Waterlooville Music Festival ends on a triumphant note

PERFORMANCE The Highbury area band take centre stage at the Waterlooville Music Festival
PERFORMANCE The Highbury area band take centre stage at the Waterlooville Music Festival

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A WEEK-LONG music extravaganza which entertained thousands of people has been hailed a huge success.

There were 40 concerts during Waterlooville Music Festival, which is based around St George’s Church.

Children, professionals, amateurs and members of the public took to the stage to sing and play for the delighted audiences.

Jane Rice-Oxley is behind the event, which is now in its seventh year.

She said: ‘Father Mike Sheffield informed me that we had 4,199 people in over the week which is wonderful. It really is so difficult to say what my highlight was but the scratch performance of Handel’s Messiah was brilliant and something I won’t forget for a long time.

‘And the children’s performances were great. We work with four or five local schools and when they get on stage you can see how keen they are.

The Highbury Area Band performed a piece of music called Song for the Sea by Chinese composer Alfred Wong. The band’s musical director Richard Horn was given special permission from Mr Wong to hold the UK premier of the piece on Friday. The festival ended on a triumphant note on Saturday.

Mrs Rice-Oxley added: ‘The Last Night of the Proms is always such a wow. It brings out such fervour and everyone enjoys it so much. When it gets to the end everyone gets to their feet and sings Jerusalem – amazing. It was hard work of course but we’re already planning next year’s.’