Musical flair on show as festival is opened

The Petersfield area schools string orchestra perform during the Portsmouth Music Festivals opening concert which was held at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth.   'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (110432-3)
The Petersfield area schools string orchestra perform during the Portsmouth Music Festivals opening concert which was held at Admiral Lord Nelson School in Portsmouth. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (110432-3)
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IT’S now an incredible 94 years since the inception of Portsmouth Music Festival.

And, judging by yesterday’s polished performances at Admiral Lord Nelson School, the musical flair in the city just keeps getting better.

More than 100 people turned out to enjoy the opening concert of the festival, which showcases the region’s finest musical talent, whether it be singing in a choir or playing the clarinet.

Over the coming weeks, more than 4,000 performers of all ages will be taking part in the festivities.

Councillor John Ireland, who heads children’s services at Portsmouth City Council, opened the event.

He said: ‘I think it’s great we have events like this to showcase the talent of both young and old.

‘We are in tough times. Music is an opportunity to inspire us, to lift our spirits and above all, unite us in a common purpose.’

The concert was opened with a stirring performance of Gustav Holst’s Jupiter by Petersfield Area Schools String Orchestra. Next up was Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir, with performances of I Got You (I Feel Good), by James Brown, and Some Skunk Funk, by Randy Brecker. After the interval, Park Community Choir sang their hearts out with a performance of Hallelujah. The concert was brought to a rousing conclusion with a performance from Blendworth Brass Band with their version of John Klein’s Cranberry Corners USA.

Carol Frogley, head of the festival’s piano section, said anyone could come to watch the concerts.

She said: ‘It’s a very prestigious festival and one of the largest in the country.

‘It’s good to see new participants coming in and it’s nice to see people coming back and seeing how much they have improved. Being able to perform is something some children can do even if they are not academic. It gives a great sense of achievement.’

The next big event will be the recorder and woodwind concert at Portsmouth High School Junior Department in Kent Road, Southsea, on February 19 and 20. The classical and traditional vocal concert for adults also takes place on February 18 and 19 in The Menuhin Room of Portsmouth’s Central Library.

For more information visit portsmouthmusicfestival.co.uk. The News will publish results throughout the festival.