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Newsletter for March 2013

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 Warm Welcome to HSO’s Guest Conductor –


From Steve Bartholomew …

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I confirm my resignation from the Committee, with effect from 28th February 2013 which means that I relinquished the Chairmanship from that date.  It has been increasingly difficult for me to fulfil my duties to the Society recently without detriment to my family and career.

I knew my move to South Yorkshire would make it difficult to serve the Society but I had hoped to be Chairman for the whole of this season.  However, family illness, career pressures and travelling difficulties have made the situation too onerous.  I have moved my office north and will no longer be making regular trips to Hampshire.

My absence from the January Committee meeting brought home to me the impossibility of the situation, especially at a time of such great change for the Society.  The Chairman needs to be locally based and have a large amount of time to devote to the Society.  The demands of the role have increased greatly with Peter Craddock’s enforced withdrawal from conducting, Sandra’s understandable focus on Peter’s care and the limitations on the time of the loyal band of active helpers which all mean that the workload on the Chairman, past Chairman and other Officers in particular, has increased dramatically.

The Orchestras’ performance standards have been maintained, we have some talented guest conductors and there has been recent good news (e.g. the ‘News’ Award and the Hampshire County Council grant).  However, the Society’s future is under threat.  Our finances are sound for now, but the decline in audience numbers we have experienced for many years continues while costs are increasing.  This is clearly unsustainable beyond the next season or two.  Without an influx of willing volunteers to manage the Society ‘behind the scenes’ and to address fundamental problems, I am concerned that the Orchestras will not survive.

This is a harsh message but I think it is essential that everyone involved with, or who cares about, the Havant Orchestras hears it.  Only if people come forward to help now will the future of the Orchestras be secured.

I have enjoyed my association with the Orchestras over the past 25 years as a player and Committee member, and have benefited from it hugely.  I intend to remain a supporter, albeit ‘from afar’, but hope to be in the audience for the remainder of this season and occasionally thereafter.

With warmest regards and sincerest best wishes for the future.

Steve Bartholomew   –   07739 177720

The New Chairman

Following the unexpected news of Steve’s departure to pastures north and his withdrawal from the Orchestras’ bassoon section, we of course wish him well in all aspects of his new life.

However, it means that the Society needed a new Chairman.  Fortunately Becky Hill (whose name also appears elsewhere!) has kindly agreed to become ‘acting’ Chairman for the remainder of the season.  She is well-versed in the Society’s activities, having been a player and committee member for many years, and has served as Chairman of the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival so is no stranger to the business side of a musical undertaking.

We, the Committee, thank her for stepping in and look forward to working with her.

From the Administrator

As you all know, Peter’s mobility has been decreasing for some time and he is undergoing tests to ascertain what is the cause of his problems.  He is taking an active part in advising the Committee on matters musical but needs my help to fetch and carry anything he needs.

This means that the time I have available for matters Orchestral is becoming increasingly limited.  I hope that I won’t have to resign from the Committee completely, but I do need help, particularly with things that have a time-scale - including compiling the Newsletter and designing the posters.  There are also many jobs that I do automatically(!) that I have not identified yet that I am sure others could do.  So, please if you have some time to spare, give me a call to see just what you could do the assist the Society.  As the old poster said ’The Society Needs You!’

Yours hopefully,

Saturday 16 March’s Programme

6.30 A talk in the Auditorium
and Upbeat Club meeting in the Meon Room
7.00 Interlude in the Octagon Lounge
7.20 Take your seats in the Auditorium
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Andrew Morley
Helios Overture Nielsen
Little Suite No 2 Malcolm Arnold
Cello Concerto in E minor 
Soloist: Adi Tal
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No 2 in C minor Tchaikovsky
9.30 approx End of Concert
We Wish You a Safe Journey Home


Dear Friends of the Orchestras,

THIS is YOUR Special Concert!

Please come and meet me – and other members of the Committee – for refreshment in the Octagon at the Interval on Saturday.

We look forward to seeing you.

Becky Hill
HADOS’ acting Chairman

The Pre-Concert Talk

Sue Williams, HSO’s 1st Trumpet, will talk about the contrasts between the Overture and the Symphony in the Auditorium at 6.30pm

Upbeat – in the Meon Room at 6.30

Hello Upbeaters!

I’ve asked my friend Elise Fairley to lead Upbeat again this time after the superb session you all had with her in February.  Please come and have fun –she’ll have something to amaze you!

Best wishes
Becky Hill

The Pre-Concert Interlude

in the Octagon Lounge, 7.00 – 7.20pm, will be played by a group of Students.  Full details at Ferneham on the Night!

Saturday’s Conductor in Conversation

Why did you begin conducting?

I had relatively little exposure to music as a very young child but I have a very vivid memory of my parents playing Rossini’s William Tell Overture and being utterly delighted by the surprise of the trumpet and horn fanfares towards the end.  I persuaded my mother to find me a piano teacher but my lessons were cancelled before they began when my prospective teacher was incapacitated so I was largely self taught and, though I had some trombone lessons from my school’s head of music – a fine player in the Brighouse and Rastrick band – I hadn’t had the grounding to develop adequately on any instrument.  I worked very hard to reach a level of ability at the keyboard to secure a place to read Music at Lancaster University, but it soon realised that I would never be an accomplished instrumentalist.  Not wishing to give up my ambition to make music a career I sought other outlets which included composition and conducting and soon found opportunities with the university ensembles who played a huge part in my formative musical years.

How are the programmes selected for the orchestras you conduct regularly?

I work very closely with the management teams to create programmes that stimulate, educate and entertain audiences.  I was taught that a good concert should be like a good meal; courses that complement each other but aren’t necessarily similar, and perhaps something completely new (and spicey) to stimulate the aural palate.

Have you conducted the works in Saturday’s programme before?

I have conducted the Tchaikovsky and Elgar several times.  The Elgar is an audience favourite and great fun to conduct.  I am always stunned by the emotional depth of his writing and the meticulous handling of the instruments with clear instructions in the score.  Tchaikovsky never fails to please but many of his fine, neglected orchestral works deserve a wider circulation.

Which items in the concert are new?

Helios is new to me.  I’ve known of it for many years but always had a rather prickly attitude towards Nielsen.

I conducted the Flute concerto a few years ago and found the expressive language extremely difficult to digest.  By contrast, this overture is fast becoming one of my favourite ‘new’ pieces; it’s an extraordinarily unique essay in a familiar idiom and his grasp of the figurative is astounding.

I’m a huge fan of Malcolm Arnold’s work and am frustrated that his serious work is sneered upon by some parts of the establishment.  In my view he is one of the most original composers of the 20th century.  His music stands alone, seldom imitated and often maligned, but always unashamedly himself.  I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s performance.

Had you been to Hampshire before?

I worked at Southampton University for eight years as conductor of their Sinfonietta so Hampshire isn't completely new to me and I’m occasionally to be seen in the Portsmouth area.

What attracts you to potential ‘clients’?

Quality is the main draw for me.  I don’t necessarily mean in the playing, though this is everyone's goal.  I think it’s more the quality of the people.  Music is a great social catalyst and, when convivial, it is able to bring people together in a way that no other art-form can.  I’m often attracted to those groups who employ a similar philosophy and I conduct several fine orchestras who can be heard laughing almost as much as playing!

Thank you Andrew and enjoy the concert!

CDs for this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Nielsen  – Helios Overture
South Jutland SO; Niklas Willen
c/w Aladdin Suite, Maskarade Ov., etc
Naxos 8.557164  bargain price

Arnold  – Little Suite No 2
City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox
c/w Concerto for 28 Players, Variations on a theme of Ruth Gipps and A Manx Suite
Chandos CHAN 9509  full price

Elgar  – Cello Concerto
Jacqueline du Pre / LSO / Barbirolli
c/w Cockaigne Ov and Sea Pictures
EMI Masters 6230752 (mid price)

Tchaikovsky  – Symphony No 2, Little Russian
BSO / Kirill Karabits
c/w Mussorgsky – A Night on the Bare Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition
Onyx ONYX 4074  full price)

For Sale in the Meon Room

Alison’s Jewellery
and Peter’s CDs ...

before the concert, during the Interval
and afterwards as well

Tickets, Tickets, Tickets ...

for HCO’s May Concert at Holy Trinity Church will be on sale at the Table in the Foyer on Saturday and/or from Margaret on 01243 377430.  (Season Ticket Holders £10.00 / Full Price £12.00, with the usual concessions.)

Buy in advance and avoid the crush on the night!

Sunday 24 March at 3.00 pm

St. Faith's Church, West St, Havant

The Nadina String Quartet

(including Becky Hill, viola)

presents a varied programme of music

for string quartet

in aid of The June Flower Festival.

Tickets £7 (including refreshments) from The Parish Office, 2 North Street, Havant, 023 9249 2129 and at the door.

Other Musical Events

Saturday 23 March, 7.30pm

St.Mary's Church Portsmouth
Portsmouth Choral Union
St John Passion  Bach

Tickets: contact 023 9282 2227 or at the door.

Saturday 20 April, 7.30pm

St John’s Catholic Cathedral, Portsmouth.
Renaissance Choir
More Music on the Theme of Love.

Tickets from 023 9247 5259

Recitals at Stansted House

Thursday 21 March, 7.30pm

South Downs College Music Students
Instrumental and Vocal Music in the Edwardian Music Room.
Interval refreshments in the Main Hall.

Tickets from 023 9241 2265 or at the door.

Saturday 18 May 7.30pm

Holy Trinity Church, West Street, Fareham
Havant Chamber Orchestra
Suite No 2 in B minor  J S Bach*
Holberg Suite  Grieg
Saxophone Concerto  Glazunov+
Serenade for Strings  Dvořák
Soloists Cathy Nicholson* & Vicky Puttock+

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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