hago News Archives - 2009

2009 - a summary...

  • Another wonderful concert at the Portsmouth Guildhall, guests of MGC and the Royal British Legion
  • Our concert at Portchester raised £1250
  • Our fund raising is up yet again, to a remarkable £5644.48 - more than 25% up on last year, despite the recession

2009 - related pages

December 2009


23rd December - We wish all our visitors to hago.org.uk the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.

Here's a blast from the past for you - a short Christmas soundclip played by hago back in 2002.

We're playing a verse of John Rutter's Candlelight Carol, arranged for our four sizes of guitar.

We've uploaded another video to YouTube - if you have 3 minutes, come and look! It's not Christmassy unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, but for us "northerners" it's a reminder that the shortest day is over and summer is slowly on its way back.

21st December - We've just had notification of the final amount of money that our concerts have raised for local charities this year...
We don't raise the money ourselves, it's raised by the people who book us for concerts, but we keep a running total.
This year, the amount we've raised is £5,644.48, which is over 25% up on last year. Who said there was a recession?

The total amount now raised is £48,612 - thank you all!

19th December - our now traditional Carols & Curry last night saw us playing to a wonderful crowd at one of Portsmouth's Warden-assisted complex of flats. Goodness there was some rousing singing, and the sherry and mince pies afterwards were the perfect appetiser to our end-of-year meal at a small restaurant just up the road.

10th December - Our recent concert for The Rowans Hospice raised £807.41, and brings our fund-raising total to £47,925

November 2009

29th November - We've added a new Gallery to our Photo Albums, to celebrate the happy times we've spent (so far!) working with West Sussex Guitar Club - click to view our WSGC gallery, which features photos and soundclips

22nd November - We've been busy with our photo album page - we started on 16th November and we've got over 100 new photos up now.

If you want to see what we've been up to recently, or you want to see how much greyer we are now than 5 years ago, then our photo albums are definitely worth a visit.

We have photos from 2009 back to 1999 including special features on hago and...

16th November - We've been adding more photos to our image galleries here on hago.org.uk

Why not visit our most recent addition - hago at the Birdman of Bognor...

Something rather eccentric that we were involved in from 2005 until it ceased in 2007. We're proud to have been part of it on three occasions.

October 2009

26th October - News just in - our concert in Petersfield last month raised £760 for the "Away From It All" holiday scheme, promised by the Mothers' Union. This provides a break for those who are really struggling, perhaps as single parents, and gives them a chance to gain self-confidence as well as recharge their batteries.

Our fund-raising total is now £47,110

24th October - We've just sent out our 43rd e-newsletter - you can subscribe here - it's all free, and we send out about 6-8 newsletters a year, with details of forthcoming concerts and miscellaneous musings.

22nd October - Now you can become a Facebook Fan of hago using your mobile... Text "fan HampshireGuitarOrchestra" to FBOOK (32665). Standard charges may apply.

18th October - It was a great thrill to play in St Mary's, in the grounds of Portchester Castle, and moreso to enjoy a concert that was a complete sell-out.

The concert was in aid of the Church's roof appeal, and we are delighted to be able to tell you that we raised £1250 towards the appeal. Our fund-raising total has reached £46,350.

Concert comments include

  • "That was quite EXCELLENT" (their capitals!)
  • "That was hugely enjoyable"

October 4th - today saw us playing in the massive Portsmouth Guildhall as part of a concert with Milton Glee Club and the Central Band of the Royal British Legion. It was nothing less than magical - the band and 100-strong choir produced a wonderfully varied and moving programme, and people were queueing up to tell us how the sweet and delicate sound of our guitars made a delightful contrast. We may have some new fans there :-) We're hoping they'll come to our full-length concert at Portchester Castle on October 17th at 7pm.

October 4th - Our concert in the lovely Church in Four Marks raised £429 in aid of "Friends of Boundaries Surgery" - you can read more about FoBS on the Boundaries Surgery website.

Our charity fundraising total is now up to £45,100.

September 2009

24th September - Our shop is now restocked ready for the start of the Autumn Term (that's Fall Semester to some of you!) - our Christmas ensembles (6 trios and 6 quartets - 12 hidden gems in the Christmas repertoire) always sell well at this time - order now!

September 20th - It was great to see so many people in the audience at last night's concert at Petersfield in aid of the Mothers' Union projects, including the "Away From It All" holiday scheme for those families that simply can't "get away from it all". We'll post the fund-raising total here as soon as we have it. Our next concerts are listed on our concerts page - we're playing all over the South East of Hampshire.

August 2009

25th August - last week saw the annual International Guitar Festival at West Dean, north of Chichester. As well as some fine evening concerts, including the fantastic Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the charming Montes-Kircher Duo, a highlight for us in hago was the performance of one of our Musical Director's published compositions in the student ensemble concert. Our shop is busy right now, with teachers and students worldwide buying our MD's ensembles for the start of the academic year. We've got stocks of every item and if you order today, we can despatch within 24 hours.

8th August - we will be moving the hago website from one server to another. Nothing will change except that during the move, our website will vanish. Don't panic - we WILL be back, probably within a couple of hours :-)

7th August - from the search information, we see that someone searched for our YouTube Eternal Flame by searching for One Piece Internal Flame. Now that sounds dangerous...

July 2009

10th July - a quick update on our charity fundraising - the total is now £44,662!

7th July - interested in joining hago for our September season? You'll need to contact us urgently - interest is high and places are going fast!

Or perhaps one-to-one lessons with our Musical Director is more your need? Derek has vacancies right now, and especially for senior citizens wanting day-time lessons. He's taught people up to 80 years old - age isn't a barrier at all! Read more on his new website about guitar lessons for beginners and improvers.

5th July - well, that was a hot concert last night! The provisional amount raised for charity was £235, and brings our total to £44,248

4th July - we've just held our 200th rehearsal (and our Secretary Viv has been to 197 of them - well done Viv!) and tonight we're off to play our 71st concert!

2nd July - a review of our concert at Quarley Hall is on the Amport Website

What a hot rehearsal tonight - our first heat-wave rehearsal for a very long time - and what a disaster the temperature proved to be - three strings broke on the way to rehearsal!

June 2009

30th June - we've now got a much neater address for our pages on Facebook - www.facebook.com/HampshireGuitarOrchestra - come and take a peek - membership not required, though if you do become a member and a "fan" of hago, you'll get an email update every time we announce a new concert.

27th June - we've added a new gallery of photos to our website commemorating all the fun, food and friendship we've shared with our great friends at Cambridge Guitar Orchestra - see the gallery here.

24th June - our concert in Quarley earlier this month raised the fantastic sum of £645 for the Alzheimer's Society in Salisbury! Thank you to everyone who came; your ticket helped swell that total to such a large and heartwarming sum.

21st June - the longest day. And last night was the shortest night for a VERY long time - we played a wonderful concert in Cambridge, as guests of Cambridge Guitar Orchestra. As has become the tradition, we retreated to our hotel afterwards for the "after-show party", and the last men standing had a very short night before our hearty cooked breakfasts at 8:30 the following morning (well, the same morning, to be honest!)

We continued our tradition of a prank somewhere in the evening, and this year's prank was to mock up an exhibition of portraits of CGO's Musical Director Peter Rueffer, accompanied by our rendition of Left Bank Two, the Vision On Gallery Theme (our YouTube clip of a "straight performance" is here). Our artistic skills are not, it would seem, as highly honed as our guitar skills. You can have a sneak peek at our photos on our Facebook page.

6th June - our fund-raising concert for our great friends at West Sussex Guitar Club, which we played for them on 25th April, is reviewed in their latest newsletter, which you can read online....

4th June - our website is 9 years old today. We're currently serving about 600,000 pages a year to people like yourselves, coming to find out about our concerts, view our videos or buy easy ensemble music.

May 2009

31st May - One of our players writes...

On one of regular pilgrimages yesterday, to what I think is the largest and finest Guitar Shop in the UK, at Birmingham, I was delighted to be given a promotional DVD of something that's being published very soon. Brian Whitehouse, the owner and teacher of some of the finest conservatoire players in the UK, has had exclusive access to the Ramirez Museum, and played one of the world's greatest collections of historical and modern guitars. The whole project, at the invitation of Amalia Ramirez, has resulted in a beautifully illustrated and fascinating book and CD. I was thrilled to have a chance to see one of the final proofs, and it's a stunning book that I'll be rushing to purchase as soon as it's out.

Dozens of pieces of music demonstrate the wonderful sound that these many guitars can make, with pieces being carefully selected to suit the era of the instrument. It's a fascinating and very readable book, lavishly illustrated with photos, manuscripts and other memorabilia.

25th May - our fund-raising total has risen to £43,368 - thank you for supporting our work for charity.

April 2009

27th April - Corda Music, publishers of some of our Musical Director's ensemble music, has a new website - click here to visit. Don't forget you can buy Derek's music online here in our shop.

21st April - we've added highlights from a review in the Hythe Herald about our concert at Cornerstone, Hythe URC - it's at the top of our reviews page.

20th April - tickets are going fast now for our concert on 25th April which is being attended by several important civic dignitaries - we suggest you book in advance at West Sussex Guitar Club - see our concerts page.

Our fund raising total for charity has grown to £43,169!

5th April - our concert on April 2nd in aid of Age Concern brought our concert total to sixty seven. The organiser writes

It was a most enjoyable evening and your performance was as skilful and entertaining as ever

March 2009

28th March - hago has an article in Classical Guitar Magazine.

22nd March - hago's 10th birthday present arrived in the shape of a celebration Masterclass with that most special of ensemble guitarists Mark Eden. Read more here.

16th March - our concert on 14th March at Sherfield English raised £360 for their building funds. Feedback so far includes "What a fabulous night! Great music played by great musicians with great panache."

It brings our charity fundraising to £43092

9th March - we've added a video of Hampshire scenery to our audio/video page.

The Incorporated Society of Musicians Newsletter features our 10th birthday.

6th March - It was a pleasure to welcome two players from Bognor who dropped in to find out what it's like to be part of the hago sound - and what nicer way that to explore three new pieces with a full-team and two guests - what a BIIIIIIG noise!

3rd March - after a quiet post-Christmas intra-recession lull, the hago shop has burst back into life with a cluster of orders for Derek's guitar ensemble music.

We see from the "Insight logs" on YouTube that someone found our video by searching for Hampshire worst hooligon (including the typo). They then watched our video....

2nd March - our charity fundraising total now exceeds £42,700 with the news that our concert at URC Hythe on February 28th raised £840 for their buildings fund - a magnificent total.

hago is the subject of a short article in the Newsletter of the BMG Federation (that's Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar - sorted into increasing order of mellifluous sound, obviously!)

1st March - good to have such a well-supported concert last night - well over 100 tickets sold - we'll post the fundraising total here as soon as we have details.

February 2009

10th Birthday "Telegrams"

YouTube - an award riband YouTube award

Well done, Derek! Splendid present for HAGO's Birthday. Congratulations and every success in the future! Looking forward to your visit in April. Sasha (on behalf of all at West Sussex Guitar Club)

"Great video! Congratulations on HAGO's 10th anniversary! Nice job." - Greg, America

"Happy Birthday HAGO! Lovely video and great music. Hope to see you in concert again soon. " - Kristian, UK

"Re: Hampshire Guitar Orchestra (HAGO) 10th birthday promo. Thanks - I enjoyed that!" - Gilly, UK

"Happy Birthday HAGO!" - Graham, UK

"Congratulations" - Eleftheria, UK

"Very nice. I enjoyed watching and listening. Happy Birthday and Thanks for sharing!!" - Andrea, America

"Wonderful" - Eva, Greece

Happy Birthday! Wonderful video and fabulous playing! All very best wishes for the future - Roland, UK

"Congratulations! Happy Birthday to HAGO! That is a wonderful effort for the charities you support" - Vesuvio, Northern England

February 1999 - 10 years ago - is when it all happened for hago - read more here about our 10th anniversary year - see our promo video too!

January 2009

February's Classical Guitar Magazine has a fantastic review of "Lateral Lines", the CD made by Derek's distant duet partner Bruce Paine. Many of those who came to Bruce and Derek's summer concerts in 2008 are now proud owners of a signed copy.

hago gets mentioned in dispatches too, at the front of the magazine...

AOL/Netscape has a new spam system which is rejecting certain emails before they even reach one's personal email webserver - we only find out 5 days later when we get a bounce message. Today, we learned that some of our hago newsletters from last week have gone astray, and today we're resending them via a different route. Apologies.

Last night was our first rehearsal in 2009 and the 3 new pieces that we've been practising in isolation were pieced together like a jigsaw into something really quite stunning. We'll be playing them in our later concerts this season, and we love them, we really love them!

What a surprise - we served over 600,000 web pages in 2008. That's either a lot of visitors or one very committed stalker. We think it's the former because we've welcomed visitors from 88 countires; we hope to serve a similar number of pages to the 4 corners of the globe in 2009 too. Thank you for calling by!

Happy New Year to everyone from all of us in hago, the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra.
2008 was a pretty dire year worldwide when the financial guano hit the turbine in the banking system, but lack of money does not mean that charities don't still have their outgoings. And what surprised and heartened us, here in hago, was that our charity fundraising for the year was up on 2007 by much more than inflation.
If you look in the press you'll see two camps shouting at each other. On the one hand there's "Broken Britain", and on the other there's "a new morality".
Well, if our recent charity concerts are anything to go by, people are foresaking luxury goods that they buy, only to sit at home in their brick box and ponder their credit card statements. Instead, people are coming out, getting together, enjoying live music and for a few quid making a real difference to local charities.
So whilst we aren't looking forward to Gordon Brown's umpteenth appeal to spend even more money that we haven't got on things that we don't need, we take heart that everywhere we look, people are making sure their money goes on things that matter. And local charities DO matter.
We're confident we'll be fundraising in spades again in 2009, and we know we'll have the pleasure of the company of people like yourselves - people who know that a local charity is more important than owning electronic gizmos that will be out of date before they're out of the box.
See you at one of our concerts!
Happy New Year from everyone in hago