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Newsletter for May 2015

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.

From the Chairman …

It’s that time of year! 

Enclosed with this newsletter is the 2015-16 season brochure announcing the exciting programme of Havant Orchestras concerts for the next year.

As for the current season, the Havant Chamber Orchestra concerts are at Ferneham Hall in Fareham and the Havant Symphony Orchestra concerts are at Oaklands Catholic School, Waterlooville.  Note that the first main concert, with chart-topping classical guitarist Craig Ogden, will be on a Sunday, 11th October 2015, as Ferneham Hall was not available on a suitable Saturday.

The programme for our “Popular Classics” concert at Hayling Island Community Centre in September is also announced below, with conductor Colin Jagger and piano soloist Alexander Ullman.  Tickets for the Hayling concert will initially be available at the July HSO concert at Oaklands, and more details will be provided later.

All ticket prices have been kept the same as for the current season, with separate season tickets available for the three main concerts at each venue and an additional discount when buying both season tickets to cover all six concerts.

Season tickets can now be booked using the accompanying form, which can be handed in at a concert or posted to the Tickets Secretary.  Copies of the form are available at concerts, where you can also pick up additional printed copies of the brochure for yourself and your friends.  A PDF copy of the form, suitable for printing on A4 paper, is also available on next season’s Tickets page on the website.

Season tickets booked before the 11th July HSO concert at Oaklands can optionally be collected at that concert, otherwise please enclose an SAE so that the Tickets Secretary can post them to you.  As usual, tickets for individual concerts will become available around mid-September, after seats have been allocated for season tickets.  (Season tickets will still be available after that date, but the seating choice may be more limited).

The Havant Orchestras website has also been updated with details of next season, including links to additional information about the soloists, and we have also added a “Tickets” button to each future programme page (including those for the remaining two concerts of the current season) which links to the information on how to get tickets for that particular concert.

Coming back to the present, we have a birthday to celebrate!  Havant Chamber Orchestra’s first concert was on 6th July 1965, so HCO is 50 this year.  As the 50th anniversary date is in July, we can celebrate it first now in May with some very lively and delightful music, including brilliant young soloist Savitri Grier playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and then again in October with superstar Craig Ogden in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez!

Musically, HCO is thriving under conductor Robin Browning, now appointed as Musical Director, with excellent performances and glowing reviews.  What we need now is for people to spread the word and bring in more audience.  As a taster, Robin has posted a video on his website which contains a couple of sample extracts from the February HCO concert, which you can also find via the link “See HCO in action” on the home page of our Havant Orchestras website.  We hope to see you all on Saturday, and bring some friends too!

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 16th May’s Programme

at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Savitri Grier

6.30 Pre-concert talk by Alex Poulton in the auditorium
7.00 Pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge by local music pupils
7.20 Take your seats in the auditorium
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning
Overture Preciosa Weber
Violin Concerto in D major 
 Soloist: Savitri Grier
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No. 2 in Bb Schubert
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert Talk

6:30pm in the auditorium

The pre-concert talk will be given by Alex Poulton, who will be talking about various aspects of all three works in the concert programme.

Pre-Concert Interlude

7:00pm in the Octagon Lounge

Pre-concert music will be provided by a pupil from Springfield School playing the clarinet, and a pupil from Oaklands Catholic School playing flute and alto saxophone.

Notes from the conductor…

Hello everyone, and welcome to my final few “notes” for the current season.  And what a great season it has been, with some fabulous highlights so far – Cordelia Williams’ deep and fascinating Beethoven 4th in the last concert will stay with me a long time, as will the fun we had preparing and performing William Mathias’ little-known Dance Variations back in November.

Undeniably the highlight of the one remaining HCO concert this season is the Beethoven Violin Concerto, where we welcome brilliant soloist Savitri Grier.  I’ve worked with Savitri a number of times, and we’ve notched up a Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Brahms Double (with her sister, Indira), Prokofiev 2 and a couple of previous Beethoven’s together already.  She’s a talented and intelligent soloist, a joy to work with, and I’m sure you’ll love her performance too.  She’s a finalist for YCAT representation, so shortly after this HCO concerto she’ll be on stage at London’s Wigmore Hall.  I wish her well for this – she deserves big success!

Beethoven’s violin concerto was, in fact, the one piece which made me want to be a conductor, as a youngster.  Growing up in rural Yorkshire, I recall on many occasions stealing my Mum’s knitting needles and carving my way through the opening tutti in my bedroom.  She did eventually get them back, but they were always rather bent.

Schubert’s 2nd symphony is another little love of mine – quite short, I always prefer it to the more famous 3rd symphony, great as that is.  There’s something about the quality of the opening introduction, florid and flamboyant but already showing Schubert’s mastery of the orchestra.  I haven’t conducted it for some time, and can’t wait.

A piece I’ve never done but often wanted is the opener, Weber’s Preciosa Overture. To sum up: it’s a real virtuoso showpiece for the violins – typical of Weber! – with an opening dance-like 3/4, a gypsy march, and a con fuoco tour de force finish.  All packed into 5 minutes, or less…

Finally – if you’ve not heard already, I’m delighted to embark upon my first season as HCO Music Director from next season.  It’s thrilling to cement my relationship with this wonderful band, and I’m genuinely looking forward to our musical future together.  I hope you and many others will continue to support both orchestras – we have a fabulous programme lined-up for 2015-16, as you can see, starting with superstar soloist Craig Ogden in October.  I hope to see as many of you as possible throughout the season, and send my warmest wishes to you all.

Robin Browning

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Weber - Overture 'Preciosa'
Suisse Romande Orchestre, Ernest Ansermet
(c/w other overtures & Bassoon Concerto)
Decca Australian Eloquence ELQ 4800123 £7.75.

Beethoven - Violin Concerto
Isabelle Faust, Orchestra Mozart, Claudio Abbado (c/w Berg Violin Concerto)
Harmonia Mundi HMC 902105 £11.75.

Schubert - Symphony No.2 in B♭
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado (c/w Symphony No.1)
DG 4236522 £12.75.

Less coloured newsletter!

Although several of our readers said they liked the colours in the previous edition of the newsletter, a few were concerned that if they printed a copy at home it would use an unnecessarily expensive amount of coloured ink.  We hoped that the very pale backgrounds would use very little ink anyway, but to reassure those people we have removed the coloured backgrounds, although we are still using colour in images.

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Maggie Packe

We are sorry to tell you that Maggie Packe has died after a long illness. Maggie’s association with the Havant Orchestras was as a supporter of her husband Tony, who played in the cello section, but most of you will know her for her work as Season Ticket Secretary for many years, a role she fulfilled with the utmost efficiency and good humour.  She made sure she knew the individual requirements of every season ticket holder and took a personal interest in them all.

Behind the scenes Maggie was a long-term committee member contributing astute observations and with her sharp mind finding solutions to complex issues.  We will miss her positive attitude and wry good humour, evident throughout her illness, and her warm personality.

Tony Gutteridge

Next concert

Havant Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Jonathan Butcher
Leader: Cathy Mathews
Overture Colas Breugnon Kabalevsky
Cello Concerto 
   Soloist: Richard Harwood
Symphony No 5 in D minorShostakovich
Saturday 11th July 2015, 7.30pm
Oaklands School, Waterlooville PO7 7BW
Tickets £18.00; £16.00; £12.00; £6.00
Students half price / Under 19s £1.00

Hayling concert

Havant Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Colin Jagger
Leader: Cathy Mathews
Overture Der Freischütz Weber
Piano Concerto No 2 
   Soloist: Alexander Ullman
Symphony No 5 in E minorTchaikovsky
Saturday 19th September 2015, 7.30pm
Hayling Island Community Centre PO11 0HB
Tickets £12.00; Senior Citizens £10.00; Students £6.00; Children £1.00

Other orchestral concerts

(See Events page on our website for details)

Saturday 6th June 2015, 6:30pm
Hillier Gardens, Romsey
City of Southampton Orchestra
Summer concert with firework finale

Thursday 18th June 2015, 7:30pm
Festival Hall, Petersfield
Petersfield Orchestra
Mendelssohn, Bruch, Schumann

Saturday 20th June 2015, 7:00pm
Romsey Abbey, Romsey
Southampton Concert Orchestra
Summer Gothic Romanticism:
Bruckner, Poulenc, Stravinsky

Saturday 27th June 2015, 7:30pm
St Paul’s Church, Winchester
Winchester Chamber Orchestra
Italian summer concert:
Rossini, Respighi, Mendelssohn

Sunday 5th July 2015, 7:00pm
Royal Marines Museum
Solent Symphony Orchestra
Haydn, Beethoven

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

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