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. 

Festive Fun for all the Family – Celebrate the Christmas Season with RWBO.

Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra are holding their popular Christmas Concert on Saturday December 14th. Starting at 7.30 pm in St. Bartholomew’s and All Saints Church, Royal Wootton Bassett, the concert will include a wide range of well known Christmas music. Featuring an interesting arrangement of the Christmas poem “ ‘Twas the Night before Christmas” as well as Vivaldi’s Magnificat and other classics there will also be singalong carols.

Cantanti Community Choir, who are also based in Royal Wootton Bassett, will add to the festive cheer in front of the Christmas tree.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be available. Tickets, £8, are available on the door, from members of the orchestra or choir or by emailing contact@rwbo.org.uk 

Free entrance to students and under 16’s.

Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra, founded in 1982 is a friendly, fully inclusive orchestra welcoming members from all walks of life, and all ages. Under the baton of Alan MacRae, the orchestra plays a range of music centred around at least three major concerts a year and an open rehearsal. 

This year the orchestra performed two Spring Concerts featuring music from the movies as well as an Autumn Concert featuring soloists from the orchestra.

At the beginning of October the orchestra held a successful Open Rehearsal to play the First movements of Haydn’s Symphony No 104 and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 4.and is now busy rehearsing for its lively Christmas Concert.

If you would like to join the orchestra please email the above contact email address, message via Facebook or our website https://rwborchestra.wordpress.com

Cantanti has grown from a small chamber choir of five members in 2008 to nearly thirty members. In March 2016, Lisa Williams, the conductor, added a Youth Section for singers aged 7-16. Cantanti’s repertoire covers a wide range: from Bach to madrigals to songs from the shows. As well as concerts, Cantanti or a smaller group, can be booked for special events, especially weddings.

Email : lisawilliamsmusic@gmail.com or visit Cantanti Choir Facebook page