Havant Symphony Orchestra


Noticeboard posts:
16.05.24 Profile: Adam Denman, trumpeter, and the Southern Music Project CIC
17.03.24 Preview: Haydn’s Creation by the University of Portsmouth choir and the Havant Symphony Orchestra
08.09.23 Profile: James Thomas, conductor
10.08.23 Havant Orchestras Bursary Conductor 2023-2024: Enyi Okpara
28.06.22 Havant Symphony Orchestra at 60: interviews with some of its longest-standing members
25.04.18 Profile: Stella Scott

Havant Symphony Orchestra was created by Peter Craddock in 1962 as a Further Education class to offer local amateur musicians an opportunity to study, rehearse and perform a wide range of orchestral music. The HSO and its sister orchestra, Havant Chamber Orchestra, form The Havant Orchestras, which are administered by Havant and District Orchestral Society.

The HSO is primarily an amateur orchestra attracting players from a 30-mile radius with some players involved in the profession as music teachers.

The current conductor and musical director of HSO is Jonathan Butcher.  Accompanying him will be Havant Orchestras’ latest holder of the Bob and Beryl Harding Bursary for Young Conductors.  The bursary provides a unique opportunity for a student to consolidate and develop their conducting skills and rehearsal techniques while extending knowledge of orchestral repertoire as well as gaining insight into the organisation of a concert season.

The leader for the 2023/24 season is Matthew Palmer, a professional violinist with a wealth of experience in orchestral playing, recently with the Orchestra of the English National Ballet.

The HSO season comprises of three concerts held at Oaklands Catholic School, Stakes Hill Road in Waterlooville. The school hall has tiered seating, good acoustics and plenty of car parking space.  A pre-season concert is held in September at the Hayling Island Community Centre.

One of the most important features of the concerts of Havant Symphony Orchestra is the wide range of music performed which usually includes a ‘discovered’ work – either an unknown by a well-known composer, a should-be-known by a little-known composer, or even, occasionally, a commissioned work.  Each concert will feature a soloist, whether an international star, a promising newcomer, a talented member of the orchestra or a well-known local professional.

In support of the educational role of the orchestral society, Havant Symphony Orchestra tries to ensure that each main evening concert is usually preceded by a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm on a subject related to the concert.

Where practical, the HSO also invites local music pupils to provide a pre-concert musical interlude at 7.00pm of about 15 minutes, giving them an informal opportunity to perform in front of an appreciative audience.

To encourage younger audiences, concert tickets for children still at school (up to sixth form or equivalent) cost only £1, and students get a 50% discount.

Performer Details
    Events by this performer
    July 13, 2024
    Leader: Martin PalmerConductor: Jonathan Butcherby Havant Symphony Orchestra. Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride” – SmetanaConductor: Enyi Okpara Cello Concerto – ElgarSoloist: Joseph Spooner (pictured) Symphony No. 1 in C minor – Brahms The most famous piece for cello and...
    University of Portsmouth
    May 12, 2024
    Read preview notes. University of Portsmouth ChoirsGeorge Burrows (conductor) The University of Portsmouth Choir, featuring the Havant Symphony Orchestra, presents Haydn’s Creation with words by Anne Hunter, including a world premiere of A Song for Eve by Gayathri Kemadasa. Tickets: £19,...
    March 10, 2024
    Havant Symphony OrchestraConductor: Jonathan Butcher Night on the Bare Mountain – MussorgskyConductor: Enyi Okpara Violin Concerto – KhachaturianSoloist: Joo Yeon Sir Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” – Dvořák Further info/tickets. Something old, something new…? Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto may...
    December 9, 2023
    Read Valentina’s preview notes. Havant Symphony OrchestraConductor: Jonathan Butcher Overture “Oberon” – Weber Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor – RachmaninovSoloist: Valentina Seferinova (pictured)Prelude and Mazurka from “Coppelia” – DelibesWitches’ Ride, Dream Pantomime and Gingerbread Waltz, from “Hansel and...
    September 16, 2023
    Havant Symphony Orchestra Conductor: James Thomas Overture “The Hebrides” – Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2 – Saint-SaënsSoloist: Thomas Luke (pictured) Symphony No. 1, “Spring” – Schumann We love bringing our concerts to Hayling and this year we have a wonderful...
    July 8, 2023
    Read preview notes. Tam O’Shanter Overture – Arnold Sea Pictures – ElgarSoloist: Janice Watson (pictured) Suite “Summer Days” – Coates Bacchanale from “Samson and Delilah” – Saint-SaënsConductor: James Thomas Tales from the Vienna Woods – Johann Strauss Jr Fantasia on...
    March 26, 2023
    Overture “Poet and Peasant” – Suppé Piano Concerto in A minor – GriegSoloist: Florian Mitrea Karelia Suite – SibeliusConductor: James Thomas Symphony No. 2 in B minor – Borodin Conductor: Jonathan Butcher Great classics for all Havant Symphony Orchestra invite...
    December 10, 2022
    Overture “Carnival” – Dvořák Nocturne (New Year music) – Finzi Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor – BruchSoloist: Madeleine Pickering Christmas Overture – Coleridge-Taylor Sleigh Ride – Delius The Skaters’ Waltz – Waldteufel Sleeping Beauty Suite – Tchaikovsky Conductor:...
    October 1, 2022
    Overture “The Consecration of the House” – Beethoven Violin Concerto in E minor – MendelssohnSoloist: Mira Marton Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished” – Schubert “Blue Danube” Waltz – Johann Strauss II Conductor: Avi Taler Back at Hayling at last! HSO are...
    July 2, 2022
    Read interviews with some of the orchestra’s longest-standing members on the occasion of this remarkable milestone. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Dukas Violin Concerto in D major – TchaikovskySoloist: Melina Mandozzi Royal Hunt & Storm from “The Trojans” – Berlioz Symphonic...
    April 2, 2022
    The Land of the Mountain and the Flood – MacCunn Capriol Suite – Warlock Piano Concerto No. 3 – ProkofievSoloist: Christos Fountos Symphony No. 2 in D – Brahms Download poster. A pick and mix classical variety-fest awaits you at...