A Great Summer Concert (22 June 2024)

We had a great concert including Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with soloist Àánú Sodipe. And it ended with Mozart’s – Symphony No 40.

Our Leader (Sandy Thompson) and Conductor (Lawrence Tatnall)
Our Conductor and the soloist Àánú Sodipe

 

 

 

Àánú Sodipe
Àánú Sodipe
Principal Cellist and Chairman Graeme Wright.


Leader Sandy Thompson
Lower Strings

Posted 23 June 2024

Michael Axtell former conductor of the HCO, dies after a fall at the age of 85.

Michael Axtell (1939-2024)

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of our much-loved conductors, Michael Axtell, who died after a fall at the age of 85.

Michael first conducted the HCO in 1995, marking the start of a fruitful relationship. He returned to conduct again in 1998, bringing his unique flair and passion to each performance. A highlight of his early contributions was in 1999 when he showcased his prowess as a soloist in Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto at our Spring Concert. That same summer, he embraced the role of principal conductor, a position he held with distinction until his final concert in the summer of 2005. Under his leadership, the orchestra flourished, bringing classical music to life with vibrancy and precision.

Our Chairman, Graeme Wright, shares a fond memory: “He once drove off from an HCO rehearsal at Upminster Junior School having accidentally left his flute on top of his car. I don’t believe he ever found it”. Karen Williams, a long standing Orchestra Member, says he was “Charismatic, humorous, a great socialiser … His annual chamber music courses were legendary – besides good music, there was good drinking, socialising, stories and … we ended up playing cricket on the beach or croquet on the lawn. For all his humour, he knew how to get the best out of an orchestra and when to stop the jokes and start with the hard work”. Michael led a remarkably full life and will be greatly missed.

His tribute page can be found here: michaelaxtell.muchloved.com.

Read his bio here https://www.hcoweb.co.uk/people/conductors/michael-axtell

String and brass players required

String and brass players wanted.

If you play a string or brass instrument we would love you to join us.

We are a friendly community orchestra.

Our next Concert is 3:00 Sunday 17th March 2024.

Rehearsals are on Wednesdays 7:30.  The first is Wednesday 3rd January 2024.

They are held at North Street Halls, 24 North St, Hornchurch RM11 1QX.

More infomation and a Joining Form can be found here. Please use our contact form  here to request more information or to ask any questions.

A New Film About Fanny Mendelssohn.

There is a new film which is about to come out, which may be of interest. The film is Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn, a revelatory new feature documentary starring, Isata Kanneh-Mason.

Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March may be the best-known classical composition of all time. But Felix was not the only genius in the family. His sister, Fanny was also a great composer, equal in talent to any of her contemporaries, male or female; technically brilliant and creatively ground-breaking. Most other musicians were daunted by her, but Fanny was, fatally, in awe of her younger brother Felix. He opposed her desire for a musical career, and Fanny dared not defy him until she was forty – and had written over four hundred works. Her joy at the recognition this brought was short-lived: a year later she was dead, and Felix followed six months later. For many years Fanny’s music did not get the recognition it deserved. This film puts that right.

The film tells the story of Fanny’s life and of her Easter Sonata, which for years was thought to be a lost work by Felix. But in an amazing plot twist, captured as it happened, the film proves once and for that this is Fanny’s own piano masterpiece, written when she was only 22. And the music is brought to life in the film by the young virtuoso pianist, Isata Kanneh-Mason, who made her sensational Proms solo debut this year. And as she discovers the Easter Sonata, the parallels between her life and Fanny’s – including the challenge of being a pioneer with few role models in classical music – become clear.

Directed by the composer’s great great great granddaughter, by turns joyous, fascinating and tragic, the film is the story of a very modern woman – who just happened to live 200 years ago. You can watch the trailer for the film here:  https://youtu.be/_RSeqw1ziC0 and it is already booked in 17 cinemas across London.

Here is a link to where it will be shown:  https://www.dartmouthfilms.com/fannytheothermendelssohn.

Information supplied by Matt Hird, Head of Distribution, Dartmouth Films.

 

String and brass players required

If you play a a string or brass instrument we would love you to join us.

We are a friendly community orchestra.

Our next Concert is 7:30 Saturday 25th November 2023.

Rehearsals are on Wednesdays 7:30.  The first is Wendesay 13th September.

They are held at North Street Halls, 24 North St, Hornchurch RM11 1QX.

More infomation and a Joining Form can be found here. Please use our contact form  here to request more information or to ask any questions.

Sad News – Stan Vanlint a long serving violinist has passed away.

It was with great sadness that we learnt that Stan Vanlint passed away on Monday, 17 January 2022 at the age of 92.

Stan was an enthusiastic and long standing member of the Second Violins. He joined in 1982 and his last concert was in 2016, when he decided to leave for health issues. Stan was also a committee member for some years. Not only did he love the violin but, as a skilled craftsman, he used to make his own violins. He ran evening classes where a number of orchestra members learnt the craft and went on play them. Stan was always supportive and welcoming to new members.

Here is a photo of Stan, front row, in the middle. Taken at the ‘Bell’ School Upminster, where we rehearsed for many years. (June 2010).

He will be sadly missed.

The Orchestra at the 'Bell' School June 2010
The Orchestra at the ‘Bell’ School June 2010

 

Sad news: The death of James Brockenshire MP

So sad to hear of the death of James Brockenshire, former Hornchurch MP and Government minister at the age of 53.

He was absolutely lovely when he came along to one of our Windmill Hall concerts a few years’ back and (despite very little briefing!) spoke freely and off the cuff to the audience. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family, colleagues and friends.

Havering Heores

Watch the video, listen to the music.

‘Heroes’ performed by Havering Music School Community Orchestra – which included some of us.

https://www.facebook.com/LBofHavering/videos/815235012217660/?t=0