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.
Latest news (too late for the printed Newsletter):
We can confirm there will be a pre-concert talk in the auditorium at 6:30pm (given by Piers Burton-Page), an Upbeat Club meeting in the inner foyer at 6:30pm, and a pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge at 7pm.
Welcome to our new season!
Please join us for the HCO concert at Ferneham Hall on October 19th.
From Jonathan Scott, your new Chairman …
Our new season has started with many changes and challenges. One of the more encouraging challenges was having to print more tickets and help find more chairs (as the new “chair” man!) for our sold-out Popular Classics pre-season concert on Hayling Island with Colin Jagger, which was thoroughly enjoyed by orchestra and audience alike. An outstanding highlight was Valentina Seferinova’s performance of the Grieg piano concerto, especially the beautiful and moving slow movement.
For those of us who have been trying to take on the running of the orchestras, this was a moment of welcome relief from the near-panic of the previous weeks. We had been learning how to do many exciting new things for the first time, such as creating programmes for the Hayling concert and trying to get them printed in time, and it was enormously reassuring to see it all work out happily on the night.
It has been a serious challenge for the committee and its helpers to keep everything on track without the constant guidance and untiring assistance of Peter and Sandra Craddock.
Towards the end of last season, I took on the job of helping the committee identify and define the many different roles and tasks necessary to the running of the society. This resulted in a document (displayed on the table at the AGM) containing hundreds of items, most of which had previously been handled by Peter and Sandra. We have so far not had any rush of volunteers to help with these tasks (most of which can be split up into items requiring only a minor commitment), so one of the first things we need this season is to find more helpers – see below for more details.
As a “temporary” measure last season I started taking on some of the tasks which Sandra was no longer available to handle, such as getting tickets printed for next season, producing an “advance brochure” with a provisional programme for season ticket sales, producing the July newsletter and putting together a rehearsal and concert schedule for the new season. I had not however anticipated how much more I might need to get involved!
When Steve Bartholomew was unable to continue as chairman earlier in the year, Becky Hill (viola in HSO and HCO) enthusiastically offered to take over, so the committee appointed her as acting chairman, with the plan that Becky would become chairman at the next AGM.
However, just before the new season, Becky suddenly had to step down completely from the committee in order to take up a new work opportunity, relinquishing not only her post as acting Chairman but also as Education Liaison and Upbeat leader!
I immediately agreed to take over as temporary Chairman to prepare and run the EGM and AGM, and at the AGM I accepted the position of Chairman (in addition to my existing roles of Webmaster and Information Manager).
The “new management” is something of a family business again, in that my wife Stella Scott (cello in HSO and HCO) has very bravely taken over Sandra Craddock’s role as Administrator and primary contact for the orchestras. We are very grateful for the continuing support of the other experienced committee members.
Those of you at the AGM will also be aware that this is not the easiest time to be taking the helm of the society, as it is now in a difficult financial position and needs to make decisive changes if it is to survive. We hope that the players and audience alike will support our initiatives to give the society a viable future.
Upon taking charge, we found that several important tasks which Sandra used to handle had been accidentally overlooked, including for example appointing pre-concert speakers, and although we are making every effort to sort this out, we have not yet been able to do so. Any last minute updates will be shown on the website. (P.S. now fixed! See Programme below)
We are looking forward to an interesting season, including at least one totally new venture for HSO: a concert performance of Yeomen of the Guard with Colin Jagger at Portsmouth Guildhall.
However, we need help to make sure it happens, especially with many routine tasks such as poster distribution. See below for more suggestions about how you may be able to help us.
We would also like to hear your opinions on two matters relating to the future of the orchestras, also described below.
Do email or phone us, or speak to someone wearing a Havant Orchestras badge at the HCO concert on Saturday 19th, where we hope to see as many of you as possible!
Saturday 19 October's Programme
We are sorry that as we have not yet been able to appoint a new Upbeat leader to replace Becky Hill, we do not yet have any Upbeat activities planned for October 19th.
We hope to have a musical performance by local young musicians in the Octagon Room at 7pm, although nothing has been confirmed yet. More details will be available at the concert.
At the start of the new season, it is time for Friends of the Orchestras to renew subscriptions and for new Friends to join. Rosemary will be at the Friends’ table at the concert with a letter for the Friends.
Thoughts from the podium…
And so another season begins! I was delighted to be asked to step-in for Peter Craddock last season, although of course for regrettable reasons. And now I’m happy and honoured to embark on a full season of concerts with the wonderful Havant Chamber Orchestra. It’s a season of unashamedly popular masterpieces, peppered with some lesser known items, all with enduring appeal to you, our audience. I hope you like it.
Our opening concert features pianist Philip Martin in two diverse works for piano and orchestra, Mozart’s earliest real concerto – No 5 – and the passionate and lyrical Schumann Introduction and Allegro. Although I've never met Philip, I’ve come across his playing in various places and am very much looking forward to working with him.
Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, or “Fingal’s Cave”, needs little introduction. One of his most famous pieces, it depicts the scene (rather than telling a specific tale) of the island Staffa, and the cave of course – you can sense the swell of the sea in almost every bar. It’s a very early kind of programme music: there was no opera as with most overtures of the time – this is a purely musical depiction of a place. Liszt, and later Richard Strauss, would take this idea further. I’ve conducted the Hebrides many, many times, and use it often to teach conducting, too – but I never tire of it. Popular, yes, but also beautiful in its grandeur – and that second theme gets me every time.
Mozart’s Haffner symphony is also a great love of mine, but one that I’ve performed far less. I don’t conduct much Mozart, certainly not the symphonies, for all kinds of reasons – mainly because they’re all so hard! It’s tempting to think that Stravinsky, Strauss or Mahler are really tough to play. Well, yes they are, but Mozart always feels like one is walking a tightrope – one slightly indelicate turn of phrase and the entire movement is wrecked, and with it the whole work. One can so easily over-rehearse it, mishandle the architecture, or misjudge tempi. I always feel in awe of Mozart’s music – there is, arguably, no "purer" music (except perhaps Bach, but that’s a whole other story). The Haffner is a true masterpiece, elegant, perfectly shaped, and full of joyful tunes which seem as if they just danced out of his quill. Out of interest, in Benjamin Britten’s 100th year, if some of you are curious about recordings of Mozart symphonies, then I’ve never heard them better than in the hands of Britten. A truly stunning Mozart conductor – I can only hope I get vaguely close!
CDs for this concert
Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)
Mendelssohn – ‘Hebrides’ Overture
Mozart – Piano Concerto no.5, K.175
Schumann – Introduction and Allegro Appassionato,
Mozart – Symphony no.35, 'Haffner', K.385
Honorary Life Memberships
At the recent AGM, the committee and members present voted unanimously to award Honorary Life Membership of the society to both Peter Craddock and Sandra Craddock in recognition of their immeasurable service to the society.
Sandra has conveyed their grateful and honoured acceptance and has asked us to thank the committee and members for this kind and much valued award.
Helpers urgently needed!
Upbeat Leader and Education Liaison:
We also have many other tasks we are handling but would like to delegate to make our workload more manageable. Please let us know if you think you might be able to help us, or if you want more information about any of the relevant tasks.
1. In Peter Craddock’s words:
One of the most important features of the concerts of both orchestras is the wide range of music performed which almost always includes a ‘discovered’ work - either an unknown by a well-known composer, a should-be-known by a little known composer, or even, occasionally, a commissioned work.
This educational aspect was previously important in grant applications and in our charitable status. However, with fewer grants available that is less important and some say that these works “put people off”. What do you think – do you like encountering a new or unusual work in most concerts, or does it put you off from coming to concerts?
2. Ferneham Hall is quite expensive to use and the acoustics are not very helpful for orchestral concerts, so we are considering alternative venues such as school halls, community halls or churches. However, it has more comfortable seats than alternative locations and handles ticket selling and refreshments itself, making it easier for us to use. Do you regularly come to Ferneham Hall concerts and if so what do you think about moving them to other locations?
Please let us know what you think!
Saturday 30th November 2013, 7.30pmAt Oaklands School, Waterlooville
Havant Symphony Orchestra
Selection from Nutcracker Suite – Tchaikovsky
Buy your tickets for this concert by post from:
For ticket enquiries please call 01243 377430.
Prices: £18.00; £15.50; £12.00; £6.00; Students 50%; Children £1.00.
Other Musical Events
Thursday 24 October at 7.30 pm.
Saturday 26 October at 7.30 pm.
Thursday 7 November at 7.30 pm.
Society contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.