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Newsletter for December 2010

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 ...

We (the players) are all very excited with the anticipation of giving a concert in the new surroundings of Oaklands School Hall after our rehearsal there earlier this month.  Those who had not played there before (and that must have been the majority) were amazed at the space, the warmth of welcome from the staff and the so-much-more-friendly acoustic.  We were very pleased to have a small audience for the rehearsal made up of Committee members and friends of players.  They, too, were enthusiastic about the Hall and especially the sound quality.

All in all - very happy smiling faces were the order of the evening!  We are sure that you will enjoy our music-making there on Saturday and urge all of you who have not yet bought tickets to take the plunge right now and telephone Margaret on 01243 377430 to make sure of your seats - and encourage your friends to do the same!

We are delighted that we shall be honoured with the company of the Mayor of Havant, Cllr Mrs Yvonne Weeks and her Consort, Mr Brian Weeks on Saturday.  We offer them both a very warm welcome and hope they will enjoy their evening with us.

There are some things you need to know about Saturday which you will find below so please read on and I look forward to seeing you on The Day.

Tony Gutteridge
(023 9247 4681 or

So … come and enjoy the evening’s Events and Music!

6.30 Pre-concert talk for ‘grown-ups’
and Upbeat Club for younger listeners
7.00 Interlude
plus … Book, Music and CD Sale
7.30 The Concert
Overture Froissart  Elgar 
Suite ‘Summer Days’ 
(Conducted by Sam Draper)
Eric Coates 
Piano Concerto in A minor 
Soloist  Cordelia Williams 
Symphony No 1  Nielsen 
9.40 approx   end of the concert

Notes from the Conductor …

I don’t remember having devised a specific Anglo-Scandinavian programme before but this one wasn’t a conscious goal, I assure you.  The four works just materialised out of the musical ether at the time of conception – when thoughts of instrumental forces, playability, contrasts of new and old, serious and light, popular and unfamiliar music all strive to come together with a coherent recipe that will attract players and audience.  Sometimes it’s very hard work doing the balancing but this one came together without hindrance from those many regulatory factors that go into the process.  I do hope you find the musical flow of the evening natural and pleasing – and the contrasts stimulating.

Elgar’s early Froissart Overture is really just a large-scale March interlaced with passages of the composer’s more romantic inclinations.  (Did you watch the amazing profile of Elgar on TV recently?)  For this first major orchestral work the Worcester musician shows himself to be a master of instrumentation – as if he were born to it.  He doesn’t hold back with technical demands either, as our string sections will testify, and what is even more startling is the presence of the real, familiar Elgarian style – not in infancy but full-blown.

Eric Coates’ charming Summer Days Suite provides an admirable foil to the ceremonial Elgar and presents  a challenge of an altogether different kind to Sam Draper, our returning Bursary Holder who will conduct it.

You can’t get much more popular than the Grieg Piano Concerto whose sometimes over-familiarity tends to hide the originality, national identity and musical urgency of the piece.

I was delighted when that wonderful pianist Cordelia Williams agreed to be our soloist, even more so when I discovered that the Grieg is very dear to her heart.

Nielsen in the 2nd-half will sound refreshingly different.  Like Elgar in Froissart the composer’s handprints are clearly discernible in this early symphony from his use of modal folkisms, rapidly fluctuating but persuasive key changes, repeated-note chatterings and bouncy dotted-note rhythms.  All are there, albeit in embryo compared with the later, tougher symphonies.  I am certain that you will encounter much to captivate and excite in this youthful piece.

As for the second movement, Lance Dearsley feels that ‘melancholy rules’, but I believe that the movement has an inner radiance which we have not yet attained in rehearsal but are getting nearer and by the time of the performance ……

Peter Craddock

Information for Saturday 4 December

Before you get to the Hall ….

… if you are coming from A/M27 remember the exit from the A3(M) is JUNCTION 4.

When you are in Stakes Hill Road, it’s the 2nd school on the right and there will be a steward with a torch at the entrance.  If you get as far as the roundabout, go round and back, then the school is about 100 yards on the left.

If you have mobility problems, tell the steward and you will be directed to a suitable parking space.

Inside the Hall ….

… you will see familiar faces!  Margaret will be selling tickets; Rosemary will looking after programmes; Tony, Sandra, Beryl and Geoff will be on hand and there will be lots of other folk to show you to the locations of toilets(!), drinks, pre-concert talks and music, CD and book sales and THE CONCERT!

Refreshments …

… will be served from 6.30 in the Foyer and the Dining Hall and in the interval. There will be tea, coffee, fruit juices, red and white wine and water on sale at very reasonable prices.  Wine will be £2 a glass, water comes with the Society’s compliments, the remainder will be 50p a cup or glass.

To save time during the Interval, please purchase your drinks vouchers before the concert.

This is a public event and alcohol is served under the normal licensing rules.  Your co-operation will be appreciated.

Unfortunately it proved too complicated to organise nibbles and drinks after this concert.  Hope to organise some in July!

Pre-concert Talk, at 6.30 …

David Goodall on Nielsen and Grieg – ‘Things Danish’

Pre-Concert Interlude at 7.00 …

… will be played by Students at Oaklands Catholic School. 

The details are subject to confirmation, so full information on Saturday. 

UPBEAT CLUB! at 6.30 …

ELGAR and his music!

Come and try on his moustache!… find out about his famous money (yes! not monkey!)… as well as playing his music… and learning about his life!

Join Becky Hill for the answers.



Browse before the concert, at the interval and afterwards as well!

10% to Orchestra Funds!

Programmes, programmes!

If you were unable to come to the October concert, please make sure that you bring your Programme Voucher with you on Saturday.  It should still be attached to your Season Ticket, but if it’s not a careful search is advised!

Thank you …

… to the Headmaster of Oaklands Catholic School for agreeing that the Orchestra could play in the School’s Hall again.

We also thank everyone at the School who has been directly involved in the planning and preparation of Saturday’s concert which has been achieved with cheerful goodwill.  This has been greatly appreciated by the Society’s representatives.

We look forward to a superb concert and thank the additional volunteers from the Society for their generous help.

CDs for this concert

Sourced by GE

Elgar  Overture Froissart
Philharmonia / Andrew Davis
c/w Symphonies 1 & 2
Signum SIGCD 179 2 mid-priced discs

Coates  Suite Summer Days
New Queen’s Hall Light Orch / Coates
c/w By a Sleepy Lagoon, London Suite
Naxos 8.110173  Bargain price

Grieg  Piano Concerto
Lief Ove Andsnes / Berlin Phil / Jansens
c/w Schumann Piano Concerto
EMI 557562-2  Full price

Nielsen  Symphony No 1
San Francisco SO/ Blomstedt
c/w Symphonies 2 & 3, etc
Decca 460 985-2  2 mid-priced discs

News from The Friends

On Saturday 20 November, Geoff Porter presented his first event for The Friends.

It was held at Denvilles House in Havant and began with a delicious informal finger buffet prepared by the chef, Sam.

Geoff followed this with a very interesting and informative talk about St Cecilia the patron saint of music (whose day it was) which he accompanied with excerpts from various composers’ works written in the Saint’s honour.

The very appreciative company enjoyed the event very much and agreed that more occasions in a similar format would be most welcome, either at Denvilles House or in a larger space and locality so that non-Friends could also be included.

Angel Radio

Have you heard of Angel Radio?  Do you listen to Angel Radio?  The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 101.1 FM and on line at  The studio is at 17 Market Parade, Havant PO9 1PY and the station has won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

There are more than 70 volunteers who keep it running and one of these is our Friends’ Secretary,  Geoff Porter who is a man of many hats (as you will learn in coming months as he becomes ever more involved with the Orchestras!)

As a regular presenter Geoff has already recorded 200-plus programmes of light music for the station.  His 25-minute ‘slots’ are on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm and Sundays at 10.30 am. He has just completed writing and recording four programmes featuring some of the music of Sir Edward Elgar.  The first programme will include HSO’s performance of Wand of Youth Suite No 2, recorded at Ferneham Hall, which will probably be broadcast next year.

Our Orchestras are regularly mentioned in the ‘What’s On’ programme and there’s a Request programme where you could ask for your favourite music to be played.  Do ‘tune-in’ if you have not yet experienced our local Radio Station.

Former Bursary Holders’ News

Jason Lai and Aldeburgh Young Musicians created a new opera in a week at Aldeburgh during half term with help from composer Anna Meredith.

Toby Purser conducted an important concert at Cadogan Hall, London on 11 November which included Valentina Seferinova playing Dorothy Howell’s Piano Concerto.

The Season’s Greetings

Thank you all for your support in 2010 and we look forward to seeing you in The New Year at Ferneham Hall on 12 February 2011.

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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