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Newsletter for May 2019

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.

The Havant Orchestras

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

May 2019 Newsletter

From the Chairman …

We are very pleased to announce our plans for next season!  Our main concerts for the 2019-20 season are described in the brochure included with this newsletter and on the Havant Orchestras website.

Havant Symphony Orchestra continues at Oaklands School, but Ferneham Hall is closing for two years for major refurbishment so Havant Chamber Orchestra will be trying out some alternative venues in or near Fareham: Fareham URC, Holy Trinity Church and Wickham Community Centre.  Seating at these new venues cannot be conveniently divided into different price bands, so we have set a fixed price of £15 for individual adult tickets (cheaper than the main seating areas W and X at Ferneham Hall, but not as cheap as the current areas Y and Z).  You can still book specific seats in advance (including online booking via TicketSource) and obtain season tickets for these new venues.  Tickets may also be available at the door but the limited capacity of Fareham URC and Holy Trinity Church means that there is a risk that tickets at those venues may be sold out.  For further details, see the back pages of the brochure.

Season tickets can be booked using the form included with the brochure, which can be handed in at a concert or posted to the Tickets Secretary.  Additional copies of the form are available at concerts, where you can also pick up more printed copies of the brochure for yourself and your friends.  A PDF copy of the form, suitable for printing on A4 paper, can be downloaded from next season’s Tickets page on the website.  Season tickets booked before the 13th July HSO concert at Oaklands can be collected at that concert, otherwise please enclose an SAE so that the Tickets Secretary can post them to you.

In addition to the six main concerts described in the brochure, HSO has its usual “Popular Classics” pre-season concert at Hayling Island Community Centre on Saturday 21st September, selected and conducted by our current Bob Harding Bursary award holder, Stefano Boccacci.  This year’s programme, described on the back page, features viola soloist Nia Thomas.  Details of how to obtain tickets will be made available shortly before the July concert.

We also hope to add a family concert on a Sunday afternoon, probably Sunday 8th March 2020 at Oaklands Catholic School.  This has been requested by supporters of the Peter Craddock Memorial Fund and any additional costs will be covered by the fund.  This is currently at the early planning stage.  If it proves to be practical, further details will be announced in a future newsletter and on the website.

Meanwhile, we are looking forward to our concert on Saturday, with pianist Daniel Lebhardt.  It is unfortunately impractical for the Ferneham Hall piano to be moved off the stage, so the orchestra will have to join it up there, instead of being closer to the audience as for previous concerts this year, but this is probably just as well because the powerful piano concerto might be too overwhelming at close range!

There are not many opportunities to see live orchestral classical music in this area, so please make the most of it and bring along lots of friends to share the experience!

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 18th May’s Programme

at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Daniel Lebhardt

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the auditorium
with soloist Daniel Lebhardt
and conductor Robin Browning
7.00 Pre-concert interlude in the Octagon lounge
7.20 Take your seats in the auditorium
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning
St Anthony Variations Brahms
Symphony No 60, “Il Distratto” Haydn
    Interval – 20 minutes
Piano Concerto No 1 Brahms
 Soloist: Daniel Lebhardt 
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert talk at 6.30pm in the main hall

Our soloist Daniel Lebhardt and conductor Robin Browning will be talking to Stella Scott about the works in the concert.

We recommend taking seats at or near the front so that you can easily hear the speaker and musical excerpts.  If you miss the start, please feel free to enter quietly.

Pre-concert interlude at 7.00pm in the Octagon Lounge

The pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge will be given by students from Meoncross School, under the direction of Paula Barnes.

Pop in to the lounge to listen to these talented youngsters, who appreciate the opportunity to perform in front of a friendly audience.

Notes from the conductor

As we reach the end of another year of concerts, Stella asked Robin for his thoughts on the current and upcoming seasons.  We didn’t have room for it all here, but you can read their whole conversation about venues, Brahms and Haydn on our blog via the link on our website.  If you have a question you’d like Robin to answer in a future edition, email

This will be our last concert in Ferneham Hall and that’s an ‘end of an era’ moment for our orchestras.  You’ve been with us for the last 6 years of our time there.  What are your impressions of Ferneham as a venue?  Any high/low points?

Gosh is it really 6 years?  I’ve loved my time so far with the orchestra, and actually I really like being in Ferneham Hall (unlike some who are quite, ahem, unkind about the acoustics).  Yes, the sound could be better and so on.  But as a performer, I weigh up all kinds of things alongside this.  Simple things mean so much to a professional musician on concert day: ease of parking, good dressing room, privacy.  The hall has all those.  And, as most HCO supporters will know, we’ve moved the band down onto the floor which connects us far more with our audience, and vice-versa.  Making it far more intimate in such a wide hall.  For that reason I think our more recent concerts together have been higher points; it definitely feels like the orchestra, audience and myself are growing together more.

How do you feel about the move (although theoretically temporary) to other venues?

I’m quite excited about it, despite what I’ve said above.  It’s a time of transition.  It’ll take some time for HCO to find its feet in new venues, to establish a presence and understanding of the sound world each one place has.  It’s easily overlooked by those who come to concerts quite how much musicians are aware of the acoustics and “feel” of a performance space.  Top musicians adjust alarmingly quickly, and it’s a key component of their skillset, one which isn't remarked upon very often.  One has to change almost every single thing about one's playing – attack of the note, volume, decay, colour, the lot – within minutes to recalibrate in a new venue.  As a conductor, I must adjust quickly too, addressing balance issues promptly and learning fast (very fast, as rehearsals are never long enough).  It’s one of the reasons touring is very stressful for a conductor (not that HCO tour – yet!) because every venue is new and different, especially when abroad.  The learning curve is steep.  People always underestimate acoustics.  It’s one of the chief tools in a musician’s kit.  I’ve seen world-class recording engineers utterly transform an acoustic (of, say, Walthamstow Town Hall – a famous recording venue of recent decades) in moments simply with curtains, cloth, and moving them around.  So, anyway, the move will be interesting for all – I genuinely hope our loyal audience will follow us openly and feedback their thoughts about the places we explore next season.

Robin Browning

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Brahms - St. Anthony Variations
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin Alsop
(c/w Symphony no.3)
Naxos 8557430 £7.50

Haydn - Symphony no.60
Northern Chamber Orchestra, Nicholas Ward
(c/w Symphonies nos. 22 'Philosopher', and no. 29)
Naxos 8550724 £7.50

Brahms - Piano Concerto no.1
Emil Gilels, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugen Jochum
(c/w Piano Concerto no.2 and Fantasies Op116)
DG Originals 4474462 2 CD's £11.50

(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).

Next HSO concert

HSO Concert at Oaklands School 13th July 2019

Hayling concert

HSO Concert at Hayling Island CC 21st September 2019

Peter Craddock Memorial Fund

As announced at the celebration concert in March, we have launched the Peter Craddock Memorial Fund, to be used to help the orchestras thrive and develop, by helping to fund special events, exciting works and exceptional soloists.  We are very grateful for the generous donations which have already given this fund an excellent start, with over £2,000 already received directly and more to be claimed via Gift Aid.

We hope this should be enough to fund a much-requested family concert, and perhaps also to help towards the high cost of hiring music in copyright, such as the amazing Firebird Suite for July.

We are particularly grateful to those who have set up standing orders for regular payments, as this helps us plan ahead.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Find us online

See our website for lots of information including all of our concert details, newsletters, links to buy concert tickets, directions to concert venues, historical information (about the orchestras, works performed and soloists), event listings (including other orchestras), contacts, music library, rehearsal schedules etc.

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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.

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