hago - the hampshire guitar orchestra - a biography

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The Hampshire Guitar Orchestra

Musical Director : Derek Hasted MA(Cantab), DipABRSM

And featuring :
Rich Berry, Heather Drage, Aurora Garcia de Veas, Viv Harbert, Caroline Hurst, Lisa Hutchinson, Ben Jones, Avril Keyes, Jana Ries, Jenny Wenman



HAGO was formed in 1999 and was distilled from an ensemble guitar workshop that Derek still runs alongside it. HAGO is one of only a few Niibori Guitar Orchestras in the UK, meaning that as well as classical guitars, we play 3 other sizes of guitars, from the small and high-pitched alto guitar to the huge contrabass guitar. These unusual guitars give HAGO a range of pitch far greater than a standard guitar ensemble and make it possible to tackle music normally way outside the standard guitar repertoire. The quiet and delicate sounds impart new life and character to a whole range of music from Renaissance dances right up to some of the modern day classics.

HAGO won first prize in the 6th Guitar Orchestra Competition of Great Britain in 2003, and plays regular concerts, many for local charities - raising some £80,910 to date.

Classical Guitar Magazine, one of the world's leading specialist guitar magazines, described HAGO's 2005 concert as "Riotously good ensemble" and "inspirational".

HAGO's website was awarded "Best Special Interest Website in Hampshire" in the 4th Hantsweb awards.


Musical Director

Derek Hasted has arranged over 275 pieces for guitar ensemble and for guitar orchestra. He has also arranged for a cappella voice and for brass ensemble. His solo guitar suite "Celebration" features on a CD by New Zealand Guitarist Bruce Paine.

Derek was winner of the Portsmouth News "We Can Do It" Award in 2002, and was commissioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music to write pieces for their new Music Medals scheme, some of which were premiered in 2005 at the Guildford International Music Festival.

He composed for the European Guitar Teachers' Association's new book of solo guitar pieces, and writes reviews for Classical Guitar Magazine.

Derek’s interests encompass all styles of music; he plays brass and piano as well as guitar and other plucked string instruments.


For further information about HAGO and our forthcoming concerts, visit our award winning website at www.hago.org.uk or ring 023 9247 9200