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This is a summary of recent changes and additions to this website, with links to more details further down the page or elsewhere on the site.

17th October 2021 HSO November Concert tickets

Tickets are now available on TicketSource for the November HSO concert

Covid-19 precautions will be in effect, including distancing between separately booked tickets.  There will be no pre-concert talk and no refreshments will be provided during the interval, although audience members are welcome to bring their own refreshments. 

We are working within government guidelines to ensure that the event is as safe as possible.  However, we should point out that Covid-19 infection, hospitalisation and death rates are still high and neither the usual precautions nor vaccines are 100% effective, especially against the delta variant.  Any audience member or player attending this event will be doing so at their own risk. 

19th September 2021 HSO rehearsals update
Rehearsal arrangements for the HSO November concert have had to be revised because our normal rehearsal venue at The Pallant is not suitable for rehearsing a full orchestra with Covid-19 precautions.  Players are advised to check the rehearsals page for the latest information about rehearsal arrangements. 
18th September 2021 HCO October Concert tickets

Tickets are now available on TicketSource for the October HCO concert

Covid-19 precautions will be in effect, including reduced audience and player numbers and distancing between separately booked tickets.  Further details will be provided closer to the event. 

We are working within government guidelines to ensure that the event is as safe as possible.  However, we should point out that Covid-19 infection, hospitalisation and death rates are still high and neither the usual precautions nor vaccines are 100% effective, especially against the delta variant.  Any audience member or player attending this event will be doing so at their own risk. 

Some regular players (including ourselves – Jonathan Scott, chairman, and Stella Scott, administrator) are not currently willing to participate in concerts at this stage because of the risks, not just to themselves but to any other contacts, and because they feel that it is unwise to be encouraging indoor gatherings of any sort while the Covid-19 rates remain high.  Although we do not want anyone to feel pressured into participating if they are not comfortable with the risks, it is clear that many others wish to resume musical activities as soon as possible, and we hope that this special strings concert will be enjoyed by players and audience alike. 

3rd September 2021 HCO October Concert changed

The October HCO concert has been changed to a smaller event because of the continuing risks associated with the Covid-19 delta variant, especially as many of our players and audience members are old enough to be still quite vulnerable even after full vaccination.  The concert in memory of Brian Howells originally scheduled for this date will be rescheduled to a later date, in the hope of making it possible to hold it once player and audience numbers no longer need to be restricted. 

The replacement concert will consist of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, with violin soloist Laura Rickard, plus some other string works.  To minimise risks, there will be no pre-concert talk and no interval.  Arrangements for buying tickets will be announced soon, but the cost is expected to be £15.

16th August 2021 AGM postponed

We would normally have held our orchestral society AGM at the first HSO rehearsal, on Friday 3rd September, which has had to be cancelled.  We are therefore postponing the AGM in the hope of being able to hold it normally later in the season, although this will mean it will take place outside the normal period specified in our constitution.  As the orchestras did not have any concerts last season, there is in any case very little to report, but we are legally required to hold an AGM and then submit our accounts and Trustees’ Report to the Charity Commission by May 2022. 

Last year, the Charity Commission granted permission for such meetings to be held online even if this was not specifically mentioned in the constitution, but this permission expired at the end of March 2020, which is why we held our AGM online during March last year.  This year we would prefer to have a normal meeting if possible, but if we are unable to do so safely before May we will hold it online again this year.  The Charity Commission say that they will normally be understanding about any actions which are not covered by the governing document but which are taken for health and safety reasons, provided that this is made clear in the society records. 

When the AGM details have been decided, society members (playing members and season ticket holders) will be informed in writing (by email or post) at least 21 days before the AGM date, as specified in our constitution. 

16th August 2021 Hayling Concert cancelled

The Covid risks remain high because of the delta variant, requiring continuing precautions such as additional ventilation and social distancing for any indoor event, but our rehearsal and concert venues do not have the space to enable such precautions for a full orchestra, even with reduced string numbers.  We have therefore concluded that it is necessary to cancel the Hayling concert scheduled for September 18th, although it is still possible that we may be able to find time for it later in the season. 

Although we cannot see any immediate possibility of scheduling a concert, we are aware that some players would still like to get together in smaller numbers, for example to play string orchestra music together, so we are investigating the possibility of using some rehearsal dates for this purpose, if enough players are interested. 

1st August 2021 Update on plans for 2021-22 season

The good news is that we have been working behind the scenes since February to put together the 2021-22 season’s programme of Havant Orchestras concerts, and we have an exciting full schedule arranged, including soloists, as shown on the Concerts pages on this website. 

The bad news is that, although the government has lifted many restrictions, it seems extremely unlikely that the Covid situation will be safe enough to proceed with this programme for quite some time, given the alarming figures since the delta variant became dominant and the surprising decision by the government to continue reducing restrictions when the science suggests it should be strengthening them. 

  • The daily number of new cases is very high, and although it has dropped back from a recent peak not far short of record levels for the UK, there is no sign of it going away yet.  For the young adult age group, it has already exceeded previous record levels. 
  • The effectiveness of the vaccines against the delta variant is far short of that which would be needed to prevent rapid spread with normal levels of contact.  Although vaccination generally reduces the severity of disease and improves the speed of recovery, for the delta variant it only gives a small reduction in the risk of symptomatic disease or transmission. 
  • Removing restrictions can only make things even worse. 
  • There are still many young adults who are not yet fully vaccinated, and will not be even by the start of September. 
  • Many of our players and audience are old enough that even with vaccination the delta variant is a serious risk. 
  • Covid-19 is a very unpleasant disease, and has nasty long-term side-effects for many, even the young. 
  • Our rehearsal and performance venues do not have space to allow social distancing of a full orchestra. 
Scientists have also pointed out that with such a large number of cases and a population which has partial immunity through vaccination, the dominant strain will soon be whichever strain is least slowed down by the vaccinations, so the UK is becoming a breeding ground for vaccine-resistant Covid, and the situation is therefore likely to get even worse.

We have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of our players and audience members.  On that basis, although we have a season’s programme planned, we are not expecting to be able to proceed with it until a major improvement occurs in the Covid situation, enabling the committee to make the appropriate risk assessment and approve opening up.  We are of course desperately hoping for a miracle, but there seems little hope of resuming operation on the normal schedule.

We have had the concerts planned for some time, but had not published details because we were hoping for more certainty.  We have now decided that all we can do is publish what we originally planned, but although the concert details appear on this website, we will not be opening up bookings for season tickets or individual concert tickets until we reach a point where the risks are considered acceptable.  An online preview of the 2021-22 season brochure is available on the Concerts page, but we have not sent it for printing as it may need to be modified.  We will continue to review the situation and publish updates here when anything changes. 

At present we are still considering what level of risks might be acceptable, but the latest government ONS survey statistics (for 24th July 2021) show that about 1 in 65 of the population of England have active Covid-19, probably with at least half of them being unaware of it.  Even those who have tested positive often get a test because they have symptoms, which only occur after the time when they are most infectious.  That means for example that in a random group of 45 or more people[1], there is a more than 50% chance that at least one has Covid-19, and a high chance that they are not aware of it at the time and are carrying on as usual, which is definitely very far from safe. 

[1] The probability of no-one in 45 people having Covid when the current rate is 1 in 65 is (64/65)45 which is about 49.8%.

21st March 2021 Plans for 2021-22 season

Given the very gradual government schedule for lifting the pandemic precautions, it is clear that even if everything goes to plan it will not be possible to resume normal orchestra rehearsals until 21st June at the absolute earliest, and quite possibly some weeks later.  We have therefore assumed that it will not be possible to resume any orchestral activities within the current season, not even for a bursary audition, as the schedule is too uncertain. 

We are therefore provisionally planning to resume in September 2021, at the start of HSO’s 60th anniversary season, with our usual full programme of six main concerts (three each for HSO and HCO), plus pre-season popular classics.  The expected concert (and rehearsal) dates are shown on our Future Dates page, so players are asked to note the relevant dates in their diaries.  We hope to make the HSO concert on 2nd July 2022 a particularly special event to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of HSO (whose first concert was in July 1962). 

We also definitely intend to have another family concert, as our last one was extremely popular, but we have not yet determined the details, including the date. 

In normal years, we needed to prepare the programme and brochure for the next season in time to announce it at the May HCO concert, so season tickets could be ordered from that point and picked up at the July HSO concert.  Those constraints do not apply this time, and although we are already starting to plan the season, we expect to hold back from announcing and publishing any plans until we have a reasonable level of confidence that we will be able to proceed with them. 

4th September 2020 We recently heard the very sad news that Terry Barfoot passed away from cancer on 12th August.  Terry had been a close friend of Peter Craddock and a strong supporter of the Havant Orchestras almost since their very beginning, giving pre-concert talks and writing programme notes for concerts by both orchestras.  After Peter’s retirement, Terry generously continued to supply us with programme notes from his extensive collection and write new ones when necessary.  We were delighted that he was able to come along and speak at the Peter Craddock Celebration Concert in March 2019.  He will be sadly missed. 

A profile of Terry appeared on Music in Portsmouth in April this year: https://musicinportsmouth.co.uk/noticeboard/profile-terry-barfoot-lecturer-and-writer/

23rd May 2020 At the end of the Family Concert, back in March, concert, young listeners were invited to take away a competition sheet and return it to us with their answers with a chance to win a Paddington bear.  The winners were contacted some time ago, but we can reveal now that there were three winners – Sophia, Maddie and Madeleine!  See our blog entry Paddington winners! for more details, including the competition answers and pictures from the concert. 
6th April 2020 Brian Howells, leader of HCO We were devastated to hear of the death from Covid-19 of the leader of Havant Chamber Orchestra, Brian Howells

Brian was in hospital in Poole on life support for 12 days but tragically lost the battle against the virus on Sunday 5th April 2020.  His wife, former principal cello of HCO, Amanda de Jong Cleyndert, was with him at the end and he requested to hear ‘Metamorphosen’ by Strauss in his last hours. 

Appointed Leader of HCO in 1997, Brian had a distinguished career as Principal Second Violin with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and before that the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and New BBC Orchestra in Bristol.  He played with many local professional ensembles including Southern Pro Musica and was also in great demand as a leader of amateur orchestras. 

Brian’s technical skill and musicianship, his passion for music and his sense of humour in rehearsal will be greatly missed by all who have played with HCO over the years. 

30th March 2020 We have now concluded that we also need to cancel the HCO concert at Wickham Community Centre on Saturday 16th May, and of course the preceding rehearsals. 

This is because the government has recently warned that coronavirus restrictions on leaving home are expected to continue for at least two or three months and social distancing even longer.  Also, the Wickham Community Centre is now closed until further notice. 

Tickets will be refunded as necessary.  The Tickets Secretary will contact season ticket holders and attempt to contact anyone who purchased individual tickets directly. 

17th March 2020 Concert cancelled!  Following new government health advice (as of 16th March) to “avoid non-essential social contact” to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the HSO concert at Oaklands School on Saturday 21st March, and the rehearsal the previous evening. 

Tickets will be refunded as necessary.  Those who purchased tickets online via TicketSource will be notified via email and the tickets will be refunded automatically.  The Tickets Secretary will contact season ticket holders and attempt to contact anyone who purchased individual tickets directly. 

Players will need to return their music promptly as some of it is hired.  Arrangements for how to do this are being notified by email. 

Unfortunately it is very likely that this extremely sad situation will also impact further concerts and rehearsals.  We will update this website whenever we have any new information, and post a link to it on our Facebook feed. 

14th March 2020 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for March 2020 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 21st March. 
16th February 2020 Our popular family concert on 8th March has proved to be very popular indeed!  We are sorry that tickets are already totally sold out so some families have been disappointed.  We looked into repeating the same concert shortly afterwards but we found that too many key players were unavailable, which is not surprising as our concert dates are normally planned many months in advance.  We hope to have more family concerts in future seasons, and we will try to allow for multiple performances to enable more families to attend. 
15th February 2020 Last Saturday (8th February) we had our first full HCO concert of this season, which was in Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, because Ferneham Hall is now closed for refurbishment.  We enjoyed the excellent acoustics and Mikhail Lezdkan’s excellent cello playing. 

Here’s a very complimentary review of the concert which Lara Jelliff posted to Music In Portsmouth:
Review of Havant Chamber Orchestra playing Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Haydn

The orchestra had to squeeze rather tightly into the available space so the front row of the audience ended up very close to the players, which was somewhat uncomfortable both for them and for the players.  (The first row of pews had been removed to increase the space, but the second row is fixed to pillars).  For any future concert in that church, we have therefore decided that the central front pews will need to be left empty, even though this will further limit the audience capacity. 

1st February 2020 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for February 2020 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, on Saturday 8th February. 
12th December 2019 HSO players please note that the first rehearsal of 2020 on Friday 10th January is at St Joseph’s Church Hall in West Street.  See the Rehearsals page for more details and a map link. 
29th November 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for December 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 7th December. 
24th October 2019 To avoid browser warnings about the website being "not secure", we have turned on secure access, and any requests using the plain text http protocol are now automatically converted to use the encrypted https protocol instead.  This should not make any difference to most users except to remove the warnings, which were mostly unnecessary anyway as the website does not currently store any information entered by users.  However, users of very old browsers (for example the standard Android browser or Samsung Internet app in old mobile phones) may however find that they can no longer access the website unless they use a more modern browser such as Chrome. 
12th October 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for October 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HCO strings concert at Fareham URC church, on Saturday 19th October. 
22nd July 2019 We are delighted to announce that the Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary for Young Conductors for the 2019-20 season has been awarded to Avi Taler, nominated by the Royal College of Music.  All four of the audition candidates were of an excellent standard and it was difficult to choose one, but we felt that Avi had a slight edge in experience.  We are eagerly looking forward to working with him during the season. 
22nd July 2019 We were very sorry to learn that our long-time supporter Beryl Harding passed away recently.  Beryl was the widow of Bob Harding and together with Peter Craddock set up the Bob Harding Bursary award for Young Conductors in 1987 in his memory.  Beryl was also a very keen supporter of the Havant Orchestras, being Chairman of the society for a while and Friends’ Secretary for many years.  We plan to continue the excellent bursary scheme, and we have decided to rename it to honour Beryl’s memory, calling it the “Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary for Young Conductors”. 
16th July 2019 The Havant Symphony Orchestra brought their season to its conclusion with an ambitious and challenging programme of masterpieces, which were performed with great commitment and skill.… See our Reviews page for a link to Terry Barfoot’s review of the HSO concert in the Portsmouth News. 
5th July 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for July 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 13th July. 
10th May 2019 2019-20 season announced! 
Full details of the Havant Orchestras concert programme for the 2019/20 season are now available on this website, together with information about booking season tickets.  As there are still more concerts in the current season, the main Concerts and Tickets navigation buttons at the top of page will still take you to the current season’s details for now, but you can then select the button on the right for next season's details. 

Printed brochures and season ticket forms will be available at concerts, and brochures will also be made available via other locations such as local libraries and information centres. 

In addition to the main concerts, we also now have details of our ‘Popular Classics’ concert by Havant Symphony Orchestra at Hayling Island Community Centre on 21st September 2019. 

10th May 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for May 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, on Saturday 18th May. 
15th March 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for March 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 23rd March. 
15th March 2019 Now that the celebration concert is over, we felt that a good way to ensure Peter Craddock’s name continues to be associated with the orchestras was to create the Peter Craddock Memorial Fund to contain the donations that enable the orchestras to develop and flourish.  See our new Supporting page for details. 
6th March 2019 Here's a review of our special concert, by Stuart Reed, for Music In Portsmouth: A celebration of the life of Peter Craddock
27th February 2019 Players please note that further details about the rehearsals for the Peter Craddock celebration concert (including approximate times for each work) are now available in the Additional information section on the Rehearsals page. 
2nd February 2019 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for February 2019 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, on Saturday 9th February. 
27th January 2019 HSO players please note that the rehearsal on Friday February 1st is for the Peter Craddock Celebration concert, and that there is a normal HSO rehearsal on Friday February 8th (even though that is the day before an HCO concert).  See the HSO rehearsal information on the Rehearsals page for more details. 
15th December 2018 HSO players please note: there will now be a rehearsal on Friday 11th January at Hayling Island Community Centre (because St Faith's is unavailable).  There are also some other changes to the rehearsal schedule.  See the HSO rehearsal information on the Rehearsals page for more details. 
23rd November 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for December 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 1st December. 
6th November 2018 We now have a Havant Orchestras blog!  You can use the "Blogger" link on the Welcome page to visit the blog or sign up to the blog to receive automatic updates by email.  Stella Scott has written an article about the Pallant Hall service last Sunday, for which the Havant Orchestras provided a string quartet to play along with the hymns. 

The blog is running on Google's Blogger service, at https://havantorchestras.blogspot.com/.  New articles can be created by the Havant Orchestras authors, but anyone with a Google account can currently add comments. 

29th October 2018

Peter Craddock Celebration Concert

There will be a special afternoon concert by the combined Havant Orchestras on Sunday 3rd March 2019, 2.30pm, at Oaklands School, to celebrate our memories of our founder and outstanding musical director for 50 years, Peter Craddock, BEM, who passed away in 2017. 

We are extremely grateful to former Bob Harding bursary holders and current distinguished conductors Mark Wigglesworth and Toby Purser for their help in setting up and conducting this concert, and to our current bursary holder Stefano Boccacci who will be conducting the last movement of Maurice Blower’s Symphony in C, for which Peter prepared and conducted HSO’s World Premiere performance in 2008.

The concert will include the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, with local star cellist Richard Harwood who will be joined by distinguished violinist Duncan Riddell.  More details can be found on the programme page.  Further information about ticket prices and how to obtain tickets will be added soon. 

Current and former members of HSO and HCO are being invited to join in the performance, and others who knew or worked with Peter are also being invited to attend the concert as guests.  The rehearsal schedule is shown on the Rehearsals page in the public part of the Members section. 

5th October 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for October 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, on Saturday 13th October. 
27th July 2018 We now have a biography page with more information about our new bursary student conductor Stefano Boccacci.  The works which he will be conducting in each HSO concert are now indicated on the relevant concert pages. 
16th July 2018 We are delighted to announce that the Bob Harding Bursary for Young Conductors for the 2018-19 season has been awarded to Stefano Boccacci, nominated by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  We enjoyed his audition rehearsal immensely and look forward to working with him during the season.  Further information about Stefano and the works he will be conducting will be added to our website soon. 
13th July 2018 Here's a review of the recent HSO concert, by Stuart Reed, for Music In Portsmouth: Review: Havant Symphony Orchestra Summer Concert: “a scorcher”
29th June 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for July 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 7th July, and Stella's thoughts on her recent trip to Berlin. 
22nd May 2018 Here’s a glowing review of the recent HCO concert by Stuart Reed for Music In Portsmouth: Review: Rose Hsien and Havant Symphony Chamber Orchestra’s May Concert
11th May 2018 Stella Scott, Havant Orchestras principal cello (and HADOS administrator), will not be at the HCO concert on 19th May, for an excellent reason!  Stella will be rehearsing for a concert conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in Berlin, having successfully auditioned to join an international amateur orchestra called the BE PHIL orchestra for a performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 on 21st May as part of an Open Day arranged by the Berlin Philharmonic. 

Stuart Reed has written an article about this event for Music In Portsmouth

11th May 2018 Here’s a preview article by Stuart Reed for the next HCO concert: Preview: Rose Hsien and Havant Chamber Orchestra’s May Concert
11th May 2018 2018-19 season announced! 
Full details of the Havant Orchestras concert programme for the 2018/19 season are now available on this website, together with information about booking season tickets.  As there are still more concerts in the current season, the main Concerts and Tickets navigation buttons at the top of page will still take you to the current season’s details for now, but you can then select the button on the right for next season's details. 

Printed brochures and season ticket forms will be available at concerts, and supplies of brochures will also be made available in the Ferneham Hall foyer and via other locations such as local libraries and information centres. 

In addition to the main concerts, there is also our usual ‘Popular Classics’ concert by Havant Symphony Orchestra at Hayling Island Community Centre on 22nd September 2018. 

11th May 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for May 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert with Rose Hsien at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, on Saturday 19th May. 
19th March 2018 Here’s a review of the recent HSO concert by Stuart Reed for Music In Portsmouth: Review: Havant Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert
10th March 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for March 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HSO concert at Oaklands School, Waterlooville, on Saturday 17th March. 
3rd March 2018 Here’s a preview article for Music In Portsmouth by Stuart Reed about the next HSO concert: Preview: Havant Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert – Liszt, Dvorak and Mussorgsky
2nd March 2018 The HSO rehearsal today, Friday 2nd March, is cancelled because of the snow.  We are hoping to contact everyone involved by email, text or phone. 
24th February 2018 The Portsmouth News recently published an article about local orchestras (including the Havant Orchestras) as the main story in its Weekend Magazine:  Classical music is Bach in fashion as orchestras grow.  The article includes discussion with Stella Scott (Havant Orchestras administrator and HSO/HCO principal cello) and input from Stuart Reed (HSO violin).
27th January 2018 The Havant Orchestras Newsletter for February 2018 is now available, including additional information about the HCO concert at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, on Saturday 3rd February. 

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