Portsmouth children invited to join after-school choir clubs

School children will enjoy learning how to sing as a choir as part of this project.
School children will enjoy learning how to sing as a choir as part of this project.

By Alastair Ross, musical director of Choir Church, Milton

It was Martin Luther who once said; ‘As long as we live, there is never enough singing.’

Well said that man.

We at St James’ Church, Milton, in collaboration with Portsmouth Cathedral, have started a new singing initiative focused on community spirit, wellbeing and musical flair.

I’m being officially licensed as the Musical Director of the project in a service at St James Church, Milton, on Sunday.

I’ll then be working with six schools in the Milton area to create new choirs for our children. While music has been subject to cuts in our school systems, it is always prevalent and considered essential in the day-to-day life of the church.

With the help of staff at Meon Juniors, Meon Infants, Wimborne Juniors, Wimborne Infants, Milton Park Primary and Moorings Way, I am introducing after-school choir clubs on a weekly basis.

The idea is that the children will perform for their parents and others, both in St James’ Church and taking part in local community events.

The music will be varied – musicals, pop ballads and gospel, as well as sacred and secular. We are also offering the theory of music for those who desire a rounded music education. 

Our first venture into the community will be as part of the events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day the weekend of June 7-9.

This will see the schools collaborating in an exceptional spectacle that is so poignant here in Portsmouth.

I have also created a community choir for all ages – called Breve Easy –  which aims to support the children’s choirs in performances and promote wellbeing in our part of Portsmouth.

You needn’t read music nor be religious, it is a chance to socialise and explore music at no cost. We currently meet at the Milton Village Hall on a Wednesday at 6pm for an hour. All ages welcome.

If you are interested in getting involved, there is a Facebook group called Choir Church Milton Project. You can also email me on mdchoirchurch@gmail.com.

Alternatively, pop into St James’ Church and talk to me or Father Paul Armstead. We are excited for this new venture and cannot wait to meet those who wish to be part of it.

St James Church is in Milton Road, Milton. Go to stjamesmilton.org.uk.