2010 - a summary...
- An exciting concert with our new friends Flautissimo, at the Turner Sims, Southampton
- Some sad goodbyes to long-standing players, but some great new players join us
- Concerts for The Portsmouth Festivities and the Waterlooville Music Festival
- Our first "Silver Long-Service awards" - yes, some of our team have clocked up 200 rehearsals now!
- We made some changes to our on-line presence
- A new front page on our website with a slideshow embedded in it
- Another 4 videos on YouTube, and the number of viewings per month doubled from Jan 2010 to Dec 2010
- More photos on our Facebook channel
Happy Christmas from all of us in hago!
Our Christmas message of goodwill to all is accompanied by hago playing John Rutter's Candlelight Carol, here recorded in 2002, but we played it just last week at
our annual Carol Evening at local Sheltered Accommodation.
December 1st - as promised, we're letting you know the total raised in our recent concert (see November 21st below) - we're delighted to tell you that the Hospice has received over £784.
If you came to the event, thank you for helping to make the event so successful!
December 1st - another month, another set of visitors who came to our site from Google who clearly shouldn't have bothered! People searching
November 26th - our concert in Hythe has been reviewed in their local paper...
Cornerstone once again hosted the very popular Hampshire Guitar Orchestra, and again they thrilled their packed audience by playing some unbelievable music...
...The combined sound (of the alto prime bass and contra guitars) is almost unique and the audience was surprised at how delicate and yet powerful the music could be, as was the case with "The Devil's Galop" and "La Partida"
Such was the success of this second visit by Hampshire Guitar Orchestra that they will be returning to Cornerstone for a third time in early 2012
November 21st - comments from last Thursday's concert included
an excellent evening"
What a fantastic audience we had! We'll post the fund-raising total here as soon as we have it.
YouTube viewing figures
November 7th - our YouTube channel is really busy lately, and the number of videos being watched is growing month by month
But a real concert is much better. Not only do you find out what goes on between items, but you'll be helping to raise money for charity too!
Our next concert is on November 18th in Swanmore
November 3rd - another month, another set of visitors who came to our site from Google who clearly shouldn't have bothered! People searching
November 1st - visits to our YouTube channel last month were the highest ever and 24% up on the month before.
Our YouTube channel has never been busier - if you want to see us in action - visit our YouTube page here
October 23rd - it was a great thrill and a privilege to be invited back to the Royal Star and Garter home in Richmond to play a morning concert. It was also rather an early
start! There are photos at the bottom of our 2010 gallery page.
October 20th - if you've heard us in concert and like us, please nominate us in Section O (Best Classical Music Act) in our local Guide
Awards - just select your own nomination
and type in Hampshire Guitar Orchestra
October 11th - we really enjoyed returning to Hythe URC for a second concert - the event raised a little over £620 for their
Building Fund, and brings our fund-raising total to £50,811. The organiser writes...
...it was a wonderful evening and thank you for such an wide range of music and styles and we had so many people that were not from the church. Apart from repaying the loan the whole idea of these
concerts is to open the building to the community and that was very much in evidence on Saturday.
October 2nd - Looking back over the last month we can again see some visitors who came to our site from Google who clearly shouldn't have bothered! People searching for...
October 1st - viewings on our YouTube channel have now crossed 25,000
September 26th - We've had a Hints and Tips page here for a couple of years, and it's been well received. But times move on, and to separate out "advertising concerts
and vacancies" from "teaching guitar techniques", we've moved the Hints and Tips to this section of our MD's
September 21st - we're nearly Page 3 stunners.
Well, we got onto Page 2...
We're featured in the latest issue of BMG (Banjo Mandolin and Guitar), which is the oldest fretted instrument magazine in the world, having first appeared in 1903.
The article is based on an interview by Phil Jones, and features brief information about our history, our fund-raising and the instruments that we play.
It's hard not to get confused - BMG Magazine is different from the BMG Newsletter, which is the publication on the Banjo Mandolin and Guitar Federation, who also featured us in an article recently.
We can't help noticing that guitar seems to be at the end of the list of instruments - that's not where we'd place it!
September 7th - we're delighted that our "just for fun" video this summer is now first in the featured videos on the Exbury Gardens website - see
this page... Serendipitously, the piece of music accompanying the video below it (Handel's Saraband) is a piece our Musical Director's other ensemble play!
September 5th - the summer break draws to a close (ironically just as the weather was showing signs of becoming more settled) and here in hago we're thinking about
the forthcoming concert season. We have a couple of prospective concerts in planning too, just as soon as we can get replies from the promoters, so keep checking
If you've been to more than one hago concert, you'll know that we're constantly making small changes to our programme, and our forthcoming season will be no different,
with a new arrangement of a piece we last played many years ago, and a brand new piece that really seems to sit well on guitar.
August 4th - just a bit of fun - some video, some hago music and a new YouTube video is born...
Looking back over the last month we can again see some visitors who came to our site from Google who clearly shouldn't have bothered! People searching for...
July 9th - Our charity fund-raising total crashes through the £50,000 mark - as of today it's £50,161
July 1st - Every month in the last 12 months, our YouTube videos have attracted more viewers than the month before, and views are
now running at more than three times the number a year ago.
June 30th - Our Musical Director's arrangements are being played in quite a few places recently - there are 3 videos on YouTube of some spirited performances...
One composition - Tutu Tango - played in Hungary by the wonderfully named Ensemble of Göd, and two arrangements played at
The European Guitar Teachers' Association Ensemble event - Hornpipe and Mermaid
June 27th - Our concert last night at St George's Portsea nearly didn't happen! A fire at an electricity substation the previous night blacked out 47,000 homes, but fortunately
power was restored to virtually all properties (except the Gunwharf Quays Shopping Complex and Car Park). A great time was had by all, and you can see some photos in our Gallery...
June 24th - today, our YouTube channel reported that our videos have now been watched 20,000 times. Paysage
Ibérique is the most popular right now.
June 20th - we've added a new photo at the foot of our 2010 Gallery
June 18th - what a great audience at last night's concert at Waterlooville Music Festival - it was a pleasure to share a concert with Phil Jones and Douce Ambiance. We've had the following comments!
Enjoyed every minute
Fantastic - never heard anything like it
June 1st - Any discerning motorist would carry a spare tyre in case of emergencies, and we now have a spare alto - there's a photo at the foot of our gallery....
Looking back over the last month we can again see some visitors who came to our site from Google who clearly shouldn't have bothered! People searching for...
May 28th - It's not the end of the month yet, but already the number of views of our videos on YouTube in May
has beaten April's figure, and Eternal Flame has become the hago video that's most popular at
the moment - and it does fit guitar really well.
May 27th - Our May 22nd concert raised £529 for Friends of Sheet School -
a wonderful total - thank you all for coming.
It brings our fund-raising total to £49546 - our next concert is on June 17th at Waterlooville Music Festival.
May 20th - Our new bass guitar had a mouse in it! What? Yes - check out the photo at the foot of our gallery page.
We're really looking forward to our next concert in 2 days time at Bedales, near Petersfield. Come if you can - details here...
May 16th - We've just purchased a second-hand b-bass guitar to make our orchestration even more "not-mainstream". You can see a photo
in our gallery (scroll right down) where it's cuddling up to our MD's alto - there's a link to a page all about the Tornavoz we've just fitted to improve the sound.
We're delighted to tell you that we've uploaded another video to YouTube - pictures of the wonderful Exbury Gardens here
in Hampshire, taken just yesterday and set to a live recording of hago playing "Song from a Secret Garden"
May 7th - We rehearsed as usual last night in the Small Hall at Lovedean, but the Large Hall was a Polling Station and we had a lot of kids' noses pressed against the window!
Who knows - if we inspired them, then in a few years time we might be auditioning them!
May 4th - We've just heard that our April 17th concert raised £400 for the Emsworth Baptist Church Building Fund. It brings our fund-raising total to £49,017 - thank you all!
Guitarists fancying a weekend of ensemble music-making might like to enrol in the BMG Summer School; details here - since removed - out of date
May 3rd - Under three weeks now till our next concert, in the fabulous Olivier Theatre at Bedales, near Petersfield.
We're adding yet more music to our repertoire, some of which we expect to premier at our biennial concert with Cambridge Guitar Orchestra, a concert which has traditionally seen lots of local guitarists
attending - a unique chance to hear a massive range of styles.
May 1st - There was a significant rise in the number of views of our Eternal Flame video after our April
17th concert (we'll post the fund-raising total as soon as we have it). At our April concert we changed our orchestration and it's really come alive now - you can hear the new version in our future
April 25th - The Portsmouth Festivities 2010 is now launched, and we're delighted to be part of it again,
with our concert featuring Cambridge Guitar Orchestra on Saturday June 26.
April 18th - Our concert last night at Emsworth took place on the first really lovely warm evening of the year. There's a photo of our soundcheck in our 2010
We'll post the fundraising total here as soon as we have it.
The organiser writes "Many people have spoken of the very considerable enjoyment that the Concert gave them"
April 16th - Our rehearsal last night was special in so many ways - the new team playing together for the first time and a cracking new piece that we'll be performing later
this season, but the icing on the cake (oh yes, we had cakes too - very important to mention that!) was the presentation of our first Silver Long Service Awards. These are presented to those who've
attended 200 rehearsals. There's a photo here.
April 1st - April Fool's Day has passed without our Musical Director inflicting yet another one on the unsuspecting folk who inhabit the cloistered world of classical guitar.
But like Arnie Schwarzenegger or a cold sore, he'll be back when least expected.
But people are still finding our website with Google searches that defy description. Last month's searches included "Big hugs" and "Why does my E string sound flat?" (because it
March 28th - The number of views of our videos on YouTube continues to rise for the eleventh month in succession.
Today is the first day of British Summer Time, which means that officially the British Summer (such as it is!) is on its way. And that means that we move from the season when Churches are cold to
the season when they are rather pleasant to sit in. And our first concert of the summer season is on April 17th in Emsworth. Emsworth is famous for its Solar Boat, which
features in our recent video.
March 25th - We've placed another new photo at the bottom of our 2010 gallery.
March 21st - Last night's concert with Flautissimo was one of the most fun concerts we can remember. With five sizes of flute (piccolo, concert flute, alto, bass and contra),
they provided a sweet and powerful sound that was a delightful contrast to our own, plucked sounds. The acoustic at the Turner Sims, Southampton, was nothing less than fantastic. Flautissimo's programme,
which included some medieval dances at one end of the stylistic scale, and Holst's The Planets at the other, was a delight. You can read more about Flautissimo
at their website.
March 19th - We've added more photos to our 2010 gallery.
March 13th - many of us in hago thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of the BBC 2 programme "A Band for Britain" (available
for 2 more weeks on iPlayer).
If you're a classical guitarist and wished that guitarists had same opportunity for exhilarating music, camaraderie and concerts that these brass players are having, well, we've got seats in hago that you might
be able to fill. We're moving onwards and upwards again and this is a great time to get on board! Read more about joining hago here and then don't wait a minute longer
- get in touch!
March 9th - we are terribly disappointed to announce that the promoter has cancelled our concert on March 13th. So sorry if you were planning to attend.
March 5th - our rehearsal last night was our largest ever, and was just after our eleventh birthday. Which can mean only one thing. Cake! We've added some photos to our 2010
March 3rd - we are delighted that our most recent video - Handel's Water Music, set to a montage of photos from a trip on the Emsworth boat "The Solar Heritage" -
is now part of the official publicity for the boat, as you'll see on this page...
Now the fine weather is on its way again, you might like to add a trip to your list of things to do this year - you'll love it!
February 28th - some classical guitarists seem incredibly aloof, and yesterday's Guitar Section at Portsmouth Music Festival again threw up a handful of very insular characters. Not so Graham Cleaver & Gilly
Slot who beamed smiles and shook hands with the hago players who'd come to support the day. And we're delighted, therefore, that they won the hago
cup, for the best ensemble performance - deservedly so! The Adjudicator was Richard Durrant, and he also broke the mould - he was inspirational,
and there can't have been a competitor who didn't go away determined to raise their game still higher. A special mention goes to the many kids who produced such confident and musical pieces - tomorrow's
guitarists in action!
In a triumph of spell-checker technology over poor spelling, we see that someone found our Fields of Gold YouTube video by
searching for "Portsmouth Old Pikchers"
February 19th - we were delighted to welcome two more talented guitarists along to last night's rehearsal. We're hoping they'll join us permanently. We certainly had a lot of
music and laughter (and food - what is it about playing guitar than means one just HAS to have something to eat in the middle of rehearsal?). It was a perfect occasion to take some snaps and start off 2010's
February 15th - our good friends at Cambridge Guitar Orchestra (we're sharing a concert with them in June) are holding a Guitar Weekend
in October, so if you live round those parts or you fancy a weekend away, check out their website. Note that there is little accommodation left -
Closer to home, our Musical Director's informal ensemble, the Guitar Workshop at Farlington had the largest attendance for many years
with 32 players and two guitarists coming for a free trial. If you play at novice or intermediate level and want to enjoy a working play-list of 150 ensembles, come along to Derek's Guitar
Workshop fortnightly on Thursday evenings.
February 8th - If you haven't heard of the Emsworth Solar Boat - a battery-powered catamaran that is recharged by solar panels - then let us take you on a short video
tour of Chichester Harbour, accompanied by hago playing the hornpipe from Handel's Water Music. The video is also now listed on our Audio
and Video page.
February 4th - We've made a couple of changes to our website. One or two links will now take you across to our Musical Director's website where those pages now reside.
24th January - Well, those of you in the UK will know what a white start it was to the New Year, and our first rehearsal became our first that was cancelled due to the weather. But we met last week,
and already we have a new arrangement that looks like it's not only going to be rather special, but will be familiar to everyone too!
We hope you find our new menus make it a little easier to explore our site...
1st January - In the year just gone, we served over 600,000 pages to visitors like yourselves - welcome to our website!
Happy New Year, from all of us in hago - the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra!
A year ago we were talking about the world financial crisis, and saying that it didn't seem to be impacting on the amount of money we'd been able to raise for charity.
One year on, the UK is still in recession (despite our Prime Minister saying that we were best placed to be first out of the gloom). We certainly win a prize for leaving the recession, but unfortunately
it's the booby prize.
But... our the amount we raised for charity went up by 25%. Isn't that remarkable? And isn't it wonderful!
With fewer concerts in 2010 (we really did stoke rather a lot into last year!) we know we can't continue this fantastic trend, but we definitely aim to play a series
of concerts that appeal to all musical tastes. And we hope to see you at one of them :-)
Happy New Year everyone!