For the latest amateur classical music listings in and around Portsmouth, including Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester, Havant and Hayling Island

Preview: Portsmouth Philharmonic Spring Charity Concert on 4 March

An evening rehearsal with Portsmouth Philharmonic is enough to convince anyone that this ensemble’s concerts are worth going to.  They’re a hard-working bunch. Not a second is wasted during their two-hour practice sessions. Musical director, Hugh Carpenter, a man gripped by attention to detail, does not let a dodgy flat or sharp pass without putting it right. So the ensemble is moving meticulously towards its next performance at the Church of the Resurrection in Drayton. The concert is scheduled to start at 3.00pm on Sunday 4 March.  Never lacking in ambition, this orchestra’s concert programme is chock full of musical gems.

Johannes Brahms’ Academic Overture is a treat. Having refused an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University in 1877 because he didn’t fancy travelling to England, that old joker, Brahms rubbed salt into the wound by accepting an honorary degree from the University of Breslau and writing this work for it in 1880.  However, hidden in the glorious, joyful music are snatches of risky student drinking songs.  That didn’t go down too well with of learned professors. In rehearsal, Portsmouth Philharmonic is playing this with absolute gusto.

Franz Schubert’s Symphony No 8, the Unfinished, is not to be missed either. In 1822 Schubert wrote only two movements. After setting it aside for a bit, he sent it to his friend Anselm Huttenbrenner. Huttenbrenner stuffed it in a drawer and didn’t pass it on to a conductor in Vienna till 1865.  Complete or not, some would consider this to be up among one of Schubert’s finest works. Several years ago the orchestra played this number. Now it’s sounding better than ever.

Lovers of Baroque music will enjoy Johan Sebastian Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. The Orchestra’s leader Colin Wilkins and first desk violinist Trudy McNiven will play the slow movement of this lovely work. With minimal backing from the rest of the strings, the basic theme is interwoven and passed seamlessly back and forth between the lead two instruments. It’s far from easy to get both the violins to sound like echoes of each other but, no doubt, Colin and Trudy will pull this off with their usual mastery.

Also on the bill is Karl Jenkins’ Palladio. With its insistent, rhythmic beat creating mounting excitement, it’s a musical lollipop if ever there was one.

The wind section of the orchestra will be given its moment of glory when it plays Carl Maria Frederick Ernst von Weber’s Concertino for oboe and winds. This features Wendy Carpenter, the conductor’s wife. A very accomplished oboist, Wendy also plays in the Charity Symphony Orchestra and the renowned Chichester Orchestra.  Doubtless, the work is in experienced, safe hands.

This concert is really shaping up to be something special.  For a paltry £5, which goes to the Rheumatology Department of QA Hospital, it certainly is value for money.

Preview: Music of mourning and Tranquillity

“Music of mourning and Tranquillity” is the title of the concert to be given by the gemini consort on 3 March at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church, Petersfield.

The concert is full of heart-rending, poignant music by such well-loved composers as Bach, Handel and Fauré, and includes part of the latter’s ever-popular Requiem.

There are also vocal solos and duets and music for recorder and clarinet.

Admission is free and that the retiring collection will be given to The Rosemary Foundation.

Havant Music Festival set to return in March

A music festival is set to return next month offering a variety of different genres to tickle everyone’s fancy. The Havant Music Festival will showcase 24 events over 10 days (March 15-25), including three orchestras, six choirs, an Abba tribute which has already sold out and an evening with upcoming young acts. See for more info.

Read more in The News at the link below.

The Solent Male Voice Choir to perform at the Havant Music Festival

The eight tower bells will be ringing out from 7.30 pm. to 8.00 pm. to welcome the Solent Male Voice Choir, guests and audience to a Havant Music Festival concert, followed by refreshments.

The Bosmere School Choir (Year 3) Children will be singing 2 or 3 songs and the soloist will be Michael Winter, Organist & Director of Music at St. Andrew’s, West Tarring, who is also Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist to The Solent Male Voice Choir.

The President of The Choir is Canon Tom Kennar, Rector of Havant and the Musical Director is Geoffrey Porter. The Choir rehearses every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. at The Pallant Centre, The Pallant, Havant. New members are always welcome. Please visit the SMVC website for further info.

Support for the Meon Valley Orchestra’s debut, solo performance

Despite beavering away on affairs of state, three extremely busy local Members of Parliament have found time to voice their support for the Meon Valley Orchestra’s debut, solo performance. The MVO’s concert is at 7.30pm on Saturday 10 March 2018 at the United Reformed Church, 18 Osborne Road South, Fareham, PO17 7UD.

All funds raised will go to the UK Gout Society.

Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport and Minister of State for Health and Social Care wished the MVO the very best of luck and hoped for a successful charity concert for a very worthy cause.

Suella Fernandes, MP for Fareham and Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, hoped that the event would be well supported by the local community, friends and family. She is aware that one in forty people suffer from gout which is a widely misunderstood condition.

George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley, thinks it’s wonderful that the MVO began with a handful of folk musicians in Meonstoke and blossomed into a light classical orchestra which has much to offer the cultural life in the Meon Valley and beyond. He wished their forthcoming performance the very best of luck.

The Meon Valley Orchestra’s concert is unique because concert-goers can choose in advance what they wish to hear on the night. They are invited to select their three favourite pieces from the following list.

The Big Country by Jerome Moss, Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini, Crown Imperial by Edward Elgar, On Hearing the First Cuckoo of Spring by Frederick Delius, Dambusters’ March by Eric Coates, Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli, English Folk Song Suite as well as Fantasia on Greensleeves both by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jupiter by Gustav Holst, Marche Slave by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Nocturne by Felix Mendelsshon, Skyfall by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, Pink Panther by Henry Mancini, Redetzky March by Johann Strauss, the Toreador’s Song by George Bizet and Sailing By written by Ronald Binge.

If you would like to come to the concert please send your music choices to giving your name and telephone number. Tickets are £10 each including sumptuous refreshments.

The UK Gout Society is the only charity solely dedicated to raising awareness of this most painful type of arthritis and providing support and information to people living with it. For further information on gout please visit the website at

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