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Newsletter for October 2022

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 Lord Willetts FRS     Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham

October 2022 Newsletter

Welcome back to the HADOS Newsletter!

The pandemic has had, and continues to have, a major impact on the arts in general and certainly on Havant and District Orchestral Society (HADOS).  The uncertainty of the past couple of seasons resulted in a suspension of some of our normal routines, but the Newsletter returns now and we hope you enjoy reading our occasional ramblings along with (hopefully!) some useful information about our activities. 

Stella Scott

Looking forward to our HCO concert on October 15th

Remembering Brian Howells


Puccini wrote his piece ‘Crisantemi’ in just one evening on hearing of the death of his friend the Duke of Savoy.  He called it Crisantemi as the flowers were associated in Italy with funeral rites.

The piece was originally written for string quartet.  However, the string orchestra version that HCO will play on 15th October has an even deeper resonance with the addition of double basses.  Brian Howells introduced us to this beautiful piece and we first played it in a string concert at Emsworth Baptist Church in March 2017.  We think it will work especially well in the acoustic of Holy Trinity and will be a fitting tribute to Brian.

Our Principal Viola, Tim Griffiths, will give a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm.  Tim knew Brian well and will be able to talk about him and also about our concerto for this concert—the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola.

We are very much looking forward to playing the Mozart with former Hampshire County Youth Orchestra leader Laura Rickard and her violist colleague, Elliott Perks.  Laura played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for us last October to great acclaim!

As well as performing widely, both Laura and Elliott are respected teachers.  Laura is a teaching fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and Elliott teaches at the Yehudi Menuhin School.

Memories of Brian Howells

For this special concert HCO’s Musical Director Robin Browning reflects on his experience of working with Brian:

“When I began my relationship with HCO a number of years ago, Brian played a crucial role in making me feel welcome, and that I was musically at home.  He did this through his incomparable combination of skill, wit, and subtle charm. The relationship between conductor and concertmaster, or leader, is arguably the most pivotal of all – not least in a chamber orchestra where interplay can be so intimate on stage. 

With every performance and rehearsal, as we grew to know each other, I became more and more reassured that there was someone I could trust, deeply, to my left on stage.  I think we trusted each other.  Between us, we knew how much we could push a tempo, and sensed when players were overly tired.  He and I instinctively grasped what needed fixing, and what could be left to fix itself.  Brian spoke with years of experience, guiding both me and the orchestra with a deep understanding of technique, as well as group psychology.  Just one of his glances was enough to indicate that a particular tempo was on the cusp of danger.

Never one to admonish or belittle, Brian somehow managed to steer things towards musical excellence – across the ensemble, top to bottom – through his inspirational manner, delicious turn of phrase, and what seemed like an eternal smile when on stage.  He had that certain, undefinable something, which makes a pro a true pro.  Brian was one of the most inspirational orchestral leaders I’ve ever had the joy to work with.

I’ll never forget a multitude of micro-conversations between us, about everything and nothing, all in those rarefied moments of corridor-pacing whilst we both waited to walk on stage at Ferneham Hall.  I’ll forever miss that, as I will the ever-so-slightly cheeky grin awaiting me just moments later when we would be reunited on stage.

Wherever you’re making your music now Brian, I’m certain it is bright, clear, finely-shaped – and infused with that ever-infectious smile.”

Robin Browning

We asked Christa Porter, a long-time colleague of Brian’s, to lead the orchestra for this concert.  Here Christa reflects on her memories of working with him:

“I first met Brian, principal 2nd violin of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, when I joined his section in 1979. Two highlights stand out in my memory.  The first was playing the slow movement of the Bach Double with Brian in a memorial concert for a dear colleague.  The second was an extended period sitting next to him while the orchestra was looking for a new co-principal.  It was a joy to try to match his musicianship and phrasing and, especially, the warmth of the tone he drew from his violin.

Later, as a member of the City of Southampton Orchestra, I found myself next to Brian again as he took on the leader’s role with me deputizing as necessary.  The calm assurance of his leadership and his ready smile encouraged and enabled the orchestra to tackle a range of really challenging pieces.  I vividly remember sitting next to him for Scheherazade and him turning to me on the afternoon of the concert and saying ‘Have you practised the solos?’ My answer was, ‘Yes, but I hope I don’t have to play them!’

Now, when I take on the role of leader, I find myself remembering and trying to emulate his courtesy and professionalism.  He always supported any conductor that he worked with but stood up for the orchestra when necessary.  Above all, I remember his commitment to playing the violin and the way his enthusiasm for music never dimmed in all those years.”

Christa Porter

Saturday 15th October’s Programme

at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham

6.30 Pre-concert talk about the works in the concert by Tim Griffiths
7.00 Refreshments available
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning
St Paul’s Suite Holst
Sinfonia Concertante Tchaikovsky
 Soloists: Laura Rickard & Elliott Perks 
    Interval – 20 minutes
Crisantemi Puccini
Symphony No 33 Mozart
9.10 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert talk at 6.30pm

Do join Tim Griffiths to hear his memories of Brian along with lots of information about the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante.

Sit at the front of the church so that you can hear Tim clearly – you’ll be able to change to your booked seat for the concert.

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (HCO clarinet)

Holst - St. Paul's Suite - Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Richard Studt (c/w Britten, Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Delius, 2 Aquarelles, Vaughan Williams, Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus', and Warlock, Capriol Suite). Naxos 8.550823 £10.

Mozart - Sinfonia Concertante, K;364 Vilde Frang and Maxim Rysanov, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (c/w Violin Concertos nos.1 &5). Warner Classics 2564627677 £12.75.

Puccini - Crisantemi - Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (c/w other orchestral works of Puccini). Decca 4100072 £10.20.

Mozart - Symphony no.33 - London Mozart Players, Jane Glover (c/w Symphonies nos. 25 & 29). ASV CDDCA 717 £12.75.

The prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website, postage is extra.

Maybe nowadays you download or stream music?  Tell us how you like to listen and we can adjust our recommendations!!
Email with Newsletter in the subject line.

Peter and Sandra Craddock Fund

We are very grateful for all donations to the Peter and Sandra Craddock
Memorial Fund.  We use this in order to continue providing interesting and stimulating concerts.  Money from the fund will be used to support the cost of our wonderful soloists at the upcoming concert, Laura and Elliott.

Donations are always welcome to the HADOS bank account – please use ‘Craddock Fund’ as the reference so that we know what the money is for.  If you email us to say you have made a donation we will happily acknowledge your support in a list of donors in concert programmes.

CAF Bank, Sort code 40-52-40, Account no. 00017022

Thank you!

Bursary news

Our recent concert at Hayling Island was our final farewell to Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary Holder for 2019-20 (yes, that long ago!) Avi Taler.  We wish Avi all the very best for his future in conducting and very much hope that we will see him again.

Following an audition evening back in July we awarded the Bursary for 2022-23 to James Thomas.  James is currently conducting at Chichester University, so is rather more local than many of our previous students and already well-known to some members of HSO!  We look forward to working with James over the coming year.  He is scheduled to conduct two pieces in our December concert and will begin rehearsing with us very soon.

Concert Report

October 1st saw our first HSO concert at Hayling Island Community Centre since September 2019!

This has a been our regular ‘season-opening’ concert for as long as anyone can remember but was prevented from happening for a couple of years by the covid pandemic.  Bursary holder, Avi Taler, and his chosen soloist, violinist Mira Marton, patiently waited two years to be able to perform with us and were not disappointed by the 145-strong audience who came along.

There was a Viennese theme to the programme with Beethoven’s Overture ‘Consecration of the House’ and Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony topped off by The Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss.  The highlight, though, was Mira Marton’s assured and intense performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

The nationwide train strike on 1st October meant that Avi and Mira ended up spending the weekend up the road at the Premier Inn Langstone!  But it was all in a good cause and financially we have hopefully ended up pretty much on an even keel thanks to the good audience numbers.

Stella Scott

Winter Wonderland

Our next Havant Symphony Orchestra concert will be an afternoon of delights everyone can enjoy at Oaklands School, Waterlooville!

Bring friends and family to hear Sleigh Rides, a Christmas Overture, Sleeping Beauty ballet music and the Skater’s Waltz!

Young instrumentalists will be inspired by Madeleine Pickering who will perform the Bruch Violin Concerto with us.

Tickets will be available online soon—keep an eye on our website or contact:

2.30pm on Saturday 10th December

All details at:

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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