CHILDREN from across the city are getting ready to take centre stage as the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival returns.
Starting from Tuesday, it will see more than 1,500 children singing and playing musical instruments at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Children from schools across the area including Stamshaw Infants have been rehearsing.
Sarah Lewis, who is on the festival committee, said: ‘We think the festival has been going for over 50 years.
‘It started as a very small group of schools in the Southsea area and it built up from there. It’s something that has been going on in the city for a long time.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for all the children in the city who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to perform in such a venue. It gives children the opportunity to perform with others.
‘They are able to show their talents to everybody who wants to come and watch them.’
Children from the age of five all the way up to 18 take part.
‘You get children who come back to the junior and secondary school choirs who have been doing it year after year,’ added Sarah. ‘There are smiles on their faces.
‘It tells you how much they enjoy it.’
Sarah also works as a conductor at the festival.
She said: ‘I’m really excited about it. I love being in front of the kids and seeing their enthusiasm.
‘It makes it worth all the hard work throughout the year.
‘I’m really looking forward to it.’
This year the festival has also run a competition giving children the chance to sing solo on each night of the festival.
Jordan Newman from The Harbour School, Megan Linford from Priory, Sophie Miller from Portsmouth High Juniors and Lucy Buchanan from Copnor Juniors were chosen as the winners after taking part in auditions.
The festival is set to run from Tuesday to Friday from 6.30pm.
To find out more visit schoolsmusic.org