hago - celebrating our first 10 years!

Our 10th anniversary promo video

Our 10th anniversary story

On 25th February 2009, the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra is ten years old and we're greatly enjoying starting our 10th anniversary concert season. By the good fortune of forming ourselves late in the nineties, we can say we were established last century!

When we started, it was with nothing more than enthusiasm and a dream that we'd "get somewhere"; our journey has been so smooth and the progress so well-planned that it's hard to notice that we're moving forward at all. But we most certainly are!

As we look back we can see just how much has changed...

  • We've moved from a gloomy upstairs rehearsal room in Purbrook to a lovely hall in Lovedean
  • We've moved from playing half a concert twice a year to playing 10 or so full length concerts a year
  • We've kept 6 of the 13 players in the top photo - now that's dedication!
  • Our repertoire has grown from 10 pieces to 75, of which 30 are cycled around our current concert programmes of 20 contrasting pieces - oh and 22 Christmas pieces too!
  • Our style palette is broad & lush and we perform pieces not normally heard on guitar
  • Our guitars have changed from 12 classical guitars to 3 altos, 7 guitars, a bass and 2 contras
  • Our players have increased in stature and our newer recruits help make our sound even more powerful and mellow
  • Our team is no longer local to Havant, we've welcomed players from Wiltshire, Surrey and Sussex
  • Our audiences have increased in size and we usually play to well over 100 people
  • Our charity fundraising has grown - we've raised over £40,000 and our most recent public concert raised £1,500!


Our birthday present to ourselves

We meet on Thursdays, so our birthday (25th February 1999) was a Thursday. Not in 2009, it wasn't, though!

The hire-pattern at our rehearsal venue at Lovedean meant that we had to wait 8 days before we met to celebrate. But celebrate, we did!

It was a pleasure to welcome Debbie Burford and Diana Green from West Sussex Guitar Club who came to try a rehearsal, and probably went away thinking we have cake every time.

And talking of cake, we have a picture!

What, no other photos?

But there wasn't time - it was a busy rehearsal after all!

We also gave ourselves a rather unique birthday present, but that didn't come until later in March. You can read more about (and see lots of photos of) our 10th birthday present to ourselves here...

Help us celebrate!

So whether you are a former player in hago, someone who's supported one of our charity concerts, or a player who's wondering about coming to a rehearsal and experiencing something quite amazing, we invite you to help us celebrate our 10th anniversary year - if it wasn't for each and every one of you, we wouldn't be here today, changing people's perceptions about classical guitar...


So don't wait...

Don't leave it a moment longer - we're always striding forwards, and whether we're talking about audiences or players, it really is a case of "the more the merrier"

A potted history

For more facts and figures, we've a potted history of hago here on our website

HAGO in 1999

Way back then

HAGO in 2008

hago in the 21st century!

HAGO birthday cake