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All concerts at Petersfield Festival Hall except for the recitals in St Peter’s Church on Tuesday lunchtime and Wednesday evening.

Liss Band in concert
with guests Petersfield Community Choir

Friday 17 March
7.30 pm

Liss Band

Liss Band Director: Mike Pennicotte-Henrie
Petersfield Community Choir Director: Carolyn Robson


Handel: Jephtha

Saturday 18 March
7.30 pm

Festival Chorus with Petersfield and Rogate Choral Societies

Southern Pro Musica
Conductor: Paul Spicer

Written in 1752, Jephtha was Handel’s last oratorio, and undoubtedly one of his greatest. The outline of the plot is simple: Jephtha, recalled from exile to lead the Israelites against the Ammonites, vows to sacrifice the first thing he sees if he returns successful; tragically, it is his own daughter who makes a point of being the first to greet him. The desperate situation is finally saved by the intervention of an Angel.

From this outline, Handel and his librettist, Thomas Morell, weave an absorbing dramatic narrative. The characters’ rollercoaster of personal emotions is explored through all his skill at individual characterisation, whilst the chorus provides a moving commentary on the broader public and social issues, running a gamut of feeling from prayer to triumph, despair to final acceptance.


Family Concert

Sunday 19 March
3.00—4.00 pm

With SouthDowns Camerata


Youth Concert

Monday 20 March
7.00 pm

Singers and instrumentalists from local schools and youth music organisations.


Lunchtime Recital

Tuesday 21 March
1.00 pm
St Peter’s Church

Lecture recital by Angela Zanders and friends


Anemos Wind Ensemble

Wednesday 22 March
7.30 pm
St Peter’s Church

With Karen Kingsley, piano


Youth Concert

Wednesday 22 March
7.00 pm

Singers and instrumentalists from local schools and youth music organisations.


Petersfield Orchestra

Thursday 23 March
7.30 pm

Petersfield Orchestra

Mendelssohn Concert Overture 'Calm Sea & Prosperous Voyage' Op. 27
Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 54
Elgar Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36

Petersfield Orchestra
Conductor: Robin Browning
Soloist: Cordelia Williams


An Evening of Musical Theatre

Friday 24 March
7.30 pm

With the GSA Singers from Guildford School of Acting


Stanford Songs of the Fleet
Puccini Messa di Gloria
With other orchestral works

Saturday 25 March
7.30 pm

Festival Chorus with Fernhurst Choral Society and Petersfield Choral Society

Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Paul Spicer

By 1910, when Stanford wrote the Songs of the Fleet, he was the grand old man of British music. As we might expect from the period, the fast movements have their share of cheery Edwardian gung-ho, whilst the slow movements have a haunting and timeless beauty.

Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, by contrast, was the 22-year-old composer’s graduation exercise. As such, it shows his mastery of harmony and counterpoint, with a massive fugue concluding the Gloria. However, inspired by a performance of Verdi’s Aïda, he had already decided to compose operas, and it is easy to imagine the soloists and chorus as operatic characters, with their sweeping melodies, emotional gestures and dramatic orchestral accompaniment.