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Newsletter for December 2011

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.

This Newsletter is ONE WEEK Early …
…to ensure you can all book concert tickets for your friends –
and yourselves if you did not order them with your Season Ticket!
And to give you all the details of the arrangements at Oaklands School …

Box Office Arrangements

If you have friends with no tickets yet, (or you are hesitating in case the weather might be unkind although the long-range forecast is very hopeful) please reserve tickets in advance by telephoning Margaret Packe on 01243 377430

This will save time on the night as seats are designated by Row and Number, not simply guaranteed as they were in January.  It will also allow us to keep within the Licensing requirement of less than 500 people in total at the event (ie including the orchestra and staff).

Margaret has reported that tickets are selling well so please do not hesitate too long and be disappointed!  Please make sure you bring the special Oaklands tickets, not your Season Tickets which are not valid for 3 December!

Before you get to the hall…

If you are coming from A/M27 remember the exit from the A3(M) is JUNCTION 4.  Once in Stakes Hill Road, it’s the 2nd school on the right.  If you get as far as the roundabout, go round and back, then the school is about 100 yards on the left.  There are plenty of car parks although some are a short distance from the Assembly Hall.  We hope to have a steward in attendance in case you need assistance.  (Map on the back of tickets.)

Saturday 3 December – Programme

6.15 Doors open
6.30 Talk by Geoff Porter on Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony
and Upbeat Club
7.00 Interlude in the Hall by students from Oaklands School.
7.15 approx Arrival of our Patron The Mayor of Havant & The Mayoress

Overture Béatrice et Bénédict – Berlioz
Piano Concerto No 5 – Beethoven
Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No 2 – Sibelius

9.35 approx end of the Concert.
Have a safe journey home

Refreshments …

… will be on sale before the concert from 6.30 and during the interval in the foyer and the Dining Hall downstairs. 

To ease pressure at the Interval, please purchase vouchers for your chosen drinks before the concert. 

Our prices will be very reasonable: Water with our compliments; Red and White Wine – £2 a glass; Tea, Coffee and Fruit Juices – 50p a cup or glass.

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

From the Chairman …

We extend a warm welcome to the Mayor and Mayoress of Havant, Cllr Ken and Mrs Hazel Smith.  Their support at this concert which takes place within the Borough of Havant is much appreciated.  We are also most grateful to the Headmaster of Oaklands School, Mr Matthew Quinn, for permission to use the hall and to his staff who have been so helpful in making the necessary arrangements. 

The extra space which Oaklands School offers means that we shall have larger than usual string numbers and the acoustic should help us produce a wonderful sound.  (There’s a bold statement – tell me afterwards if I’m wrong!)  The programme is extremely varied, calling for completely different playing styles, and contains three splendid works and a favourite soloist.  It is also your first chance to meet our new Bob Harding Bursary Holder, Robert Hodge, who has made a great impression on the Orchestra in just a few rehearsals.

Many of us will be remembering our dear friend Leslie Mundy, an enthusiastic supporter of the Orchestras for many years and particularly dear to the players for providing their interval drinks (and a chat) during rehearsals.  His family have made a very generous donation in his memory towards this concert.

If you are hesitant about coming to this concert please don’t be.  The hall is easy to find, just off the A3(M), parking is free (let me know if you have transport problems), we will do all we can to make the arrangements as smooth as possible and I promise it won’t snow this time (another bold statement).  And above all I believe we will provide a memorable musical experience.

Tickets are already selling very well and so I look forward to seeing you all there, after which as we look forward to our anniversary year I should like you wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

My 1000 mile walk was completed on 16 October during a 12-mile walk from Arundel to Amberley (tea and cake in the very nice tearooms before they shut for the winter) and over the Downs to return in wonderful autumn weather with mist gradually lifting in the Arun valley.  Thank you all those who have been encouraging me to get out and about.  So far I have collected well over £500 from kind sponsors, many of whom have given more than they originally signed up for.  Those who are still on my list can pay when you see me – at the concert in cash, or by cheque payable to Havant Orchestras, or by BACS to CAF bank sort code 40-52-40 Acc 00017022.  (For BACS please enter your initial and surname eg ‘TBrown’ and the word ‘walk’ as reference.)  If you don’t remember how much you sponsored me for, ask at the Friends’ table or email or phone me.  I am hoping that I shall have raised, with your very welcome help over £1000 when Giftaid is included, towards our 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 2012.

Tony Gutteridge
(023 9247 4681 or

Congratulations Tony and a huge thank you from the Society for such a tremendous fundraising endeavour.

Peter Craddock’s Thoughts…

When Robert Hodge raises his baton to launch the HSO December concert he will be the 26th Holder of our Bob Harding Bursary for Young Conductors.  As an eager musician on the threshold of a limelight career he will have the daunting task of following in the footsteps of some very distinguished Bursary predecessors – Mark Wigglesworth, Paul Murphy, Sarah Ioannides, Rumon Gamba, Jason Lai, Ludovic Morlot and Leo Hussain to focus on just a few who have forged an international status.  I don’t think Rob will be fazed by all this for one moment.  At the Bursary auditions he came over as a very bright, confident person, communicating instantly with the players and able to charm out technical and interpretative modifications with his clear beat, spoken directions and the periodic humour of someone thoroughly enjoying himself.  I am sure he will take all the forthcoming challenges in his stride – we certainly have great hopes for him in this, our 50th anniversary season. He couldn’t have a better initiation with the combination of a sparkling Berlioz Overture and the warm, grateful acoustics of Oaklands School Hall.  Good Luck from us all, Rob, and relish the music-making.

The aura of zenithal promise also pervades the second item in the programme – Beethoven’s majestic ‘Emperor’ Piano Concerto.  It is always a pleasure to work with soloist Karen Kingsley – she has constantly graced the soloist’s role with performances of clarity, thoughtfulness and penetrating musicianship and I know she is eagerly looking forward to her first ever performance of the ‘Emperor’ Concerto.  The HSO will have to be on its collective toes because this is unfamiliar ‘classical’ terrain for them – with clinically different balances, textures and colours than they normally encounter in the 19th and 20th Century music that forms the staple diet of their programmes.

Talking of ‘staple diet’ brings me obliquely onto the final work in our programme – the immensely popular 2nd Symphony of Sibelius. Despite its huge success this work is anything but staple in its inspirational fire.  It would be very easy and straightforward to follow nostalgia and concentrate on getting things accurately played, with the right balance, and in the tempos that work for the music – which is maybe what happened in our previous four performances of the symphony.  This time, over and above the basic work of welding the piece together and making a presentable sound, some deeper thoughts and interpretation probings have been very much in my mind. These include things like the speed relationships within the opening movement; a focus on the stylistically broken phrasing of melodies specified by Sibelius throughout the work; the element of rubato at the beginning of the slow movement; the complex phrase structure of the scherzo and a new thought about the Italian term suave in its trio with the famous 9-repeated-note oboe solo; the tempo transition from the Scherzo smoothly into the Finale; and the rationalisation of articulation in the Finale’s second theme (the one played by woodwind above a wave-like ostinato in lower strings).  Even the latest ‘Urtext’ edition of the Symphony (brought out in 2004) fails to address the contradictory markings in these sections.  Whatever we do here, we will ALL be doing the same, I promise you! Thus, behind the enjoyment of all your favourite moments in this epic piece there are other musical factors going on so it won’t be just routine and we wait to see whether or not the different light shines any more brightly or interestingly.


Big Bash Percussion Extravaganza

I am looking forward to seeing you all to make a lot of noise between 6.30-7.00pm on Saturday 3rd December.  It will be a great opportunity to compose our own percussion pieces using graphics (pictures) and play our music using a variety of percussion instruments which we can name and discuss.  Please bring lots of friends (and some earmuffs!). 

Very best wishes,
Becky Hill, Upbeat Leader

Willing Helpers Needed, PLEASE!

… for Saturday 3 December

  • CD and Book Sellers
  • Programme Sellers
  • Stewards in the Hall to check tickets
  • Stewards in the Foyer to give advice and directions
  • Interval Drinks Ticket Sellers

All offers gladly accepted, especially from 6.00pm and if you could come for a ‘briefing’ during the afternoon that would be an enormous help.  ‘Shifts’ will be organised according to volunteers’ availability.  You will be welcomed warmly by ’the staff’ and appreciated by the audience as it will be ‘new territory’ for many.

Please call Sandra on 023 9248 3228 or with your offer.  Many thanks.

CDs for this concert

Sourced by GE

Berlioz  Overture Béatrice et Bénédict
Dresden Staatskapelle / Colin Davis
c/w other Berlioz overtures
RCA 8287 6658 392 Mid Price

Beethoven  Piano Concerto No 5
Brendel / Vienna P O / Rattle
c/w Piano Cto No 4
Decca Originals 4780 349 Mid Price

Sibelius  Symphony No 2
LSO / Colin Davis
c/w Pohjola’s Daughter
LSO Live LSO 0605 Mid Price

Dates for NEXT SEASON – 2012–2013

2012 2013
Saturday 22 September Hayling Island
Saturday 20 October Ferneham Hall
Saturday 8 December Oaklands School
Saturday 9 February venue tba
Saturday 16 March Ferneham Hall
Saturday 18 May Ferneham Hall
Saturday 6 July Ferneham Hall

The Craddocks’ OPEN HOUSE

at 152 West Street, Havant
SUNDAY 5 February 2.00-4.00pm

CDs, Books, Music, Pictures, Refreshments … and more!
Phone to let us know you are coming, please.


20 Volumes, Hard Cover, Linen Bound First Edition 1980 in Excellent Condition

Contact Peter Craddock on 023 9248 3228, who reviewed this mammoth set for The Strad magazine in February and April 1981.

Plans for HSO’s New Conductor

Many of you will already know that Peter Craddock intends to retire as conductor of HSO after the December 2012 concert.  The great news is that he is staying as conductor of HCO for the foreseeable future.  The process for finding his successor is well underway.  Several experienced and capable candidates have confirmed their interest.  The next step will be informal discussions with all of them to enable us to draw up a very select shortlist who will be invited to conduct HSO in rehearsal later this season.  This will result in two of the candidates being invited as Guest Conductors to rehearse and conduct the March and July 2013 concerts which will add extra excitement for the players and the audience.  If all goes according to plan, we expect to make a long term appointment from the 2013–2014 season.

This is not a quick or easy process – I rate it as slightly more difficult than the task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United!

There are more details about the requirements and process for finding the new HSO Conductor on the Orchestras’ website in the document Information for Prospective Candidates (PDF).

Steve Bartholomew
Committee Member

Hope you have a super Christmas and a very peaceful New Year.  See you again on 11 February.

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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