HUNDREDS of schoolchildren were treated to exclusive workshops and performances by the Royal Marines School of Music.
More than 2,000 youngsters aged six to 13 from 22 different Portsmouth schools packed in to The Kings Theatre in Southsea to learn about music yesterday.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Paula Riches, even got in on the act, joining drummers on stage to rattle out some beats – although her failure to keep in time was the source of much amusement for her young audience.
Pupils were beaming with enjoyment as they clapped along and cheered the performances.
Ten-year-old Phoebe Martin, who attends St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Landport, said: ‘It was incredible, it was really artistic. I learnt a lot.
‘It was fantastic seeing a band like this and I really enjoyed it.’
The event, organised in conjunction with the city council’s Portsmouth Music Services, was the largest workshop the Royal Marines School of Music had ever held.
Their two hour-long sets demonstrated rhythm, tempo, the structure of a band and how instruments work together.
Andy Thornhill, director of training at the Royal Marines School of Music, said: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity to play to these children. For many of these children this will have been their first opportunity to see live music and see what goes in to a performance.
‘It was also great to have the opportunity to perform to so many schoolchildren in one day. We’d never be able to get around as many schools as we’ve played to today.’
Patrick Nicholls, senior leader at Portsmouth Music Services, which goes in to schools to teach music, said: ‘Children throughout Portsmouth got a chance to experience live music and to see how the musicians interact with their audience.
‘We are hugely lucky to have the Royal Marines Band here in Portsmouth.
‘For many children, it would have been their first live music experience and hopefully it has inspired them to pick up an instrument and play.’