Talented pupils wow audience at start of annual music festival

SOLO Gilly Williams from Southdowns College, performing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables.
SOLO Gilly Williams from Southdowns College, performing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables.
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Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180012-4)

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UNITING together, these students showed off a wealth of talent on the opening night of the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival.

The annual festival sees children from schools across the city perform together, with hundreds of students strutting their stuff on stage.

Admiral Lord Nelson School Band perform 'The Capital'

Admiral Lord Nelson School Band perform 'The Capital'

And this year was no disappointment. A rock band from Admiral Lord Nelson School took to the stage as well as pupils from Northern Parade Juniors who performed in a group called ‘Rock Steady’.

A musical theatre group from South Downs College also impressed the audience.

Pupils from choirs at different schools then all joined together, with around 230 children on stage at one point.

The junior choir included children from Craneswater Juniors, Mayville High School, Northern Parade Juniors, Paulsgrove Primary and St Jude’s Primary.

Meanwhile, the secondary school choir performance featured pupils from Admiral Lord Nelson School, City of Portsmouth Boys’ School, City of Portsmouth Girls’ School, Mayfield, Mayville High, Milton Cross, Priory, Redwood Park, Springfield and St Edmund’s School.

Becky Hill, chairwoman of the Portsmouth Schools Music Festival, said: ‘I was absolutely delighted with it. It really showed off all the musical talent in the city.

‘It teaches the kids lots of different things.

‘It teaches them teamwork and that standing next to somebody that they don’t know in a performance isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

‘It brings the school communities together. It gives teachers the opportunity to watch other teachers.

‘It’s a learning process for everybody – not just the students, although they are our focus.

‘I am extremely proud of them. Their performances are at a professional level. We had lots of comments about how good it was. The standard was incredibly high.

‘They amazed me. We set them a target and they rose above that. Every year I am impressed with their performance and their confidence on stage. There are so many positives in what we are doing, which is why we do it.’

A pupil from specialist school Redwood Park, also gave a stunning solo performance.

Tanya Atkin performed after she was one of the finalists in a local X Factor-style competition.

Becky added: ‘She was amazing. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

‘You wouldn’t believe the standard that she produced. It was an amazing performance.’

The Portsmouth Schools Musical Festival runs at the Guildhall in the city centre all week.

n In tomorrow’s paper, coverage of the music festival performances last night by children from Court Lane Infants, Mayville High, Northern Parade Infants, Arundel Court Primary, Copnor Juniors, Lyndhurst Juniors and Milton Park Primary schools.