• Summer 2012 Newsletter •


  1. Director’s Report and Winter Festival Review by Carl Clausen
  2. Spike’s Corner
  3. Treasurers Report Spring 2012
  4. BRYANSTON 2012 by Lydia Morrell and Kathy Chalmers
  5. Update on Tom Seligman – post-HCYO by Juliet Balch
  6. Spike by Lottie Mitchell
  7. Young people moving on from Hampshire Youth Music by Dave Woods
  9. Friends Charity Update

1. Director’s Report and Winter Festival Review by Carl Clausen

A huge amount has happened since our last newsletter. Time flies and it is hard to think that I am already in the middle of next year’s planning and preparing for the arduous but hugely enjoyable task of auditioning members for next season. Looking back, there have been so many highlights and memorable events, too many to list here but a few that merit mention.

HCYO played a leading role in the first ever Hampshire Music Service Winter Festival. – a week long series of concerts with a strong emphasis on new music. All concerts had to include at least one piece by a living composer. HCYO took part in the opening and final concerts and it was good to see so many of our members playing at various events during the week, both as soloists and supporting Hampshire Music Service Area Ensembles.

The opening concert was both unusual and daring. Not many ensembles would have the courage to programme a whole evening of contemporary music – and also make the audience stand throughout! The Living Composers Concert proved a real success, in that it opened ears and minds to music most people do not venture into. It was good to join with local schools and Sixth Form colleges in the rarely heard IN C by Terry Reilly which mesmerised the audience for nearly an hour as prelude to the actual concert. A big thank you to Martin Read (Head of Music at Alton College) for taking this project on board. Whilst other composers were well represented (Arvo Pärt, Tom Daish and Steve Reich) it was no doubt James McMillan’s Veni Veni Emmanuel that will stay in peoples memories, a hugely challenging piece for percussion and orchestra played by Tim Palmer and our very own Hampshire County Youth Chamber Orchestra. There is now a whole generation of HCYO players who have no difficulties fitting 7 notes against 5 whilst holding a metal chime bar at the same time!

Bryanston, the highlight of the year for most people, lived up to all expectations. It is so good to be able to leave the real world and have the opportunity of immersing oneself in really detailed work without having those constant interruptions that modern life throws at you. All our members worked extremely hard and, with help form our expert tutors and some visitors from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, produced unforgettable performances both at Bryanston and the Anvil. Britten’s Simple Symphony by the String Orchestra showed just how much they have developed over the year and Shostakovich’s intensely personal Symphony No 10 was just that…very intense indeed! This level of playing does not happen by chance and is a direct result of everyone’s commitment and hard work.

However, the most moving few minutes of the Anvil concert was undoubtedly Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 so wonderfully performed by our cellists and Kat Penn. This was a surprise farewell gift to Spike Wilson who after many years of tireless work with HCYO will be leaving us for pastures new. Spike has been an inspiration for generations of young string players. Personally, I will miss him tremendously for his good humour and infectious enthusiasm but most of all, his passionate belief in music education.

As I said at the beginning, we are already looking forward to next year. Hampshire Music Service has heard the excellent news that it is to be Music Hub Leader for Hampshire following a review of music education by the government. HCYO is at the centre of Hampshire Music Service’s invaluable work and will continue to play an important role within the Hampshire Music Service, inspiring and challenging young musicians.

We have a lot to look forward to next year, including massed string events at the Anvil and round the county, a Stravinsky based project which will include new compositions and our tour to Poland and Moravia. As always we are all very grateful for all the support of parents and in particular the Friends of HCYO who do so much for our ensembles. There are always things to do – get involved!

2. Spike’s Corner

It’s the last time I’ll be writing an article as director of the String Orchestra and I’d like first of all to express my thanks to everyone who has made HCYO the hugely successful organisation which it is today. When I was a teenager in the orchestra in 1975 I was dimly aware of the Friends Association, but had no idea quite how important it was to the success of the orchestra. The huge amount of work which the parents do is fantastic and makes a massive difference. I have been privileged to work with four CYO conductors for whom I have had the greatest respect and admiration, and who have given me free rein and encouragement to develop the SO in interesting ways. Their musicianship, patience and enthusiasm have always been great sources of energy. And, of course, the hundreds of players over the years have taught me so much about human nature, the ability to overcome obstacles, and above all given me such fun in making music and living.

I’d also like to thank everyone for your wonderful generosity, both in spirit and for the presents which you have given me. So many people have said such lovely things about me that I am completely overwhelmed by it all. I thought that I was just doing my job and could creep away without too much fuss, but it was obviously not to be. It has been a great honour for me to have worked with so many wonderful musicians over the years, and to have seen each year’s orchestras grow from a nervous group of disparate children into a beautiful musical instrument, thinking and playing as an organic whole and making great music. I hope that you will all treasure the years with HCYO as much as I have done, looking back with love and fond memories at all the experiences and friendships it has given you.

There have been many highlights over the twenty-one years I have directed the String Orchestra and the years before that when I was a member of the CYO and then cello coach – many tours and countless Bryanston courses, with memorable acts in the informal concerts. Some of these events include the Poulenc Organ Concerto in Winchester, being asked to write Cumulus, conducting the Vaughan Williams Tallis Fantasia and Barber Adagio, playing cello in the conductorless Elgar Introduction and Allegro, singing in the wordless (mostly female) chorus in The Planets, and being part of the enormous Mahler 2 in Winchester. But above all these comes the memory of all those players who have passed through the ranks and who are still playing their instruments in whatever way gives them pleasure; last year’s 40th Anniversary concert was a fantastic testament to the high regard in which HCYO is held by its members, and I know that we will all continue to remember it with love and gratitude.

And so to this year: what a fantastic final year it’s been! Every year I think that the String Orchestra cannot be as good as the previous year and that I’ve set them too high a goal, and every year they surprise me by achieving the impossible. This year was no exception, and the performance of the Britten Simple Symphony at the Anvil was a huge achievement – it is not only a very difficult piece, but they played it without a conductor, with all its speed-changes and pauses and difficult entries, in a large concert hall in front of hundreds of people. No mean feat! The whole concert was such a joy and so memorable for me, with that surprise performance from the CYO cellists, the incredibly generous present from everyone, and a brilliant performance of Shostakovich 10 by the CYO. That performance shows that the whole CYO outfit is comfortable and thriving in the very capable hands of Carl Clausen, starting another chapter in its development. I look forward to the String Bonanza on 30th June (at which I shall be an emotional wreck), and then to following your progress and visiting to hear how it’s coming along with the new incumbent of the String Orchestra – I am sure that you will give him or her just as much excitement as you’ve given me. Thank you to everyone for giving me so much happiness for so many years. I’m looking forward to the 50th Anniversary…

3. Treasurers Report Spring 2012

I’m delighted to report that since the last newsletter we have raised funds as follows:

Busking: over £1,300. An amazing sum; thank you buskers, organisers and tin holders! (I’m sure the more clement weather was appreciated.)

Petersfield string concert. The raffle raised £110, a great result for this event. I understand the whole “string bonanza” was a resounding success.

Bryanston. The raffle, tombola and auction of promises together raised over £1,400. Thanks to all who donated prizes, helped organise beforehand and on the day, and of course to everyone who bought the tickets. And we were treated to a stunning Shostakovich 10 into the bargain!

Your support for the other fundraising activities, including membership, the 100 club, tuck-shop, cake and merchandise sales continues to make a valuable contribution to our funds, and we should all be grateful to the members of the committee and others who make them happen.

Judith Grajewski has continued to approach local, and not so local, bodies for donations to our funds, but I know she’s finding the lack of response very disappointing. Since the last newsletter we have, however, received a generous donation from the InMind Healthcare Group towards renewing the orchestra’s worn out music folders. The renewal of these folders will be an ongoing project for some time and if anyone knows of any other company that might be prepared to sponsor it, please let Judith know.

Next year will bring large calls on the Friends’ funds. In particular I know we’d like to support the projected summer tour so that all members of the orchestras can participate. In order to do this we’ll need to maintain, or indeed increase, our fundraising over the next twelve months. Your active support, financial or practical, would be hugely appreciated!

Graham Bint (Treasurer)

4. BRYANSTON 2012 by Lydia Morrell and Kathy Chalmers

Everyone looks forward to Bryanston and this year was no exception, particularly as it was Carl’s first Bryanston as conductor. There was a certain sadness, however, as we all knew that it was going to be Spike’s final Bryanston week.

On the first day, once the coaches had managed to fit their way through the gate, everyone was made to feel at home. Any new comers were shown around the beautiful campus and wonderful facilities that Bryanston offers. The day concluded with a late afternoon and evening rehearsal for both orchestras.
The second day began with a morning of sectionals for the main orchestra and the string section were privileged enough to have sectionals with visiting coaches from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. An exciting afternoon rehearsal followed in which the main orchestra raced through the second movement of the Shostakovich. Day two, as tradition insists, ended with the wholly anticipated barn dance. It was delightful to see how everyone got involved with the dancing and dressing up. It is a fantastic way to socialise and meet new faces in the orchestra. A thoroughly enjoyable evening!

Day three sped by, the second morning of sectionals and afternoon of full rehearsals. Various ensembles in the orchestra were frantically putting together some pieces for the evening’s entertainment in the first informal concert. After a successful slave auction, we were treated to performances from the bassoon section, the clarinets and our own singer-songwriter, Max Doohan.

By day four, everyone had really got into the Shostakovich and rehearsals flew by. It was the last time some of us would ever see our sectional coaches, and the rest of us will have to wait until September. The afternoon was spent doing the Bryanston quiz, where many members of the orchestra showed off their vast knowledge! For some, however, the evening of day four is the pinnacle of their orchestral experience. The 5-a-side football tournament lived up to expectations again, with impressive performances from Alan’s Angels and Peter Thompson’s terrifically managed team “Baby Cakes”. The face paint was in full flow, daft football chants were echoing around the sports hall and teams were, without doubt, dressed spectacularly for the occasion.

Day five was full of fantastic music making, and everyone could fully appreciate the true development of the standard of playing of the orchestra which makes the Bryanston week so worthwhile. This was particularly the case this year, as the entire Symphony was pulled off at the end of the week, which was truly remarkable. The evening saw the tradition of the combined disco and leavers’ party- which was, as ever, not a disappointment. All thanks go to Mike Woods for his effort put into being DJ for the night! This year’s leavers’ party theme was a film premier. Everyone enjoyed the evening immensely and was sad to see it end so quickly!

Day six is often the most loved day of the Bryanston week. Much thought and effort was put into dressing up slaves and giving them entertaining tasks to do! This included constant praising of the viola section, improvised football chants interrupting rehearsals, several cross-dressers and Pete Budden dressed up as a tiger! The final informal concert saw a number of performances which will live long in the memories of all. Several slave items appeared- including various specially written songs and poems. The double bass section didn’t fail to entertain with their medley of pieces in the treble clef! On a more serious note, the cello section put together Klengal’s Hymnus for twelve cellos as a tribute to Spike which was a very special moment. The evening ended emotionally with the leavers’ song but the mood was soon picked up again by the House staff’s rendition of the Nutcracker!

Finally, the week concluded with two exceptional concerts in Coade hall. The string orchestra played a fantastic piece titled “Tribute to Spike” by its very own Catherine Upfold which was really amazing. Spike also got the chance to play with the cello section in Cantilena da Bachianas Brasileiras nº5 by Villa-Lobos, with Kat from the house staff singing beautifully. The second concert was the first time the orchestra had played through the Shostakovich, and all the work put in over the week really did show. Many thanks go to Carl, Spike, Holly, Adam and the music and house staff for making this Bryanston so enjoyable and memorable.

5. Update on Tom Seligman – post-HCYO by Juliet Balch

Tom has been very busy in the months since leaving HCYO last summer. Working in and around London, he is doing a variety of projects and musical activities.

Coming up this summer Tom is conducting two ballets at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. First is Glazunov’s ‘Birthday Offering’ choreographed by Frederick Ashton, which runs on various dates from Saturday 30th June to Saturday 7th July.

Secondly, Tom has been involved in an exciting collaborative project with three new pieces of music choreographed by seven choreographers. This project is in conjunction with the National Gallery and is called ‘Metamorphosis Titian 2012’. The music is by Turnage, Jonathan Dove and Nico Muhly. Performances of this triple bill run on various dates from Saturday 14th July to Friday 20th July, with the performance on Monday 16th July being shown on big screens around the country, including Trafalgar Square (free access!).

More information can be found at www . roh . org . uk
He would like to pass on his very best wishes to everyone in HCYO!!

6. Spike by Lottie Mitchell

Spike has been with us for more than 20 years, which is a long time- scarily for me, it is roughly my life one and a half times over. Over this time, he has commuted from Oxford to Thornden every fortnight for the pleasure of conducting many of the talented young musicians of Hampshire. Personally I can’t blame him- I look forward to every orchestra rehearsal, not only for the musical challenge that every rehearsal brings, but also the social environment that all the coaches and players provide.

Personally, Spike has played a big part in the life of my family; he not only conducted me in the string orchestra for three years but he also played the cello at my parents’ wedding.

I have many memories of Spike; the first being the informal concert at Avon Tyrell (the weekend that the string orchestra used to take as an introduction to the orchestra), when Spike performed perfectly ‘The Swan’ by Saint-Saens with an orange in his left-hand. As he played with intense vibrato, the orange was slowly grated by his cello strings until orange juice ran down his cello. Not only was this an extraordinary sight to see but he managed to play it pitch-perfect and so naturally, he has been a source of inspiration ever since.

In the past few years, Spike has also managed to impersonate many women in his time in the legendary informal concerts at Bryanston each year. He has, every single time, succeeded in providing us with spectacular entertainment and has made a surprisingly feminine woman on all occasions!

In addition to the performances that he gives, we cannot forget his dress-sense. The legendary trousers- they speak for themselves really! We see a new addition to his set each year at Bryanston, as a thank you present- my personal favourites would have to be the cow trousers!

But irrespective of his performances and spectacular dress sense, the one thing that earns him respect and value is his bubbly personality; not only were all his rehearsals a joy to be part of, but even now, having moved on into the main orchestra, I can always be sure to receive a happy smile and kind greeting whenever I pass him in the corridor. I can trust that the positive impact Spike has had upon both the staff and the players, will continue with all of us as we continue our lives. He has left us with some life-long memories. We shall miss him greatly and encourage him to continue inspiring people in the future.

7. Young people moving on from Hampshire Youth Music by Dave Woods

On April 13th I had the immense pleasure of listening to Hampshire Sinfonia performing at New Hall Winchester. They were joined on stage by some current Hampshire County Youth Orchestra members to augment numbers and performed a varied and enjoyable Programme in a concert raising funds for Lilly Uganda Orphanage and Kindergarten. www . lillyuganda . com

Hampshire Sinfonia is a semi-professional orchestra formed from a core of ex HCYO members who have continued their musical studies at Music College and University. The Sinfonia began last year as a reunion orchestra and is evolving into a unique ensemble committed to playing music to the highest standard, innovating to reach new audiences, exploring fresh performance ideas and most of all enjoying everything they do.

The Concert Programme:
Night on a Bald Mountain- Mussorgsky arr. Rimsky-Korsakov
Selection of Arias by Handel, Gluck, Rossini
Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde- Wagner
Symphony no.10- Shostakovich

The Conductor for this concert was William Cole who was previously a HCYO principal cellist and is currently studying Music and composition at Clare College Cambridge. William has conducted the Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the conductor elect of the Cambridge University Music Society Concert Orchestra. Many of you may recall that one of William’s pieces ‘Crossfire’ was performed by HCYO at the Anvil in 2009, and last November saw the premiere of his new work for Choir and Orchestra at Winchester Cathedral.

The Mezzo-Soprano performing with the Orchestra was Amy Williamson previously a student on the Hampshire Music Service Specialist Course. Amy is now in her third year studying at the Royal College of Music under world renowned Soprano Janis Kelly. Amy has given recitals throughout Europe and we were fortunate indeed to hear her beautiful renditions in Winchester. Amy’s performance and smile of joy at the conclusion of Largo from the Opera Xerxes summed up for me the Hampshire Music Service stated aims of enabling young people to Participate, Enjoy and Achieve. Amy’s plans for 2012 include recital and oratorio work in the UK, Switzerland and Luxembourg as well as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, work with Opera de Bauge, France in the summer of 2012 and events for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London.

If you have the opportunity to hear the Sinfonia or Amy perform, take the opportunity, it will be a privilege.


April 2012 69 Members

Bill Dutton 88 £20.70

Susan Hasted 54 £13.80

Ruth Murley 63 £ 6.90

March 2012 70 Members

Mr & Mrs Parkhurst 37 £21.00

David Smethurst 31 £14.00

Tim Bishop 35 £7.00

February 2012 70 Members

Elspeth Lamb 40 £21.00

Mrs J Paterson 13 £14.00

Gillian Scott 61 £7.00

January 2012 70 Members

Mrs V Long 27 £21.00

Alistair Chisholm 4 £14.00

Susan Hasted 54 £7.00

Grand Prize Winner – December 2011

Mr R H Moys £42.00

November 2011 71 Members

Mr & Mrs Lovegrove 39 £21.30

Pam Gravenor 42 £14.20

Mr & Mrs Lewington 50 £7.10

October 2011 77 Members

Pete Adams 46 £23.10

Caroline Callow 10 £15.40

Mrs PH Porter 86 £7.70

September 2011 73 Members

Judith Grajewski 14 £21.90

Helen & Andy Louch 01 £14.60

Alistair Chisholm 47 £7.30

August 2011 66 Members

Jenni Doohan 10 £19.80

Mr & Mrs Budden 36 £13.20

Mr & Mrs Lovegrove 39 £6.60

July 2011 66 Members

C O’Brien 33 £19.80

N Fetherston-Dike 34 £13.20

Mrs V Long 07 £6.60

June 2011 66 Members

John Morrell 65 £19.80

Ann Collins 12 £13.20

Mrs Montgomery 43 £6.60

May 2011 66 Members

P D Grajewski 11 £19.80

Mr S Diggens 79 £13.20

Liesel Robertson 43 £6.60

9. Friends Charity Update


We are in the process of updating the HCYO website. This will become generic. Information, dates for your diary and authorised YouTube clips will be updated on our new blog.

The HCYO contact page has been updated and is now found here: www.kimtag.com/hcyo

The blog is here: http://fhcyo.blogspot.co.uk/

And you can follow us at


At the next AGM we will be seeking new trustees and volunteers to assist the friends. Some posts have been filled from within the existing committee.

The following key positions will become vacant:

· Secretary

· Newsletter

· Merchandising Coordinator

In light of the number of people leaving I have offered to remain as chair for a further year to retain continuity. It is a requirement as a charity that we have a secretary.

If you would consider taking up one of these positions please feel free to contact me to discuss this 01183 28 28 92 or email me at office@david-woods.com

I would also like to express the charities thanks to those who will be leaving in particular to Kathryn Rickard (membership secretary) and Caroline Callow (secretary) who have both volunteered in these positions for many years.

David Woods