This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is e-mailed in PDF form to players and Friends of the Orchestras (or posted in printed form for those who do not have e-mail).
The Havant OrchestrasPresident: The Rt Hon Lord Willetts FRS   Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham
February 2023 Newsletterwww.havantorchestras.org.uk
Welcome to the latest issue of the HADOS Newsletter
A belated Happy New Year to you all and we are looking forward to seeing you at Holy Trinity for our next HCO concert on 4th February.
Read on for more about that and plenty more besides!
Saturday 4th February’s Programme
by Tim Griffiths
|9.30pm (approx)||concert ends— we wish you a safe journey home|
Music in this concert
In the Music Director spotlight this time here’s Robin Browning:
SS: The Schumann Overture, Scherzo and Finale is new to HCO. How did you first encounter it and what do you particularly like about it?
RB: I first came across this when I was assisting Sir Mark Elder, quite a few years ago. I’d auditioned for the new assistant conductor role at the Hallé Orchestra, but unfortunately didn’t get it. However Mark and I kept in touch and I spent quite a lot of time working with him, observing him and assisting him over a number of years earlier in my career. This piece is one that stuck in my memory – not least because, in Elder’s hands, it sprang off the page with such vivacity and wit – and I squeezed it into my repertoire shortly afterwards.
It’s like a mini-symphony, in a way: slow introduction, first movement proper, scherzo movement, topped off with a rather more ‘grandiose’ finale. As symphonies go (which it isn’t of course, I’m just using it for context) it’s short. However as an opener – coming in at around 15 mins or so, with all the repeats – it’s longer than a lot of more typical classical overtures. I think it’s a little cracker, not least because Schumann doesn’t come out very often with orchestras (which is a shame, because his music is so sophisticated, intricate and involving). And I’m always after hidden gems. This certainly is one. I’d love to hear what people think of it.
SS: You have an exciting new(ish) role with the Army. Can you tell us a bit about what you do there?
RB: So, as I write, it’s pretty much a year since I began a new role for me – Professor of Conducting for the British Army. This supplements all my pre-existing roles really well, those such as conductor with orchestras like Havant Chamber Orchestra, Petersfield, Essex Youth Orchestra, etc, and as conducting teacher at the University of Southampton. It all kind of weaves together really well, although does mean I’m rather busy. I absolutely love the job, and feel honoured to continue a role imbued with such history, and to work with some amazing musicians. My students are fabulous, and are a genuine joy to coach. They’ll be the bandmasters and Directors of Music of tomorrow. And, no, I don’t wear a uniform, and I must say I’ve barely been near a military march in over 12 months of the job.
In general, we work on all manner of repertoire – both for wind orchestra and brass band – as well as a huge amount of orchestral music in transcription or with piano repetiteur. What inspires me the most, I think, is that through this role, and my partnering role at the University, I’m able to pass on some of the fabulous teaching I was lucky enough to receive, from people like Ilya Musin, Sian Edwards, Sir Charles Mackerras, Paavo Järvi and – as mentioned above – Sir Mark Elder. I think during the lockdown I re-evaluated my approach to music-making and particularly towards my teaching, and it can’t be a coincidence that I saw this role advertised just as we all emerged from that tricky period.
We’re delighted that Tim Griffiths is once again able to give us a pre-concert talk.
At the time of writing Tim is thinking of talking about Strauss’ use of the horn, amongst other things, but that could change by the time of the event!
Tim has a wealth of knowledge and anecdotes from the music profession so do come along at 6.30pm on 4th February to soak up a little of his wisdom! Then have a coffee and a chat before the concert starts at 7.30pm.
Listening recommendationsCDs sourced by Gordon Egerton (HCO clarinet)
Including relevant links if particularly note-worthy videos of the works can be found on YouTube. (Other music streaming services are available!)
Schumann - Overture, Scherzo, and Finale
CD: Dresden Staatskapelle, Wolfgang Sawallisch (c/w Symphonies nos.1 - 4).
Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues series 256 460 7594. 2 CD's £12.75
On video: This one looks worth watching: Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra /Paavo Jarvi https://youtu.be/79feDtl96Wg
Strauss - Horn Concerto no.1
CD: Lars Michael Stransky, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Previn (c/w Horn Concerto no.2, Oboe Concerto, and Duett-Concertino).
DG E453 4832. £12.75
On video: Check out top horn player Stefan Dohr with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra/Tadaaki Otaka https://youtu.be/K830mGzhmwk
Schubert - Symphony no.9
CD: Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Herbert Blomstedt (c/w Symphony no.8 'Unfinished).
DG 486 3045. 2 CD's £14
On video: Here’s an interesting one from a ‘period instrument’ band: Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski https://youtu.be/aLvyitS_lRU
Peter and Sandra Craddock Fund
We are grateful for all donations to HADOS. We put these into the Peter and Sandra Craddock Fund and the committee decides how to use this money.
For the February 4th concert the Fund will be used to cover the soloist fee for Ben Goldscheider.
Though still only in his mid-20s, Ben is a highly respected artist working as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. It’s a very special treat for us to be able to welcome him to Fareham!
Find out more about Ben at https://www.bengoldscheider.com/
There is also an excellent video of Ben talking about what classical music means to him at https://youtu.be/bkVnZcdT7Qw
An update on use of the fund since our last Newsletter:
In December we announced that the Fund would be used to cover the hire of the Finzi piece that we played in our concert. However, just two days before the concert we heard the excellent news that the Finzi Trust had approved our application for funding and would award us a grant of £140 which will cover the cost! Our thanks to the Finzi Trust for their generous support.
Who should we Explore next?
The HCO concert in May this year will be an ‘Exploration’ of Beethoven presented by our Musical Director, Robin Browning. After an Overture, Robin will give a talk about the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, illustrated with excerpts played. Then we will perform the work in full.
Now that we are in the midst of planning our 2023-24 season — is there a piece or a composer that you would like us to explore in this way? Let me know and maybe we can use your suggestion for one of our concerts next year. We can’t make any promises, but all suggestions will be considered and there will be a pair of free tickets to the concert for the person whose suggestion we choose!
Stella Scott email@example.com
Havant Symphony Orchestra’s last outing was our Winter Wonderland concert at Oaklands School on 10th December.
I’ve heard many positive comments, perhaps all summed up perfectly by an email from a long-term season ticket holder who commented:
“Great concert, everyone enjoyed it, wonderful soloist, lots of people in the audience. The afternoon concerts are a great idea, people do not want to come out in the evenings especially in winter.”
Financially, we were fortunate in some respects and not in others.
- The fabulous Madeleine Pickering came via the Philip and Dorothy Green scheme which gets us a top class soloist for a very reasonable cost.
- The Finzi Trust covered the cost of the hire of the Finzi piece.
- We had an audience of over 250 which is by far the largest we’ve had since our family concert just before the pandemic.
- With Friday evening and Saturday morning rehearsals travel was going to be a problem for our soloist so HADOS paid for her to stay at the Premier Inn, Langstone.
Not counting the cost of purchasing the two ‘Sleigh Rides’ as these were covered by the Craddock Fund and will be hired out in future to other orchestras, overall costs (including rehearsals) were around £3500 and income from the concert itself around £2950. If we then include 1/3 of the subscription income paid by players so far this season the balance for the concert and associated weekly rehearsals is a profit of just over £300—one of our best results for a long time!
So if you came to the concert, sold a ticket for the concert or paid a subscription—thank you for contributing to the financial success of this one!
And, of course, a huge thank you to those who gave their time and effort to set up the orchestra, sell refreshments, look after front of house and generally make this such a great event!
Notes from the committee
The HADOS committee of (currently) 9 people meets on a regular basis to ensure smooth running of our concerts but also to discuss and decide on more general matters. In the near future we will be discussing ticket pricing and our visual ‘identity’.
We welcome input into this process from all members so if you have a view on anything to do with HADOS that you’d like us to know, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can also offer help, then so much the better. Participation by our non-playing members is also very welcome!
We can be contacted at:
- email@example.com (main contact address/Administrator)
For the July concert this year we may need to find accommodation overnight for our soloist, Janice Watson. If you have a spare bedroom and could offer help with this please do let me know.
Forward planning is well underway for our next season and even to some degree for the one after.
Dates of future concerts and rehearsals are on the ‘Future Dates’ page of our website at https://www.havantorchestras.org.uk/futuredates.php. You do not need to login to see this page.
Where dates are still a little uncertain this is noted on the page — we do our best to have accurate information on there but there are a number of factors that have to be taken into account when setting the dates and some of those — Oaklands bookings, for example — are sometimes not finalised until the last minute due to circumstances beyond our control.
Visit a rehearsal
We were recently contacted by someone who attends HSO concerts but also enjoys watching an orchestra in action so much that he asked if he could attend some of our Friday evening rehearsals!
If you’d like to drop in to a rehearsal to see what goes on, let me know!
Stella Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
Grieg, Sibelius, Borodin & von Suppé
Not the name of a dodgy firm of accountants but the line-up of composers in our next Havant Symphony Orchestra concert!
We’re looking forward to welcoming back Florian Mitrea who was a big hit when he performed the Dohnányi ‘Variations on a Nursery Song’ with us in December 2019.
Tickets are available now at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/havantorchestras/t-galrgqx
We were sad to hear, shortly before Christmas, of the death of Brenda Haynes. Brenda played timpani and percussion with HSO for about 30 years—she first appears in a concert programme in 1972. Her husband Fred, who died in 2007, also played percussion with us. They were both long-time supporters of the orchestras and Brenda was awarded life membership of HADOS in 2003.