Martyn Bowden – much respected.

Havering Concert Orchestra were very sad to hear about the death of Martyn Bowden . Martyn supported us over many years playing trombone. In our 2019 Autumn Concert we dedicated Arvo Pärt’s – ‘Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten’ to him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Start of rehearsals today with our new Conductor. So exciting! Details of our concert can be found on our website www.hcoweb.co.uk. Or watch our new video: https://youtu.be/EGbr2ZqpcRc

Lawrence our new Conductor

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Conductor – Lawrence Tatnall

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Conductor – Lawrence Tatnall PG Dip BMus.

We started the recruitment process for a new conductor nearly a year ago, with 22 applications, 8 interview candidates, a final shortlist of 3 and then 2 conductors covering alternating rehearsal weeks this last term and sharing the baton at the last concert. Congratulations have to go to Angelo Tsocos, who made the final two in this process who acquitted himself admirably – but we could only have one conductor!

We’re very excited to be working with Lawrence and planning out some exciting programmes for the next concert season.  In the meantime, tickets are already on sale for our summer concert “THIEVES, LOVERS & PRINCESSES” which takes place on Saturday 22nd June at Frances Bardsley Academy, Romford. See Lawrence’s biography at Lawrence’ Biography.

HCO Announce their Spring Concert

 

Artwork by Hui Yan

Our journey starts by taking us to Rome. The date is 1532, and it’s carnival time. Benvenuto Cellini is about to cast the famous statue of Perseus commissioned by the Pope, but nothing is easy.

Then we travel to Vienna in 1816 where the 19-year old Franz Schubert has just finished his lively, youthful and sweet 5th Symphony.

We continue our journey to the ‘Paradise Garden’ of Frederick Delius but, in this case, it is an inn where two star-crossed lovers meet before they take their own lives.

The end of our journey is in a garden full of stone statues. It’s where the magical realm of Kostcheï the Immortal rules, transforming people into stone. Our hero, Prince Ivan, captures the fantastical Firebird, a powerful female spirit bird with magical feathers that provide beauty and protection. After granting her freedom, she gives him one of her magic feathers. This feather offers our hero the lifeline he needs to rescue the Princesses from the evil Kostcheï and to recall the Firebird to return the statues to life. Of course, Ivan marries one of the Princesses.

For this concert, we will have two conductors, as it is the final part of our recruitment process looking to appoint a long-term conductor.
Our journey starts by taking us to Rome. The date is 1532, and it’s carnival time. Benvenuto Cellini is about to cast the famous statue of Perseus commissioned by the Pope, but nothing is easy.

Then we travel to Vienna in 1816 where the 19-year old Franz Schubert has just finished his lively, youthful and sweet 5th Symphony.

We continue our journey to the ‘Paradise Garden’ of Frederick Delius but, in this case, it is an inn where two star-crossed lovers meet before they take their own lives.

The end of our journey is in a garden full of stone statues. It’s where the magical realm of Kostcheï the Immortal rules, transforming people into stone. Our hero, Prince Ivan, captures the fantastical Firebird, a powerful female spirit bird with magical feathers that provide beauty and protection. After granting her freedom, she gives him one of her magic feathers. This feather offers our hero the lifeline he needs to rescue the Princesses from the evil Kostcheï and to recall the Firebird to return the statues to life. Of course, Ivan marries one of the Princesses.

For this concert, we will have two conductors, as it is the final part of our recruitment process looking to appoint a long-term conductor.

There will be Tears Tonight!

Tonight, the 24 November at The Francis Bardsley Academy Havering Concert Orchestra’s will perform the last concert under the baton of Bill Brooks, who is retiring after a lifetime of service to music in Havering.

How do you do justice to a man who has devoted his life to music in Havering.

Bill’s first conducting role was to conduct the School Percussion Band at the Hornchurch Infant Schools Music Festival. He was 7. At 69 he is conducting the HCO for the last time. He has been our conductor for the last 13 years and before that was a cellist with the Orchestra.

You will find more details in our Programme available this evening.

Bill is a conductor, a cellist, a teacher, a mentor, a ‘Barber Shop’ singer and a wonderful person.

He has devoted huge amounts of time to the Royal School of Church Music (Essex and East London Area) and to the Bishops’ Chorister Award, and to music at Hornchurch’s St Andrews Church.

In the orchestra today there are three cellists who were taught by Bill, one was eight when her lessons started. Several where taught their orchestral skills in the Hornchurch Youth Training Orchestra when Bill conducted (1981 to 1992). One of these, travels 70 miles each week to attend rehearsals and says – “As I write this with a lump in my throat, I cannot imagine rehearsals without his encouragement, warm sense of humour and laughter”.

You will forgive me if I drop into the first person on this very special posting. I took up the cello aged 56 with no musical background. I had bought a cello – but how to play it. I asked a local music shop for anyone who could teach me. “Well there’s Bill Brooks but I think he is retired”. I phoned and well Bill gave up his Tuesday evenings and that was over 12 years ago!

Each of us has a story like that.

So come and join us on this very special occasion.