WEEKS of rehearsing their lines paid off as hundreds of schoolchildren took centre stage for an appreciative audience at a Christmas carol concert.
Little ones from schools across the city lined up with their teachers on the Guildhall steps tonight.
Happily singing and waving to their parents, brothers and sisters, the youngsters filled Guildhall Square with the sound of carols and festive songs.
Proud Stamshaw dad Steve Dash, 32, was with his daughter Chloe, four, and wife Carley Dash, 29, as they watched his daughter Sofia, eight, perform.
‘It’s lovely, it’s something special – we’ve done it with all the kids,’ he said.
‘It’s really nice for them, and she likes doing this kind of thing.
It brings the Christmas spirit, it doesn’t really feel like it until this and the lights go onBobbie Masterton
Carley, of Knox Road, told of her pride in Sofia, a Stamshaw Junior School pupil. She said: ‘I’m proud of her.’
The little ones launched into Calypso Carol after the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas led a ceremony lighting the Christmas tree in the square.
Bandmaster David Mallett, of the Salvation Army Portsmouth Citadel Band, kept the beat.
Conductors Chris Mahy, of Portsmouth Music Service and Polly Honeychurch, headteacher of Cottage Grove Primary School, kept the hundreds of voices in harmony.
Emma Treacher, 34, of Milton, was with partner Mark Prince, 39, and son Callum Prince, one, watching her daughter Chloe Treacher, eight.
The Fernhurst Junior School pupil’s voice combined with the others as she sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing, right up to the uplifting We Wish You a Merry Christmas finale.
Emma said: ‘We did it last year – it’s good, it gives her something to aim for.
‘It makes a change to hear them sing Christmas carols as opposed to pop.’
And for Andy Palmer, 36, it was a family occasion he couldn’t miss. He was with his partner Donna Masterton, 40, and his step-daughter Bobbie Masterton, 16, along with Kayla-Louise Masterton-Palmer, one, and Charlotte-Ann Masterton Palmer, eight months.
They were watching Eva-Joice Masterton, nine, and Kate-Jane Masterton in the choir.
Bobbie said: ‘It brings the Christmas spirit, it doesn’t really feel like it until this and the lights go on.’