Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra relishes live performance at last

Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra has confirmed this week’s first concert of the season on September 19 is definitely going ahead.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 7:00 am
Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra: Marcio Marcio da Silva

Marcio da Silva, artistic director and principal conductor of Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “We understand that many people may have been concerned by the announcement this past week by the Government banning social gatherings of more than six people. Fortunately, clearer guidance has emerged, and we have researched the matter carefully.

“It would seem that the new measures being put in place by the Government are aimed at trying to control informal and unstructured gatherings, which were felt to be getting out of control. Events and meetings that are carefully controlled, and which take place in regulated venues, are deemed to be safe and will continue to operate in accordance with previous guidelines.

“I will quote from the Government’s own words so that this is really clear: as per Gov.uk guidance on principles for safe urban centres and green spaces, updated this week, ‘venues following Covid-19 secure guidelines can host more than six people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than six.’

“That is to say, if you are attending a rehearsal or a concert you could not come along in a group bigger than six (unless all six of you were from the same household). However, more than six people altogether can be within a venue or event at the same time, provided that they are following Covid-19 secure guidelines.

“Within the same section of the clarified guidance, the government's advice reiterated that: ‘indoor theatres, music and performance venues are able to reopen with socially distanced audiences’, as has been the case since August 15.”

HPO is making full preparations.

“In recent days the HPO management committee has been working hard to make sure that we are up to date on all the current Covid-19 guidance, and that we have clear and careful structures in place to ensure the safety of our audiences, singers, players, soloists, staff and volunteers.

“We have undertaken a detailed risk assessment, compiled in accordance with Government regulations and following guidelines prepared by The Association of Event Organisers, and we have set out a clear Covid-19 Audience Policy, which can be easily downloaded from our website.”

As for the concert on September 19: “We are delighted to welcome oboist Susan Rayner to join myself and Francis Rayner for our concert. She will be performing Poulenc’s Oboe Sonata.

“This promises to be an uplifting concert, with some beautiful and evocative music to engage your interest. If you haven’t had a chance to do so already, please take the opportunity to look at our website, where you will find some interesting insights into the music that we are performing at each of our concerts. www.hastingsphilharmonic.com/19th-september

“Tickets are limited due to social distancing requirements. They are currently on sale online http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hpo-recitals-let-us-garlands-bring-tickets-116144347871 and at The Bookkeeper (1A, Kings Road) in St Leonard’s (open from 9am to 5pm).

“We are excited at the prospect of performing for you once again: this first concert after months without live performances, will be very memorable!”