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Newsletter for December 2012

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.

A Very Special Celebration

Steve’s Remarks from the Chair


Welcome to the Newsletter for a landmark concert.  A landmark in two ways: it marks the end of the HSO’s 50th anniversary celebrations and it is Peter Craddock’s final concert with his orchestra.

Peter has planned and prepared this concert with the same meticulous care and thoroughness he has for each of the 170 or so preceding HSO concerts he has conducted.  However, it is not just his attention to detail and dedication we should celebrate first and foremost, it is his passion for music and ability to convey that to audiences and players alike.  This concert is perhaps Peter s most difficult.  As many of you know, he has had health problems recently and these are hindering his mobility – particularly getting on and off stage.  Reluctantly Peter has decided that he is ‘only’ able to conduct Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony – a huge, demanding work that is close to his heart.

I am delighted that our former Bursary holder, Rob Hodge, has agreed to conduct the first half of the concert and he has already rehearsed the Orchestra in the Elgar and Brahms, as well as taking a string sectional on the whole programme.  I look forward to playing under Rob’s baton and to working with our two outstanding soloists: Alexander Sitkovetsky and Richard Harwood. 

We are privileged to welcome our President: the Right Honourable David Willetts, MP for Havant (subject to his Ministerial duties) and the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Gerry Shimbart and his wife Elaine – all of whom are long-standing supporters and good friends of the Havant Orchestras.  I am also delighted to welcome several former players in the audience.  There are also some former players making guest appearances in the Orchestra, so I will just mention Donald Macdonald (former leader of HCO) who will lead the Orchestra in the second half.  Our regular HSO Leader, Cathy Mathews, will lead the first half.

Peter will not agree with me but this concert is his.  I hope as many of you as possible will join in celebrating Peter’s 50 years with the orchestra he created in an informal gathering after the concert.  This will be in the main auditorium and your help in making space while we set up would be appreciated.  There will be drinks on sale and ‘nibbles’ and maybe one or two short speeches…

This promises to be an excellent evening.  I look forward to seeing you.

… and a special note to

The Friends of the Orchestras

Many thanks to those of you that have generously donated to the Orchestras’ funds already this season.  This is without having been invited to do so by a Friends’ Secretary.  You will know that this post has been vacant since Geoff Porter moved over to the Front of House role.  Sadly it is still vacant.  There are plans to address this and for some events next year.  This will include The Friends’ concert – the HSO concert on 16th March.

If you would like to contribute ideas, support or discuss the Secretary role, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Please note – the gremlins got into the Programme Book – my email address is:, (no fullstop between ‘steve’ and ‘bartho’).

Steve Bartholomew
Mobile: 07739 177720

Saturday 8 December Programme

6.30 Angela Blackwell talking about Rachmaninov and his 2nd Symphony in the Auditorium
and Upbeat Club meeting somewhere to be announced in the day!
7.00 Interlude in the auditorium
7.20 Take your seats for the Concert

The Programme

Three Bavarian Dances  Elgar
Double Concerto in A minor  Brahms
Soloists: Alexander Sitkovetsky
and Richard Harwood
Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No 2  Rachmaninov

9.35 approx End of Concert
followed by a Reception in the Auditorium

Upbeat – somewhere at 6.30pm!

Hello folks,

I hope you will be able to join me on Saturday for the Upbeat pre-concert talk where I will be introducing the cello and giving you a chance to play one, no matter how big or small you are!

There will be a quiz at the end to see how much you have remembered!

Looking forward to seeing you,

Best wishes
Becky Hill

The Pre-Concert Interlude

in the Auditorium, 7.00 – 7.20pm

Premiere Performance by Oaklands School String Orchestra

Director – Becky Hill

Their programme will be announced as they play

Conductor’s Thoughts …

At the time of writing (22nd November) my current and seemingly in-flux state of health is such that I have had to relinquish any conducting in the first half of what is to be my ‘Farewell’ concert with HSO. 

How lucky we are to have Rob Hodge – our brilliant, young, past season’s Bob Harding Bursary Holder – able to step in and conduct the Elgar and Brahms.  I shall really miss the opportunity of working (jointly this time) with Alexander (Sasha) Sitkovetsky and Richard Harwood, two outstanding soloists who have performed with us previously.  All being well I shall save my energies to conduct Rachmaninov’s glorious 2nd Symphony – perhaps (and hopefully) a fitting valediction for my truly rewarding and enjoyable years with HSO.

The orchestra forces required for the Rachmaninov are huge and the fact that the string sections have been considerably enlarged by a number of earlier quality players who have asked if they might rejoin us specially for the concert makes this the largest orchestra ever for us – just over 80.  Fortunately we have the space in Oaklands School Hall to accommodate everyone comfortably. 

It would have been impossible to squeeze such forces on the Ferneham Hall stage.  I would like to thank all of our guest players for this special evening.  They each play a crucial role in adding colour and balance to our sound in this lovely responsive auditorium.  I’m sure long-standing Season Ticket Holders will recognise them on the day.

I shall resist the temptation to eulogise at length about the fine music in Saturday’s programme.  Suffice to say that the Elgar Dances are precisely that – charming miniatures with lyrical tunes and overt and sometimes subtle nuances of tempi.  In the Brahms ‘Double’, his final great orchestral work, listen to the inventive interplay between the two soloists and with the orchestra, a unique conception.  Finally, the long, rich and warm textures of Rachmaninov will engage your emotions as they will mine.  This is heartfelt love-music with a tinge of sadness – something that all the great Russian composers seem able to reflect quite naturally in their music.

Peter Craddock

Recordings for this concert

Chosen by Peter Craddock

Elgar – Three Bavarian Dances
LPO, Boult: c/w Nursery Suite; Wand of Youth Suites, etc
EMI (ADD) 5 75295-2 Bargain price

Brahms – Double Concerto in A minor
Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago SO, Barenboim: c/w Symphony No 1
Warner Elatus 0927 49615-2 Mid price

Rachmaninov - Symphony No 2
LSO, Previn: c/w Excerpts from ‘Aleko’
EMI HMV (ADD) 5 86753-2 Super Bargain price

Alison’s Jewellery

will be on Sale in the FOYER
Before the Concert and at the Interval
Find those Special Christmas Gifts!

Poster Deliverers

A big ‘Thank You’ to the helpful folk who are now delivering posters in Stubbington and Emsworth. 

Since our last bulletin, another Deliverer has had to ‘hand in her notice’ after doing a superb job setting up a really large list of locations.

It’s for a Very Important Area – CENTRAL FAREHAM.

We have the delivery list and it’s possible it could be divided into east and west areas (or any others).  If you think you could help it would be a great relief to all of us.  Please contact Sandra – email, or telephone 023 9248 3228 for further information.

STOP PRESS: Someone to distribute in Gosport, as well, please.

8th December - Tickets!!

There are still seats available but if your friends are still wavering, we do recommend BOOKING IN ADVANCE by calling Margaret on 01243 377430 and arriving early at Oaklands to avoid the last-minute queue!

Most importantly, if YOU haven’t booked yet – Season Ticket Holders still pay the STH rate.

For travel directions look at the School’s website:

What do YOU have in your attic?

WANTED – tenor recorder for teaching purposes

Age/condition not important so long as it plays!

Please contact: Bridget on 07906 150947.

Piano For Sale

Spencer Upright – £200 ono

Please call Margaret on: 01243 377430, for further details

Other Musical Events

Sunday 9 December – 7.30pm

Church of the Resurrection, Drayton PO6 2AP
Portsmouth Philharmonia
Children’s Overture    Roger Quilter
Trumpet Concerto in E flat  Johann Neruda
Soloist Adam Denman 
Symphony No 100, Military  Haydn
Tickets £5.00 at the door

Saturday 15 December –7.30pm

St Mary’s Church, Hayling Island.
Renaissance Choir

Saturday 9 February 2013 – 7.30pm

Ferneham Hall, Fareham
Havant Chamber Orchestra
Overture in the Italian Style    Schubert
Old Wine in New Bottles    Gordon Jacob
Sinfonia Concertante K 364 
Soloists Brian Howells and Becky Hill 
Symphony No 100, Military    Haydn
Tickets from Ferneham Hall now.

Best wishes to Everyone for Christmas and the New Year

We’ll see you again on February 9th at Ferneham Hall!

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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