Introduction to the 2021-22 season

Welcome to the 2021-2022 season.

The last season has been unique in the Club’s history. We have been limited to online activity, a new experience for many of us, but we have risen to the challenge and acquired much useful knowledge along the way. The online Zoom concerts have proved popular, as have the online chat sessions.

For a number of reasons the concert on 18 September has had to be postponed. We shall pay tribute to Alan Reddish in a future concert. Otherwise we plan to deliver a full season of music in what we hope will be relatively normal conditions. It’s likely that further pitfalls will await us in the coming months but we are approaching the new season in an optimistic spirit.

The new calendar is up on the website. We have rescheduled most of the concerts which had to be postponed. All being well, most events will be live but we have made provision for two online concerts in January 2022, when many members may prefer to stay at home.

Highlights include:

  • An ‘open to all’ reopening concert in the Housman Room on Saturday 2 October. Please contact Graham Bowler if you are interested in performing.
  • The AGM on Saturday 6 November 2021 in the Housman Room at 5.30pm. All members are welcome – you have a vote! The AGM Concert which follows immediately afterwards will include performances of some of Brahms’ Liebeslieder, Strauss’ Wind Serenade Op 7 and Vaughan Williams’ Variants on Dives and Lazarus.
  • Nothing Too Serious on Saturday 11 December 2021 – our traditional lighter pre-Christmas entertainment.
  • A concert of contemporary music on Saturday 15 January 2022, following on from the success of the previous one in January 2020.
  • A concert on Saturday 5 February 2022 dedicated to the music of composers interned in the Ruhleben camp in Germany during World War 1.
  • The Concerto Workshop on Saturday 5 March 2022. This is an event that gives members the chance to perform solo with the Club Orchestra in an informal atmosphere. There is no prior rehearsal but there will be a limited amount of time for preparation, for instance for trying out awkward passages. We will consider any work, though exceptionally complex ones and those requiring unusual or very large instrumental forces are less likely to be accepted than more standard repertoire. Don’t forget that the orchestra will be sight-reading! We occasionally accept individual movements but give preference to complete works. If it is necessary to hire parts or to bring in paid orchestral players we reserve the right to ask the soloist for a modest financial contribution.

    Applications from soloists specifying the work they wish to perform should be made to the Music Secretary by 31 October 2021. A small sub-committee will select the items to be performed from the list of applications and will inform the applicants as soon as possible thereafter.

    Orchestral players - please note this date in your diary.

  • The Opera Evening on Saturday 19 March 2022. Please contact Rogelio Aguilar for details.
  • The Strings Play Day on Sunday 8 May 2021 (date to be confirmed) – an ‘out of town’ event at the home of Robert and Deborah Behrman. Let them or Peter Wall know if you would like to attend.
  • Open Concerts. These are without specific themes and are open to all members. If there are too many requests, priority will be given to items involving members who have performed the least number of times in the current and previous season. Depending on the submissions received from members it may be necessary to limit submission length, for instance, to 10 minutes or another duration depending on demand.
  • On Saturday 21 May 2022 we hope to stage the much postponed Beggar’s Opera in the version by Benjamin Britten. There will be a full rehearsal on the previous Saturday 14 May.
  • At some time in the season we are hoping to invite Sir George Benjamin, who studied with Messiaen, and Robin Holloway, who collaborated with Britten, to talk about the music of these composers.

Notes for Concert Organisers (Organisers’ Guide)

If you are organising a concert it’s important that you read and understand the Guide, which contains a lot of helpful information about procedures for organising Club concerts. But even if you’re not organising this year the Guide will help you to understand how things are done.

You can view the Guide in the Members’ Area of the website.


The Club’s website is there for your benefit. Explore it and make the most of it.

Amendments sometimes have to be made to the concert schedule. You’ll be informed by email of significant changes (eg. date and venue) but it’s advisable to check the list occasionally. Don’t just assume that nothing will change during the course of the year.

Finally, a few general points:

  • Don’t wait to be invited to take part in a concert. If you want to perform in a particular concert contact the organiser. Don’t just say ‘I’d like to play something’. Being specific about what you want to perform will improve your chances of being accepted.
  • Concert Organisers are asked to give plenty of time for members to put themselves forward before finally confirming who will be in their programme. The organiser will acknowledge receipt of your application. However, if the concert is many months away you may not receive immediate confirmation unless you say that you need to know because of the difficulty of the piece, or if it needs a large number of performers, etc.  Please note however that there is no ‘first come first served’ in normal concerts. You won’t increase your chances of acceptance by applying early.

    We constantly find that the quality of our concerts isn’t matched by the numbers in the audience. Please come to as many concerts as you can, even if you aren’t performing.  And bring friends and family too.

  • If you’re performing in a concert please stay to the end out of courtesy to the organiser and the other performers. If you have a genuine reason for leaving early please notify the organiser as soon as possible, preferably in advance of the concert.

As always, a word of thanks to Mike Crowe, Graham Bowler and the Committee for their help and support. Thanks also to Chris Crocker for his sterling support as Webmaster and the hours he puts in keeping the website running smoothly.

I look forward to a more complete season of enjoyable music making than last season and hope to see you and your guests in good health and spirits.

Chris Underhill
Music Secretary
September 2021