School orchestra adds yet another string to its bow bow

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, second right, and Minister of State for Schools The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, centre, with representatives from Portchester Community School  and Henry Cort Community College

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THESE performers knew how to string along their audience as they took part in the city’s biggest annual music festival.

Violinists, cellists, viola and fiddle players from across the county took part in the Portsmouth Music Festival’s string section.

Performances were held in the Menhuin Room, Central Library, Portsmouth and Admiral Lord Nelson School, in Dundas Lane, Copnor.

Gwenda Dearsley, head of the string section, and chairman of the Portsmouth Music Festival, said: ‘The standard this year was as high as ever.

‘The key to giving a good performance is by making the audience engage in the music.

‘You need to make sure they are enjoying it by playing accurate music and that you are also enjoying playing it too.’ Among the winners were the Petersfield Area Schools’ String Orchestra, who won the Youth Orchestra Cup.

The 25-strong group, with members ranging from nine years old to 16, played three pieces by Anton Diabelli and one by Kerry Polka.

Peter Thompson, director of the orchestra, said: ‘I thought they all did really well – the performance sounded good as a piece and we were all thrilled to win a trophy.

‘The great thing about the orchestra is it gives young people, who are interested in music, the chance to speak to other students, who also enjoy this.

‘It’s a great way for pupils of different ages and from different schools to meet each other and make friends.’

The orchestra will also be playing at both the Petersfield and Chichester musical festivals later this month.

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