Saturday Night at the Havant Pallant music series kicks off this weekend

THE concert halls of Havant have been largely silent throughout the pandemic.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 7:51 am

But for musician and parish priest, Canon Tom Kennar, the silence has been especially hard.

The parish of St Faith's, which Tom leads as Rector, has a long history of keeping music live - and a reputation for encouraging local performers of music and drama.

St Faith's Pallant Centre is the rehearsal home of the Havant Orchestras and Havant Dynamo Youth Theatre, and the Solent Male Voice Choir.

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Canon Tom Kennar Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Pallant Centre and the parish church have both been hosts to concerts by world-class – and more amateur – performers including pianists, singers, organists, bands, choirs and folk-ensembles. But, apart from a few online concerts, all was silent throughout 2020.

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Tom approached singer DiElle about curating a series of concerts to showcase local talent. The result is 'Saturday Night at the Havant Pallant' - a monthly concert with locally-renowned headline acts, supported by other great musicians.

The first show kicks off this Saturday (August 21) with doors opening at 7pm, and features Hayling Island's Gary O'Connor Band.

Canon Tom Kennar is launching a series of live music events at The Pallant centre, Havant Picture: Habibur Rahman

Gary said: ‘We will be ready to rock. We are very excited as it’s a great event.

‘A lot of musicians have been looking forward to getting back out there and strutting their stuff.

‘The hall has been refurbished, so we are doubly excited to be getting back out there doing new things in a new place in front of audience at last.’

DiElle will be comparing, with The DiElle Trio.

Canon Tom Kennar Picture: Habibur Rahman

'Rocking Rector' Tom will be tearing up the piano keys with his set of blues and rock classics.

Careful Covid management will be in place, with the audience seated and served at tables from the Pallant Centre's bar.

Tickets will be available on the door (£10 each or £54 for a table of six), but numbers will be limited by Covid-safety measures.

Saturday Night At The Pallant is a monthly event designed to shine a light on the plethora and diversity of local musicians, both professionals and community groups.

Each month a community group will be featured before a headline act, hosted by local original singersongwriters The DiElle Trio, John Gleadall, Chris Wood and DiElle.

The first run of events includes headliners The Gary O’Connor Band, The Courtiers, Alistair Goodwin and The Portsmouth Shantymen, and community choirs Africapella and The Igloo Choir.

DiElle said: ‘I believe that bringing people together through music can help heal some of the trauma we have collectively experienced.

‘This local event at The Pallant is a lovely way to entertain our local community and celebrate the wonderful mix of music that there is in the area. Every event will be different!’

Tickets are available on Eventbrite, The Pallant Facebook page or dates:August 21Hosts: The DiElle TrioCommunity Slot: Tom KennarHeadliners: The Gary O’Connor Band

September 4Hosts: The DiElle TrioCommunity Slot: The StringersHeadliners: The Courtiers 2Hosts: The DiElle TrioCommunity Slot: AfricapellaHeadliners: Alistair Goodwin

November 13Host: Tom KennarCommunity Slot: TBAHeadliners: The DiElle Trio

December 4Host: The DiElle TrioCommunity Slot: The Igloo ChoirHeadliners: The Portsmouth Shanty Men