THE Kings Theatre came alive with the sound of music last night as the area’s finest talent took to the stage.
It was quite an occasion for the young performers as they pulled out all the stops to bring Portsmouth Music Festival to a thrilling conclusion.
Since the beginning of February more than 3,000 people from across Portsmouth have performed in 24 events.
Last night was a bigger stage than ever amid the grandeur of the Southsea theatre.
Whether it was piano, trumpet, flute, recorder or cello, there was something for everyone at the 80th anniversary gala concert.
There were also exciting dance displays, with 13-year-old Megan Betteridge, from Sexton School of Dance in Portsmouth, wowing with her tap dance solo to Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx.
The choir from Bosmere Junior School could hardly contain their pride as they opened the show with a charming performance of Do Re Mi, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.
Nerves never showed as teenagers showed off their talents with solo performances, including 17-year-old guitarist and singer Matt Benham, as well as pianist Monica Shi, recorder player Caitlin McCale and cornet player James Adie.
After her solo performance, cellist Hattie McCall-Davies, 19, of Bristol Road, Southsea, said: ‘It was exciting. I just want to go on stage and do it again!’
Flautist Phoebe Pexton, 14, from Bosham, said: ‘It was amazing.
‘You went on and everything was dark, then you played and everything went light at the end and you could see the audience cheering.’
Brothers Josh, Adam and Stephen Smith, from Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir, jazzed up the evening with Alexander’s Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin.
Young thespians took to the stage and 11-year-old Aelfred Hillman, who attends Portsmouth Grammar Junior School, showed plenty of poise as he performed a piece from Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Festival vice-chairman Ian Frogley said: ‘The theatre has a special atmosphere. It’s given young people the opportunity to perform in public.’
Cllr Cheryl Buggy, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, said: ‘I am in awe of the talent here.
‘It’s great to see so much creativity and so much talent at such a high level.’
Winning prizes were trumpeter Edward Fry, who will perform at Portsmouth Festivities in June next year, and pianist Monica Shi, who will play a concerto with the Solent Symphony Orchestra next February.
The winner of the Chairman’s Cup was The Yasmin Taylor Academy of Dance.