Pupils bring sound of Africa to Portsmouth

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MORE than 400 children filled Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square with the beat of African drums.

Students from Cottage Grove Primary School in Southsea have been studying Africa for the past term.

The whole of Cottage Grove Primary School were on The Portsmouth Guildhall steps on Wednesday for an African drumming concert. Picture: Sarah Standing (141970-1777)

The whole of Cottage Grove Primary School were on The Portsmouth Guildhall steps on Wednesday for an African drumming concert. Picture: Sarah Standing (141970-1777)

So staff decided it would be a good experience for them to take part in a drumming session on the Guildhall steps.

Pupils from the pre-school up to Year six took part.

Headteacher Polly Honeychurch said: ‘We thought we would bring the whole school out into the open air to perform a concert to parents and any members of the public who wanted to listen.

‘We wanted to do it because it was something we hadn’t done before. We want to give our children memories that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. The weather was fantastic. The children drummed brilliantly.

‘We had a fantastic audience and it’s definitely something that we will think about doing again.’

Michelle Cummins, 11, is in Year six. She said: ‘It was really exciting and it was fun to try and do it with the whole school and to show it to different people.

‘I’m absolutely lost for words. I’m just so happy.’

Jayden Ridout, 11, also in Year six, added: ‘It was fun and energetic.

‘It was a bit nerve-wracking but we got used to it after we did more performances.

‘It’s something I will always remember.’

Sue Beckett is the head of service at Portsmouth Music Hub and led the performance.

She said: ‘We do a lot of drumming across the city. It’s a wonderful way of getting children to develop their listening skills and their co-ordination. To do something all together in such a big space is important. The Guildhall steps lend themselves to that sort of performance. I am proud of them.’