Recorder group return to Festival of Chichester

Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia
Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia

Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia return to Boxgrove Priory for the Festival of Chichester on July 10 for an afternoon concert at 3.30pm.

They are promising a glorious miscellany of inspirational music from the 16th century to the present day, including popular works by Bach, Pachelbel and Peter Warlock.

Based in Havant and Winchester, the foundations of HRS were laid in 1987 as a wide-ranging series of recorder classes designed to enhance the musical capabilities and experiences of local recorder players.

Twenty-five years later, HRS has grown into a fully-fledged performance orchestra with a vast concert repertoire and draws a collection of players from a wide geographical area.

Spokeswoman Jean Campbell said: “The 35-strong orchestra features seven sizes of recorder from the small sopranino to the massive contrabass, creating a superb sound which the perfect acoustic of the Priory Church will enhance in an unforgettable way. This is the orchestra’s favourite venue, and all the players are delighted to be back again. We play four or five concerts a year, usually for a charity but Boxgrove is the one we play for our own pleasure.

“Sometimes we join with singers, as recently when we accompanied The Windcliffe Voices at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Southsea. In February we gave a Valentine’s Day concert at the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Rowner with actors reciting poetry. We play music from early times right up to the present day – a very wide repertoire, some of it written specifically for recorder orchestra and some of it arranged. So while you might hear a glorious Italian madrigal you could also be listening to A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square or Glenn Miller’s In The Mood or this modern piece The Brington Crystal, all about the sad early death of an ancestor of Princess Diana.

“Musical director Christopher Burgess has been the inspiration behind the orchestra since it started in the late 1980s and has made three CDs with it.

“The orchestra rehearses weekly on Wednesdays in Havant and monthly in Winchester. Recorder players wishing to play in a recorder orchestra are always welcome to try a rehearsal with HRS before formally requesting to join. The orchestra will happily consider requests for fundraising concerts for charitable organisations and can be contacted via its website.”

Tickets on www.chichestertickets.co.uk.

n Also coming up at the festival is The Prebendal School Lunchtime Concert on Thursday, July 7, 12.30pm in Chichester Cathedral, a concert given by the Orchestra and Band of Prebendal School performing a programme of well-known light music from films, shows and the classics.

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