IT’S been running for more than 50 years, and now organisers of the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival are hoping it will be the best one yet.
The festival starts tomorrow night at Portsmouth Guildhall and runs for four nights.
It enables youngsters from across the city and beyond to sing or play a musical instrument in front of an audience.
Around 1,500 children are expected to take part from the ages of five right up to 18.
Sarah Lewis, one of the organisers of the festival, said: ‘The festival has been running for more than 50 years.
‘It started with a small group of schools in Southsea. Over the years it has grown.
‘We invite all the schools in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to take part.’
The festival features various performances including two massed choirs made up of different singers from different schools.
There are also other performances from students in brass bands.
And organisers of the festival held a competition to find a solo singer to perform on each night of the festival.
Sarah added it’s a great chance for young people to be able to perform to an audience.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for the young people of Portsmouth to perform on stage and an opportunity that a lot of people don’t get, regardless of their background.
‘The singing is great. They sing together and have a great time and they go home buzzing.
‘It’s a real opportunity for the young people of Portsmouth to get together and meet new people and have a really good time.’
And Sarah added that everyone associated with the festival is excited about it.
‘We are really looking forward to it. We have already sold a lot of tickets,’ she said.
‘It’s going to be one of the biggest festivals we’ve done so far.
‘The students are buzzing about it already. Lots of them are taking part again having taken part before.
‘People come along once and they keep coming back.’
And Sarah added taking part in the festival is a big confidence booster for the children.
‘It really brings some of the quiet children out of themselves,’ she added.
‘Some of them aren’t the most outgoing children in the world but they feel confident because they know they have got a talent that they can show off.’
The performances start at 6.30pm each night.
To find out more informnation or to purchase tickets visit schoolsmusic.org.
Tickets are also available to buy on the door.