Preview: Havant Symphony Orchestra’s concert for a summer evening

Our Proms-style ‘Last night..’ concert on Saturday 8 July at Oaklands School is all set to go with orchestra at the ready, refreshments in stock and flags available for waving along to Jerusalem and Rule Britannia!

We are excited to welcome soprano Janice Watson (pictured) to sing the beautiful Sea Pictures by Elgar and we’ll kick off with the wild romp Tam O’Shanter by Malcolm Arnold.

The concert starts at 7.30pm but come along early to hear pre-concert music at 6.50pm. Talented pupils from Portsmouth High Prep School will perform in the Hall.

It will be a summer evening to remember!

The concert itself starts at 7.30pm but we are delighted that there will also be some pre-concert music which will be performed by talented pupils from Portsmouth High Prep School where the Director of Music is Becky Hill, the leader of the viola section in the Havant Symphony Orchestra. The girls are singers and instrumentalists who are working towards or have just taken either Trinity or ABRSM music exams. They will feature a variety of instruments ranging from voice to piano and violin to saxophone. Pieces will include Can You Feel the Love Tonight from the Lion King and Naughty from Matilda. Do come along to hear them from 6.50pm in the Oaklands School Hall.

In addition, Helen Taylor writes:

Searching through the Havant Orchestras’ archive, the committee was surprised to learn that the one and only time Havant Symphony Orchestra had played Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance was on 16th July 1983 at Oaklands School in Waterlooville.

Havant Symphony is once again presenting its very own ‘Proms last night’ including traditional favourites including Parry’s Jerusalem and Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs as the orchestra did forty years ago. 

The first half of this 8 July 2023 concert will have a more British flavour than back in 1983 when HSO performed music by Bizet, Turina and Dohnanyi.  Audience will be able to enjoy Arnold’s wonderfully drunken Tam O’Shanter Overture, Coates’ delightful Summer Days Suite, and Elgar’s evocative Sea Pictures with soprano Janice Watson.

The evening’s performance will be led by guest leader Martin Palmer and conducted by Jonathan Butcher.  The Havant Orchestras’ Bursary Holder for Young Conductors, James Thomas, will conduct Saint-Saëns’ sensual Samson & Delilah: Bacchanale.

Audiences are invited to bring and wave flags of their own choice at the finale, and join in with all the festive fun of a Last Night of the Proms. Who knows there may be audience who might remember the first ‘Proms’ style concert Havant Symphony Orchestra played. Some of the orchestra members will!

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