‘Wind band helped me settle into the student community’

CLARINET Jessie Andrew
CLARINET Jessie Andrew
From left, University of Portsmouth head of brand strategy and corporate communications Emma Fields, Portsmouth FC commercial director Anna Mitchell, university governor and former Portsmouth FC President David Willan, football club CEO Mark Catlin and university vice chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith

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Coming to University of Portsmouth in September was exciting and daunting, not knowing many people and living in a new city.

I found that joining the university wind band at the Freshers’ Fair helped me settle into the student community, meet new people and get to know the local area.

There were no auditions, so as a clarinettist, I went to the first rehearsal.

The band were rehearsing for an upcoming performance to take place that November at The King’s Theatre.

It was part of the University of Portsmouth Music Society’s Carmina Burana concert, followed by a Christmas concert at The Hub café.

Straight away I was learning a range of challenging pieces, from Vaughn Williams to Adele, a great benefit for developing my musical skills.

The wind band is not only formed of university students from all years and abilities but also students from schools, university staff and people from the community.

Many members, including the band leader Ken Wharton-Emms, are also active in other groups, such as the Big Band and the New Party Collective, so I have been able to see other gigs and concerts around Portsmouth.

As well as meeting for weekly rehearsal, the wind band is a friendly, social bunch, organising Christmas meals, quizzes and other fun events, all of which have built a strong sense of community within the group.

I am really glad I joined the wind band as I have made new friends, performed in concerts around Portsmouth, been able to continue playing clarinet and be involved with the university’s musical side.