You are here: Home > News > Latest newsletters > Jul 2023You are not logged in.

Newsletter for July 2023

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 Orchestras

President: The Rt Hon Lord Willetts FRS     Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham

July 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of the HADOS Newsletter

We have a special concert coming up on 8th July—our visit to the ‘Last night of the Proms’!   Don’t miss superb soprano Janice Watson in Elgar’s ‘Sea Pictures’ and the traditional Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Jerusalem etc.  Wave a flag—any flag, it doesn’t have to be British!!

Saturday 8th July’s Programme

6.50pm   pre-concert music in the Hall by pupils of Becky Hill
7.30pm   concert starts
Tam O’Shanter Arnold
Sea Pictures  soprano: Janice WatsonElgar
Suite ‘Summer Days’ Coates
Interval—20 minutes—refreshments available
Bacchanale from Samson & Delilah Saint-Saens
Tales from the Vienna Woods Strauss Jr
Fantasia on British Sea Songs Wood/Arne
Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1 Elgar
Jerusalem Parry arr. Elgar
9.45pm (approx)   concert ends — we wish you a safe journey home

From the podium …

A word from each of our conductors to set the scene:

We are so looking forward to playing for you on the 8th July, and we have some delightful treats in store for you, including a Last Night of the Proms style Finale!  So, please feel free to bring your flags to wave, although I believe some may be available to buy at the Concert.  Reasonably priced, I’m sure. 

‘Treats’ include Elgar’s evocative “Sea Pictures”, sung by the wonderful Janice Watson, Eric Coates’ rarely heard, but charming, Suite “Summer Days” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods” by the Waltz King himself, Johann Strauss II. 

However, my particular favourite is our opener, the Overture “Tam O’Shanter” by Sir Malcolm Arnold, based on the fabulous narrative poem by the great Robert Burns.  It’s a wonderful, epic poem in which Burns paints a vivid picture of the drinking classes in the old Scotch town of Ayr, in the late 18th century.  It is populated by several unforgettable characters including, of course, Tam himself, his best friend, Souter Johnnie, his own long-suffering wife Kate and we mustn’t forget his gallant horse, Meg. 

I have very fond memories of this glorious and crazy Overture, as I first conducted it with an orchestra in Surrey, not far from where I live.  One of the violinists was a broad Scot, who studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, as it was then, and later went on to teach at the Yehudi Menuhin School for many years.  She knew the great man well – but she also knew the Burns poem, practically from memory, and could recite large sections of said from memory, which I encouraged her to do at rehearsals on a number of occasions, when we repeated the Overture.  As you can imagine she had us in stitches and I always think of her when I conduct the Overture.  I hope you enjoy the work as much as I do.  Listen out for the extensive piccolo and trombone solos!  Arnold at his best – and most outrageous! 

And, yes, the traditional Scottish hat, with its single pompom, is named after Tam! 

Jonathan Butcher

Saint-Saëns’ Bacchanale is from his three act opera Samson and Delilah.  Taking its name from the mythical god of wine and fertility Bacchus, it is a dance focusing primarily on elements of sensuality and abandonment.  The main thematic material of the piece is typical of the 19th century Parisian dance hall scene, full of longing and expressive melody.  A snake charmer like theme appears frequently in the wind before the two elements combine towards the end of the piece, exchanging blows in a rousing and frantic finale.  It features a productive percussion part as well as an energetic play for the strings. 

James Thomas

Listening/viewing recommendations

CDs sourced by Gordon Egerton (HCO clarinet)

There are too many pieces in this concert to cover them all!  Here are Gordon’s suggestions for a couple of the main works:

Elgar—Sea Pictures 
“The Elgar Sea Pictures are almost self–recommending, Janet Baker with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli, especially as they are coupled with the Cello Concerto with Jacqueline du Pre; the Cockaigne overture is also included.  It is on Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues 2564 607 600 (£6.37)”

Arnold—Tam O’Shanter 
“The Arnold overture is on an appropriate Naxos disc of Last Night favourites, including ‘Rule Britannia’, the Wood Sea Songs Fantasia, Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’, Walton’s ‘Crown Imperial’, etc. Naxos 8.553981 (£10.00)”

The “Last Night…” is well documented on YouTube—here’s quite a nice one: 

Stella Scott

Pre-concert music!

It’s been a while since we had pre-concert music so we are delighted to say that Becky Hill (principal viola) will be bringing some pupils from Portsmouth High Prep School to play at 6.50pm in the Hall.

Becky tells me:
“The musicians are singers and instrumentalists who are working towards or have just taken either Trinity or ABRSM music exams.  The girls will feature a variety of instruments ranging from voice to piano and violin to saxophone.  Pieces will include ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from the Lion King and ‘Naughty’ from Matilda. We do hope you are able to join us from 6.50pm in the Oaklands School Hall”

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 July 8th concert we have decided to use the fund to cover the hire of the Malcolm Arnold work ‘Tam O’Shanter’.  This is still in copyright and has to be hired from the publisher.  It is only a short work but will cost just over £300 to hire. 

Stella Scott

Concert Report

Our last concert was by Havant Chamber Orchestra on 20th May in Fareham

This was a bit of an experiment with our musical director Robin Browning giving a presentation entitled ‘Exploring Beethoven’ based around the Pastoral Symphony.  The concert began with the ‘Coriolan’ Overture and ended with a full performance of the Symphony in the second half of the concert.

Sadly, our publicity efforts were less successful this time and we managed only 60 in the audience resulting in considerable losses of over £1000.

HCO concerts are expensive to put on but always feel valuable in terms of bringing classical music to the few people in the Fareham area who do enjoy it.  I hope that our plans for next season, including the No. 3 in the ClassicFM Hall of Fame, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; a Mozart Violin Concerto by a young locally-connected soloist and the stunning Symphony No. 40 by Mozart will help.

If you know people in the Fareham area or have ideas as to how we could promote these concerts, do let me know at

Stella Scott

Bursary auditions

We are delighted to announce that auditions will be held on Friday 14th July 2023 for the Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary for Student Conductors 2023-24. 
These will be taking place at Hayling Island Community Centre, PO11 0HB, starting at 7pm. 
We have two candidates. 
Season Ticket holders are very welcome to come along and observe the proceedings!

Formal notice of AGM

The AGM of the Havant and District Orchestral Society will be held at 7.00pm on Friday 1st September 2023 at 
The Pallant Centre, The Pallant, Havant PO9 1BE

All members of the Society (that is, playing members and season ticket holders) are invited to attend.

There are vacancies on the committee.  Nominations for election may be sent to the Chairman in advance (with the names of candidate, proposer and seconder) or submitted at the meeting.

Following the AGM, refreshments will be available and the evening will conclude with a rehearsal.  Non-playing members are invited to stay and listen to the rehearsal.

Jonathan Scott  Tel: 023 8026 1372

Next Concert

September is always the time for our traditional ‘Popular Classics’ pre-season concert.  It’s also traditionally planned and conducted by the outgoing Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary Holder so this year it is the turn of James Thomas.  James is off to study conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire — we wish him a great future!

Saturday September 16th, 7.30pm

Hayling Island Community Centre

Overture “The Hebrides” – Mendelssohn

Piano Concerto No. 2 – Saint-Saëns
Soloist: Thomas Luke

Symphony No. 1, “Spring” – Schumann


Thomas Luke

James Thomas

Tickets are available from:

or call the Tickets Secretary on  01489 877497

Society contact information

Havant and District Orchestral Society (HADOS)
Registered Charity No 288747  Email:  Tel: 023 8026 1372


Contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.

Website kindly hosted by