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Concerts

Wherever possible we illustrate our programmes with quotations from contemporary sources. The musical content may include anthems, Psalms, hymns, catches, glees, carols, dances and marches and there is often an opportunity to join in a round or chorus. Short programmes last one hour and Long programmes consist of two 45-50 minute sections with an interval. A short programme can be followed by country dancing to our band and caller. Concert programmes are continually evolving, and are summarised below:

"Sound up the tune, neighbours"  Nelson  Harvest  Changing Scenes  Sea  Christmas  Hardy  The Wesleys  Watts  Cobbett  Wellington  Tales from the Village

"Sound up the tune, neighbours" : Village Music from Hampshire. The choir leader said these words to the band, which then played a short phrase to set the key before they sang each piece. In this programme we draw exclusively on music by Hampshire composers, or in Hampshire manuscripts, or collected from Hampshire people, and anecdotes from Hampshire sources. Our earliest pieces come from organists of Winchester Cathedral and College who composed anthems suitable for country choirs. Composers were also active in Andover, Heckfield, Lymington, and Portsmouth, and their printed books are in the British Library. Manuscripts survive from Bramley, Hannington, Nether Wallop and Winchester. Barrel organs in Avington and Stratfield Saye confirm the use of several tunes. Some of the music is more widely known, but some belongs very much to Hampshire. Hampshire hymn writers Isaac Watts and Anne Steele are represented. George Gardiner collected many songs in Hampshire in the early 1900s. [details]

Harvest – Long or Short programme This is a light-hearted look at harvest celebrations through the eyes of farmer’s wife Ann Hughes in 1796. It includes dances by members of The Madding Crowd and songs with audience participation. The short programme is often presented after a Harvest Supper. [details]

Through all the Changing Scenes of Life – Long programme We travel through the year with our village band and choir touching on some of the festivals and events in church and village. We teach a wedding round, audiences are invited to participate in other items and members of The Madding Crowd perform a dance. [details]

Sea – Short programme This programme looks at the influence of the sea and war on the life of villages and villagers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Enjoy stories of smugglers and pressed men, and join us in patriotic songs. [details]

Nelson – Long programme Celebrate with us Nelson’s finest hour! For the 200th anniversary year of the Battle of Trafalgar, we developed a special programme with quotations from Nelson and from the men who served with him, and rousing anthems and patriotic songs, not forgetting the magnificent state funeral. [details]

Christmas – Long programme. Our Christmas programme is available from 1st December to 6th January. Meet the parsons of the time and find out how they celebrated Christmas, as we perform the carols, psalms and anthems they heard sung.  Find out about some of the Christmas customs and join in with a carol and a Christmas song. [details]

Hardy – Short or Long programme Thomas Hardy’s family were members of a church band in Dorset and Hardy takes a nostalgic look at village life of that time. We combine Hardy’s own words with the music he mentions, some from his own family manuscripts. This programme includes a dance by members of the Madding Crowd and there are opportunities to join the singing. [details]

The Wesleys – Long programme John Wesley understood that singing hymns was a powerful tool to move people spiritually. We celebrate the life and achievements of John and Charles, quoting extensively from John’s journals. We invite you to join us in singing some of the old Methodist hymns. This programme is particularly suitable for Methodist audiences. [details]

Isaac Watts – Long programme The theme of our programme is "The Ubiquitous Isaac Watts", for everywhere we have researched our kind of music we have found Watts’ words. We show the variety of tunes setting his words, and illustrate them with incidents from his life.

William Cobbett – Long or Short programme We concentrate on William Cobbett’s life in Hampshire, his farming exploits, his great love of traditional country sports like single-sticks and his influential and passionately expressed ideas in the Political Register. Join in the chorus of Rule Britannia and enjoy the dance performed by members of The Madding Crowd. [details]

With Wellington we'll go - Long programme We look at the Duke of Wellington's roles in Hampshire, at Stratfield Saye, as Lord Lieutenant, and as Freeman of Winchester. Music includes Hymns and Psalms connected with events in his life, and glees and songs written or performed in his honour. This special programme is for the Wellington Bicentenary, 2015. details]

Tales from the Village - Short programme. We look at some events in village life, with church and secular music suited to the seasons and occasions. [details]

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