, just as vibrantly now as when it was written over 200 years ago.

We open with Beethoven’s Egmont overture. Such a fabulous piece, and one of the best examples of the contrasts he could squeeze out of his music through dramatic expression. I’ve often performed this piece, but I’ll admit that it’s not the easiest to conduct. Always upsetting, when such a masterwork is so tricky! I’ve had a few of those lately, in my career: Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” springs to mind - stunning, but borderline-impossible to conduct. Whilst the Egmont overture isn’t as tough as that Mahler, it does present us conductors with a few problems, not least the main Allegro - because it lies just in the crack between being in three beats-per-bar, and one-per-bar. That’s a perennial problem for conductors - another example is the Eroica symphony’s opening movement. But rest assured I’ll give it my best shot, of course! Hopefully you won’t notice anything in the audience, just the orchestra on fine form, as always.

Robin Browning

CDs for this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Beethoven - ‘Egmont’ Overture
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich,
David Zinman (c/w the other overtures).
Arte Nova 82876578312 (2 discs, £8.75).

Hummel - Trumpet Concerto
Håkan Hardenberger, I Musici, Simon Preston
(2 discs of Famous Trumpet Concertos).
Decca 4640282 £11.70.

Mendelssohn - Symphony no.3, ‘Scottish’
Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis
(c/w Symphony no.5 ‘Reformation’).
Profil Medien PH05048 £8.75.

Sunday 15th June 2014, 7.30pm
at St George’s Church, Waterlooville

Havant Symphony Orchestra Strings

Leader: Cathy Mathews 
Conductor: Jonathan Scott

Serenade for Strings Elgar
Holberg Suite Grieg
Concerto for Violin and Oboe Bach
Soloists: Cathy Mathews (violin), David Hedley (oboe)
Waltz from Serenade for Strings Tchaikovsky
Simple Symphony for Strings Britten

(See Waterlooville Music Festival website
for details of tickets and how to get there)

Saturday 5th July 2014, 7.30pm
at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Havant Symphony Orchestra

Leader: Cathy Mathews
Conductor: Tom Hammond

Overture Le Carnaval Romain Berlioz
Marche Slave Tchaikovsky
Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor Chopin
Soloist: Karen Kingsley
Enigma Variations Elgar

Tickets  £20.00; £17.50; £14.00; £8.00
Students half price / Under 19s £1.00
from Ferneham Hall Box Office
01329 231942

Other Musical Events

compiled by Geoff Porter

Thursday 22nd May at 7.30pm
Stansted House, Rowland’s Castle
Chris Coote, piano and Friends
(including soprano, flute, and strings.)
£8 to include interval refreshments,
may be reserved on 02392 412265.

Saturday 24th May at 7.30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
James Brawn, piano at The Rotunda,
Portsmouth Grammar School,
High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Thursday 5th June at 7.30pm
Horndean Music Society
Blendworth Brass Band
at The Blendworth Centre, Horndean.

Saturday 14th June at 7.30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
Ensemble Concertante, Clarinet Quartet at The Rotunda,
Portsmouth Grammar School,
High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Saturday 21st June at 7.45pm
Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral
The Portsmouth Festival Choir in Orff’s
Carmina Burana and Lambert’s Rio Grande
with two-piano and percussion ensemble.

Saturday 28th June at 7.30pm
St. Mary’s Church, Portsmouth
Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius
by Portsmouth Choral Union and
Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir
with Southern Pro Musica.

Thursday 3rd July at 7.30pm
Horndean Music Society
Eunice Pike, piano and
Mikhail Ledzkan, cello
at The Blendworth Centre, Horndean.

Saturday 20th September 2014, 7.30pm
at Hayling Island Community Centre

Station Road, Hayling Island

Havant Symphony Orchestra

Leader: Cathy Mathews
Conductor: Colin Jagger

Overture Leonora No.3 Beethoven
Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor Bruch
Soloist: Fenella Humphreys
Symphony No 9 in E minor,
From the New World 

Tickets:  £12.00;  Seniors:  £10.00
(Season Ticket Holders also £10.00)
Students: £6.00;  Children: £1.00
on sale at Ferneham Hall on 5th July,
  at the AGM on 5th September,
then from early August
in person from HICC and
Hayling Island Bookshop Mengham,
and by post (enclose SAE, please) from
HADOS Tickets Secretary,
Meon Place Cottage, High Street,
Cheques payable to HADOS, please.

Society contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.

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