The A4 Brass Quartet
Jamie Smith - Cornet/flugelhorn
Jonathan Bates - Tenor horn
Michael Cavanagh - Baritone horn
Chris Robertson - Euphonium
Toccata 4 Jonathan Bates
South Uist Variations Oliver Waespi
Shepherds Hey Percy Grainger arr. Chris Robertson
Mae-e (Forward) Kentaro Sato arr. Jonathan Bates
Concert Etude Alexander Goedicke arr. Jonathan Bates
Tenor Horn soloist - Jonathan Bates
Loch Lomond Scottish Trad. arr. Jonathan Bates
Saltarello Felix Mendelssohn arr. Chris Robertson
Alone at the Opera arr. Jonathan Bates
Dick Lee’s Swingtet
Dick Lee reeds
Mike Nisbet guitar
Marcus Ford guitar
Owen MacDonald double bass
Alison Affleck vocals
Brian Kellock Piano
Programme! Helensburgh Suite - commissioned 2001
Selection of songs and instrumental arrangements
JS BACH: Cello Suite No.4 in E flat, BWV.1010
BEETHOVEN: Horn Sonata in F major, Op. 17 (trans. for viola by Rudolph Leopold)
BRITTEN: Lachrymae for viola and piano, Op. 48
BRAHMS: Sonata in E flat, Op.120 No.2
With Jams Coleman
Five professional concerts
One season ticket saves you up to £20 on single ticket prices
- SEASON TICKET £40
5 Concerts including membership of HMS
- Single Tickets
TICKETS £12, STUDENTS £5, UNDER 18s £1
HOW TO BOOK
To book season and individual tickets in advance, please download, print and complete the Booking Form - and send with cheque payable to Helensburgh Music Society to:
HMS Membership Secretary, 15 Queen Street, Helensburgh, G84 9QJ.
Tel: 01436 671969.
Tickets can be purchased online, where this facility is available, a "book online" link will be shown on the concert page.
Tickets can also be purchased from the Tower Digital Arts Centre, Sinclair Street or on the door from 7pm
All our concerts take place at the Tower Digital Arts Centre, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh...
Parking is available above the Co-operative Supermarket or in the Sinclair Street car park (entrance opposite Helensburgh train station).
Please be aware that parking charges may apply and the Helensburgh Music Society cannot be held responsible for the security of your
vehicle whilst you enjoy the concert.
If you require assistance with transport to and from the concerts, please contact David Menzies, Membership Secretary Tel: 01436 671969
The Society is run by a committee of local music enthusiasts:
Marjory Barrington, Shaun Bryson, Fiona Gunn, Roy Lewis, David Menzies, Khursheed Moos, John Sadden
If you would be interested in joining the committee or offering a helping hand at concerts, please contact Marjory Barrington Tel: 01436 820484 or any committee member.
Occasionally our concerts are complemented by exhibitions by talented local artists and crafters, both professional and amateur. Some of the works are for sale and a percentage of the proceeds is donated to the Music Society.
Floral arrangements for Helensburgh Music Society concerts are by Sandra Munro.
Lucky coincidences led to the purchase of the Grotrian-Steinweg piano. One of our members was told by piano tuner Alistair McLean that, as a goodwill gesture, six Grotrian-Steinweg pianos were being offered to the UK at a special price; and that we might be eligible for one.
As the Society could not afford for someone to travel to Germany to examine the piano, the manufacturer agreed to send it to London. Our good friend, pianist Gustav Fenyo, kindly travelled to London; he strongly recommended purchase.
Negotiations with the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund were urgently intensified. Their generous help, plus significant contributions from Helensburgh Orchestral Society and Argyll & Bute Council, added to our own piano fund totalled the price of £24,000.
This splendid instrument was delivered in May 1998. We are proud to have been able to bring such an asset to Victoria Halls and Helensburgh.
Helensburgh Music Society is responsible for the care and maintenance of the piano, which involves monitoring temperature, humidity and ensuring its proper handling. The Society is very appreciative of the expert maintenance and tuning by Roy O’Neil.
The following was written by David Bruce, a founder of the Helensburgh Music Society on the occasion of the Society’s 30th anniversary in 2010.
To begin with, it wasn’t going to be a music society at all – at least that was only going to be part of it. In the late 1970s, there was a feeling that Helensburgh was underprovided with opportunities to make and hear good music. True, the Oratorio Choir and the Dorian were doing well, the Helensburgh Orchestral Society was growing and the Operatic Society was enjoying its annual success. There was also the long-running series ‘Sunday at Seven’ at the West Kirk but there were still major gaps to be filled. One of these was dealt with in 1977 with the founding of The Helensburgh Saturday Orchestra (now Lomond and Clyde Community Orchestra) which catered for beginners of all ages.
However, conspicuously, there was no regular platform for professional performances of chamber music. There were also wider questions concerning access to the arts in Helensburgh and the first idea to be discussed, by a group led by Alan Berry, Walter Blair, Peter Vaughan, and David Bruce, was that there should be an Arts Guild to promote new activities and co-ordinate what already existed.
In that context, discussions were held with the Scottish Arts Council but during a visit to the town by SAC’s Music Director, Christie Duncan (at the ‘Gang of Four’s’ invitation), it became obvious that whatever the wider ambitions, there had to be a starting point and that starting point was surely a music society. With Duncan’s encouragement and support, the Helensburgh Music Society was formed in 1980 with Alan Berry as its first Chairman (followed in turn by the other three Gang members), and with Barbara Bruce and John Tasker as Secretary and Treasurer.
In fact, the Music Society had its precedents. Such societies flourished in other towns nearby, notably in Milngavie, Bearsden and at Erskine where Park Mains provided a useful model for Helensburgh. But Helensburgh itself had once had a music society of its own. In the 1940s, The Ministers’ Art Club had presented chamber music concerts of astonishing quality in the Victoria Halls.
The list of performers included Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, Julian Bream, Denis Matthews and Denis Brain. And, before the war, Percy Grainger had played in the town. There was even a legacy of those days in the shape of the Victoria Halls’ piano which had been donated by the ministers (as a plaque on it proudly declared). By 1980, the piano was no longer at its best and one of the most problematic issues for the new society was what to do about it. For most concerts when a piano was needed, it was decided that the best thing was to hire one in, a necessity that continued for most of the next twenty years until the acquisition of the Grotrian-Steinweg which the Music Society and other users of the Victoria Hall (with the Society’s agreement) now enjoy.
Having created the Society, there was of course the matter of programming. With an enthusiasm born of inexperience, it was decided that each committee member would choose a performer or group and be responsible for all the arrangements to do with it. The first season’s concerts, put together in some haste and occupying only the spring of 1981, did rather reflect the individual tastes of The Gang but a more mature approach was soon established and, crucially, recognition of the importance of collaboration with other societies and agencies, particularly SAC. It was as a result of that, that the second season ended with what remains one of the most memorable musical events ever presented in Helensburgh – the recital given on Friday April 2, 1982, by Victoria de los Angeles and Craig Sheppard.
In reflecting on the Society’s origins, it is interesting to consider what traces remain of the initial ambitions. One admirable principle adopted then was that there should always be a regular rotation of committee and officer membership to ensure renewal of ideas and enthusiasm in the running of the Society. Another, reflecting the first activists’ wider ambitions, was the idea of producing an annual leaflet listing all Helensburgh’s musical dates for the year and the agreement of each of the groups not only to avoid clashes of dates but to advertise each others’ activities. That initiative, too, continues to this day. An innovation that seemed radical at the time was to avoid using the hall stage whenever possible but present performances ‘in the round’ so that, for example, a quartet might find itself with its audience on three sides. Just as significant was the proposal that concerts would include an interval exhibition.
Although the ‘Gang of Four’ had been the main activists at the outset, they were by no means alone. Crucial to the success of the venture was the involvement of others whose interests included, but also extended beyond, the musical. As well as Robert Kirk and Jill Braid, the first committee included Tony Vogt who, with his wife Berit and MaryJane and Kim Selwood, originated the exhibition idea. It was also their notion to invite Sandra Munro to prepare flowers for each performance, a special addition to these occasions much appreciated by audience and performers alike.
Perhaps the most touching memento of the exciting beginnings of the Society is in its logo designed for us by another of the great Helensburgh enthusiasts, the late Ted Odling. It is his image of the horn that appeared on the first poster, the first programme, and has been with us ever since. But most important of all, in terms of continuity and enjoyment, has been the Society’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of programming and presentation from the very beginning to the present day. Long may that continue!
Now in its 39th year, the Helensburgh Music Society presents a season of five concerts from October to March at the Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh. The concerts are open to everyone.
Founded by a small group of music enthusiasts, the Society’s principal aims are to bring high quality, professional musicians to the town and to present a programme of concerts that is as varied as possible. The Music Society continues to be run by a small volunteer committee.
Over the years, around 180 performances have taken place. Concert goers have enjoyed chamber music ensembles of every instrumental and vocal combination, opera, solo recitals and jazz.