Youngsters put on feast of music for festival’s finale

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Young musicians from across the area performed at Portsmouth Music Festival’s gala concert at the Kings Theatre recently.

The annual festival came to a close after more than 2,500 individual performances, covering speech and drama, dance and nine musical sections from brass to woodwind.

The audience were treated to selected performances representing each section of the festival.

Park Performers, from Park Community School in Havant, started the proceedings with a stunning rendition of Mamma Mia, followed by Portsmouth Wind Band playing Soul Bossa Nova by Malcolm Arnold.

Several individual performers then took to the stage, including six-year-old Monty Johnson who played Where is Love on his euphonium.

Tilly Raye-Bayer, seven, wowed the audience with the Bad Fairy from Sleeping Beauty.

Sophie Osborne, on the clarinet, played Sonatina by Malcolm Arnold, while Verity Flood, cornet, gave a convincing performance of the first movement of Denis Wright’s Cornet Concerto.

Other notable performances were given by 10-year-old Sasha Ng on harp, guitarist Sam Adie, violinist Jia Feng, pianists Thomas Luke and Huba Csermely, duettists Helen Phillips and Chris Coote, dancer Kaya Davey-Smith, and 14-year-old Alyssa Mantel-Cooper on descant recorder.

Drama group Acting Up impressed with a special piece called Ring of Roses, with actors as young as five.

The vocal section was represented by Caroline Heywood and Felicity Bryant, who will be singing in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican with Farnham Youth Choir.

The rock and pop section was represented by Mayville High School Band and The East Street Springs. All the performers gathered on stage for the finale and Deputy Lord Mayor Of Portsmouth, David Fuller, congratulated everyone for an excellent evening. The evening ended with a special arrangement of Life on Mars by the whole company, led by Denmead Training Band, pianist Valentina Seferinova and other instrumentalists. It was directed by Darren Alderton as a tribute to David Bowie.