Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra Open Rehearsal Oct 12th 2019

Hadyn and Mendelssohn

Orchestral instrumental players of all standards and audience members are invited to join Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra for their Open Rehearsal on October 12th.

The Open Rehearsal will be held in Royal Wootton Bassett Methodist Church from 11 am to 3.30 pm. This is a community event which is free to attend – no booking required!

Led by our regular Musical Director Alan MacRae, we will be playing the 1st movements of Hadyn Symphony No. 104 and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4.

Can’t make the whole day? No problem, come along for the morning or afternoon session. Audience are welcome to the performance at 3 pm or come earlier to watch the rehearsal.

Children and young people are especially welcome. This is a great opportunity to see how an orchestra rehearses, ask questions, and perhaps even try an instrument!

Lunch will be provided for players and refreshments for all throughout the day.

The day will culminate with a performance of the two pieces at around 3pm. Open Rehearsal performances are shorter and somewhat less formal than concerts, so for new audiences and younger children they are a brilliant introduction to the full orchestral experience.

We hope you can join us.

Wantage Orchestra St Andrew’s Day Concert


Saturday, 30th November 2019 at 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Location: Wantage Parish Church


Mackenzie Benedictus
Bruch Scottish Fantasia – Tabitha Appel, violin

Tchaikovsky Symphony no 4


Tickets in advance: Adults £8, OAP/Students £6 

Online @WantageOrch,

Available from The Wantage Vale & Downland Museum 

And from members of the Wantage Orchestra 

Tickets at the door Adults £9-OAP/Students £7

Accompanied children in primary/secondary education free 

This autumn the Wantage Orchestra are busy rehearsing Mackenzie’s Benedictus, a deeply moving and sensuous arrangement, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasia and Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony. The composers all have an intense relationship with the folk tradition. 

Tchaikovsky wrote this dramatic and emotionally fuelled symphony whilst struggling to resolve issues with his homosexuality. He had just attempted to cure himself using a catastrophic marriage to former student Antonina Miliukova, which lasted just two months and resulted in his attempted suicide. 

The symphony opens boldly with a horn fanfare representing fate. It is the kernel of the symphony. and many critics look to the powerful first movement as a monument of symphonic form. In the finale, Tchaikovsky references the folk song “In the Meadow Stood a Little Birch Tree” against the foreboding and fatalistic theme that opens the first movement 


In Tchaikovsky’s own words, “all life is an unbroken alternation of hard reality with swiftly passing dreams and visions of happiness …”. He went on: “No haven exists … Drift upon that sea until it engulfs and submerges you in its depths”. It has been described as “A sleigh Ride through Siberia” 


Max Bruch’ Scottish fantasia is a romantic and tuneful piece based on Scottish folk melodies. For Bruch folk music encapsulated a truth and offered an antidote to the industrial revolution’s shadow of uncertainty and confusion.


The first movement is built on “Through the Wood Laddie” and this theme comes through again in the 2nd and 4th movements.

The finale develops the anthem “Scots, Wha Hae” associated by legend with Robert the Bruce and his defeat of the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.


The piece demands virtuoso courage from the soloist and we are thrilled to accompany the brilliant young violinist, Tabitha Appel in this very popular and atmospheric piece.

We hope you will enjoy this concert.