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What does an orchestra play in its very last concert?

The Guildford Philharmonic, Vernon Handley’s old orchestra, is being wound up tonight after a wealthy town council refused further subsidy.

So, what do they play?

guildford (1)       guildford2

Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and Haydn’s Farewell Symphony.



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  1. James Brinton says:

    Meanwhile, rappers roll around in stretch limos.
    If only we could tax poor taste…

  2. Am I alone in finding it strange that it’s going to cost £41,500 a year to “administer” a £60,000 grant?

    A group has been chosen to receive this grant until 2016, so how exactly is it going to cost £124,500 over 3 years to “administer” the transfer of £180,000?

    The council didn’t think that the Guildford Phil was good value for money, but it’s ok when they’re lining their own pockets?

  3. Tod would turn in his grave. I was so very lucky in the 1960′s to play with the GPO when Tod had a few students from the RCM come and play with such wonderful pros like Hugh Bean Stephen Shingles and many more. It was a real honour and a wonderful introduction to the profession. That all this should come to an end is tragic and very short sighted.

  4. If only we could tax people that don’t like rap music.

  5. This is so sad. On a personal note – (I live in an adjacent town) I am appallingly disappointed that Guildford can ‘talk the talk’ but not ‘walk the walk’ as far as meaningful cultural provision is concerned. This is one of the wealthiest towns in the country, which historically likes to remind us that it is a city, and yet the one jewel in it’s civic crown is being quietly executed for purely financial considerations shortly after the opening of the new concert hall (sorry – I probably should have said – ‘commercial entertainment centre’) which should have been it’s home.
    When the Civic Hall was demolished and replaced with ‘G-Live’ the Council benefitted hugely from freeing up space for Hotel accomodation and other commercial development. What a shame none could be channeled into continuing funding for what should have been the resident ensemble for the new performance space. Bad decisions and probable conflicts of interest once again mean that commercial interests take precedence over that which would make us all better human beings – and the poor musicians are the people who pay the price.

    In a way, the most depressing thing is not that it has happened, but that we now live in a world where there is little resistance to such an act of cultural vandalism, because there is little perception of the value of what is being lost.

  6. Spectacularly sad. The idea that “if it isn’t revenue generating, then it’s not worthwhile” does not apply to the arts and humanities as it might to a sandwich shop. Those who make such decisions will never understand the tragedy of their ignorance.

  7. Mark Stratford says:

    Forgive me for re-posting, but last year when Slipped Disc announced these plans there was the following sensible posting :

    ” …….In all but name, GP concerts are bringing a fairly London-centric band to Guildford to perform, So why waste money on a separate set of branding, administration costs, staffing to run a fairly non-existent orchestra, which you could bring in the LPO, Philharmonia, LSO, BSO, whoever, who already have all the back-office stuff sewn up?”

  8. Mark Stratford says:

    And £400,000+ on Service Level Agreements, whatever they are

    “The council makes a very significant contribution towards the performing arts – £641,518 in grant aid, £419,640 in service level agreements, £190,000 for the GPO and c. £20,000 for lunch time recitals. “

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