Portsmouth Music Festival set to mark 80 years of performances

ON SONG Poppy McGhee, member of the Petersfield Area Schools String Orchestra, performs during last year's Portsmouth Music Festival
ON SONG Poppy McGhee, member of the Petersfield Area Schools String Orchestra, performs during last year's Portsmouth Music Festival
David Grocott, David Bidwell, Sheila Caudery, Jackie Tufnell, Marilyn Benett, Phil Caudery and Micheal Edwards from Sing for Fun and Dance for Fun groups enjoying a barbecue

A summer spent singing

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ORGANISERS of the Portsmouth Music Festival promise this year’s will be bigger than ever, as the event marks its 80th anniversary.

And to celebrate the landmark birthday, the organisation is launching a bursary scheme to offer a helping hand to young aspiring musicians.

Funds for the bursary will come from ticket sales of a new gala concert event, in place of the traditional closing concert.

It will be held at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, and aims to give musicians taking part in the festival a public platform, as well as celebrate the special birthday and end of the festival.

The grants, hoped to be around £500 each, will be available to students in higher education studying performing arts.

Dielle Hannah, head of vocal for the festival, said: ‘There has been a lot of hoo-ha about university fees and people not being able to afford to go because of the increase.

‘We want to help support people who go on to specialist education and preserve that route of training.’

Meanwhile, some of the area’s finest musicians are tuning up to take part in the festival’s launch concert on Sunday.

The opening event will showcase the talents of those who took part in last year’s festival.

Visitors can expect a vibrant performance of modern and classical music, dance and theatre.

Ms Hannah added: ‘Sunday’s event is packed with entertainment to kick-start the festival.

‘It will be a nice, relaxed afternoon with a wide range of music, dance and drama performances to enjoy.’

The opening concert takes place at Admiral Lord Nelson School, Dundas Lane, Portsmouth, and it starts at 3pm.

Tickets are available on the door and cost £7.50 for an adult and £5.50 for concessions.

See portsmouthmusic festival.co.uk for more.