YOUNGSTERS got their chance to shine as they auditioned to sing solo at a music festival.
The auditions on Saturday gave young people aged up to 16 the chance to sing on their own at the Portsmouth Schools’ Music Festival.
Portsmouth High Junior School played host to the event which offered four positions for children to perform on their own.
A panel of judges chose their favourites to perform at 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.
Elise Fairley is festival co-ordinator and was one of the judges on Saturday.
She said: ‘It was a really good day. They were all really good.
‘There aren’t many chances that children get now to perform solos.
‘There are lots of choirs but it’s that confidence to get up on your own in front of lots of people.
‘It’s not an opportunity they get very often.
‘There was a real mixture of excitement and nerves.
‘Most of them will be really nervous but once they start singing they just enjoy it.’
And Elise said preparations for this year’s festival were in full swing.
‘We are really looking forward to it.
‘It’s going to be the biggest variety of acts we have ever had. We’ve got some new schools joining the festival from outside the city.’
More than 1,500 children are expected to take part this year.
The festival begins on Tuesday, July 2 at Portsmouth Guildhall and takes place over four nights.
All schools and colleges in the area are invited to take part.
‘Music is so important for all children,’ Elise said.
‘Some people want to have it in their career leading into the future.
‘But as a hobby it’s good for the soul and it brings children together.
‘It makes everyone equal. It brings all the children from different parts of the city together.’
It will involve choirs of children from infant, junior and secondary schools, local colleges, as well as ensembles and dance groups from around the city.
Performances will include music from West End musicals, films and pop groups old and new.