'˜Infectious energy'will see Guildhall Rock-ing all week

'˜The incredible energy is infectious.'

Rock Challenge 2018 Mayfield School, Portsmouth
Rock Challenge 2018 Mayfield School, Portsmouth

That was the verdict delivered following the first of five Portsmouth Guildhall heats of the 2018 performing arts event Global Rock Challenge.

Nine schools took part in the first heat on Monday, with 46 more due to follow before the heats finish on Friday evening.

Schools from London and Dorset, as well as Hampshire, featured on the opening night with Waterlooville-based AMP at Havant and South Downs College judged the first winners of the week.

Supervising event manager for the UK Rock Challenge, Sophia Campbell, was delighted.

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    ‘What a way to start our week of events in Portsmouth,’ she enthused. ‘The incredible energy has been infectious and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week entails.

    ‘Each school looked extremely professional whilst performing on the stage and it was clear to see the months of hard work and dedication each young person had put in.’

    The Rock Challenge is an anti-drug and crime-prevention initiative taking the form of a performing arts competition for schools and colleges.

    The first-ever event in the UK was held at Portsmouth Guildhall in 1996, involving just 11 schools.

    AMP’s winning performance was titled Let Them Eat Cake and focused on riot-torn Paris in 1793.

    Runners-up on Monday were Isle of Wight-based Christ the King College, whose performance was based around the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans in 1718.

    Twynham School, from Christchurch in Dorset, were third with a performance featuring the Mexican day of the dead festival.

    Two other Portsmouth area schools competed in the first Guildhall heat.

    Mayfield School’s performance featured the legend of King Arthur, while The Cowplain School based their display on the life of The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

    Monday’s event at the Guildhall attracted a large audience and was supported by Hampshire County Council, Stage Coach, Ian Wright Consulting, ACRO and Securigroup.

    Also attending were an array of sponsors, local authority figures and invited VIPs.