SUMMER CONCERT 2023
Our first performance with new MD, Clare Oliver, was a resounding success. With us for the evening were our guests, Wantage Silver Band under the baton of Paul Holland. Starting with ’Cantar!’ sung in Spanish, Hampshire Harmony went on to sing a wide variety of music from sacred to modern and some old favourites but we also performed Africa and On My Own for the first time in concert. To end the first half, the choir sang Skyfall accompanied by the band. With Clare’s energetic and excellent direction, along with our great accompanist, Jonathan Hedgecock, we sang confidently, treating our audience to an incredible range of beautiful singing.
Wantage Silver Band are a very talented band and have won many awards. We were delighted to have them as our guests. They played a broad range of works including some excellent solo sections.
The highlight of course was the premiere of composer, Gareth Trott’s ‘Do Not Go Gently’, based on Dylan Thomas' poem ‘Do Not Go Gently’. It was a wonderfully emotive solo played beautifully on the trombone by Jonathan Pippin while the gentle tones of the xylophone added magic in the background.
The evening concluded with enthusiastic audience participation in Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory from Pomp and Circumstance.
Our audience clearly enjoyed the concert and have been full of praise. We were also delighted to be joined for the evening by the Mayor of Basingstoke, Councillor David Leeks and his wife Amanda. It was a great way to celebrate our first year under our new name of Hampshire Harmony and our first concert with Claire Oliver as our MD..
BASINGSTOKE VARIETY SHOW
Saturday 1st October 2022 was the date of Basingstoke Mayor, Cllr Paul Miller’s Variety Show in aid of The Pink Place / The Blue Place Cancer Charity and Tough Enough to Care, a mental health charity. We were privileged to be part of that huge show. Not only were we glad to support the charities but it was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our abilities and talent.
As part of a cast of around 15 acts totalling 360+ performers, we were second on the bill after the opening act and compére’s welcome. Dressed in our very smart black outfits with pastel multicoloured rose corsages, we performed to a sell out crowd. We opened with Seize the Day from Disney’s Newsies, followed by Feel Good, a modern Gospel song. In the second half our rendition of Cold Play’s Viva La Vida was loudly applauded as we sang confidently and with feeling under Rob Elliott’s excellent direction. Our terrific accompanist Jonathan Hedgecock did us proud together with the House Band who provided a professional sound backing. Incidentally Jonathan became part of the band overnight when one of the keyboard players was taken ill!
In the finale we joined all the other acts in singing the choruses of The Climb (Miley Cyrus) and September (Earth Wind and Fire) There was tumultuous applause for all the amazing performances.
It was a long, tiring day full of rehearsals and performances but it was an amazing experience singing in front of such a large capacity crowd. The organisers did a great job running the show and we managed to see a small portion of the acts. There is so much talent, energy and enthusiasm for performing arts in our area! Maybe some young singers who heard us will want to join us in the future.
After this experience, we feel we can hold our heads up high as we move forward in our new phase of development, with great hopes for the future.
All Saints Church, 24th September '22
The beautiful All Saints Church, Odiham was a fitting venue on Saturday 24th September when Hampshire Harmony sang in a concert to raise funds for RAFA KIDZ Odiham.
Joined by Romsey Voices and Theresa Lunn for the occasion, we sang a wide and varied programme of music ranging from Ave Maria to Feel Good. Romsey Voices gave us Puttin’ on the Ritz and many more well-known pieces as well as the moving Tibié Paiom sung in Old Slavonic. Theresa Lunn brought the house down with a highly entertaining medley from Mary Poppins dressed in character.
We sang to a capacity audience, whose smiling faces throughout, were a testimony to their enjoyment of our performances and reinforced post-concert by the number of complimentary remarks made by many.
QUOTES FROM THE AUDIENCE
“We thoroughly enjoyed the concert” J & G D
“We did enjoy your concert … Hampshire Harmony sang particularly well and an excellent conductor/compère.” FY
“It was a really lovely evening … loved your programme” MM
“A superb concert/performance … the programme was so entertaining” JCF
“It’s fantastic” CC
And many more in the same vein.
SUMMER CONCERT with THE WESSEX - JUNE '22
An air of anticipation, not to say excitement, hung over Aldworth School on Saturday 18th June as members of Basingstoke Ladies Choir gathered for their first annual concert in three years.
Originally arranged for June 2020 the concert began to resemble a rolling stone as it was rolled over not once, not twice but three times finally coming to fruition at the third attempt.
As the hall began to fill, the sense of excitement mounted. The audience size was difficult to estimate as people were coming in hoping to buy tickets at the door. The audience were terrific being both receptive and enthusiastic and enjoyed a wonderfully varied programme of music from both the Basingstoke Ladies and their guests, the award winning The Wessex from Wiltshire, and finishing with a beautifully controlled rendition by both choirs of “And can it Be”.
We were delighted that we were joined for the evening by the Deputy Mayor of Basingstoke, Councillor David Leeks and his wife Amanda and our very supportive patron Dame Maria Miller, the MP for Basingstoke. We were also able to share the exciting news that from September Basingstoke Ladies’ Choir will be adopting the new name of Hampshire Harmony and will be holding their first concert under their new name in Odiham in September.
BACK ON STAGE - DECEMBER 2021
Saturday, 4th December was an overcast and cold day but for Basingstoke Ladies’ Choir it was one of warmth and sunshine as they took to the concert platform for the first time in two years.
An invited audience of families and friends enjoyed a short informal concert. A varied programme of music included traditional Christmas carols and songs from O Come All Ye Faithful to We Need a Little Christmas and Ding Dong Merrily on High to Jingle Bell Rock. New additions included the popular Hallelujah, Michael Jackson’s Heal the World and from the musical Newsies, Seize the Day. The audience enthusiastically joined in the communal singing ending with Jingle Bells which had been specially personalised for the choir. The Chamber Choir gave a lovely rendition of The Angel Gabriel.
The choir made a tremendous visual impact dressed in the familiar choir colours of black and red with the addition of a little festive sparkle. Their bright smiles lit up the auditorium and their joy in singing was evident to all.
A wonderful afternoon ended with a raffle and bucket collection in support of the TESCO/Caritas/Spotlight Christmas Appeal which provides toys and gifts for the most vulnerable children in the Basingstoke Community. Our generous audience raised a magnificent £414.43 for this very worthy cause.