INDIAN DRUMMING FOR PORTSMOUTH SCHOOLS

The entrancing sound of Indian drumming could be heard in Portsmouth schools this week as Portsmouth Music Hub celebrated the start of a new partnership with Keda Music.

With a mission to make learning and playing Indian drums accessible and enjoyable for as many members of the community as possible, Portsmouth Music Hub and Keda Music are working collaboratively to provide hands-on learning for students and teachers across the city. This week students at Priory School and Newbridge Junior School have learned the basics of playing Indian tabla drums whilst also teaching about Indian culture. Students were able to share their personal cultural experiences and one student performed on his own dhol drum enabling his friends to have a go as well - a great example of peer to peer learning.

Kuljit Bhamra MBE, who led workshops at Priory School and Newbridge Junior School, said "The students were really attentive and eager to learn about Indian drumming and Indian culture. They worked very hard and learnt lots of special techniques for playing the tabla."

Workshops were held for both students and staff in order to kick start a new tradition of Indian drumming in the city.

William Glasspole, aged 8, said "The drumming was amazing to watch and it was brilliant fun to join in. I loved it!"

Young Performers Take to the Stage

On Thursday 13 July, at the Church of the Resurrection in Portsmouth, children and young people from Portsmouth Music Hub's Ensembles came together to perform an end of term evening of music and entertainment; celebrating another academic year of music-making with Portsmouth Music Hub.

Proud parents and members of the public filled the Church to enjoy a wide range of music from Ghostbusters, Pirates of the Caribbean, Adele, Paul Simon and Hayden!

It was an opportunity for everyone to see how far the children had come during the past year of rehearsals and performances, and the audience enjoyed performances from the Little Voices Choir, The Channel, Coastal and Ocean Wind Bands and Portsmouth Plays Wind Band.

With an exciting programme of music and confident performances from all the young musicians the night came to a spectacular end with the Ocean Wind Band performing the unforgettable sound of Ravel's Bolero.

Portsmouth Music Hub's Ensembles will return in September 2017.

ROCKING THE ROOMS

On 5 July, young musicians from Portsmouth Music Hub's Rock Bands along with bands from local schools and colleges took to the stage and definitely rocked the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth.

'Rock the Rooms' was a gig to mark the end of the school year showcasing the progress the bands have made. It was also an opportunity for the musicians to perform at a professional music venue in front of a packed auditorium.

The gig brought together enthusiastic musicians aged from between 8 to 18 years of age, and there was a fantastic mix of music on offer, including hits like "I love Rock and Roll" and "Feeling Good" along with original songs written by talented members of the Bands.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub said: "It was an amazing night and a gig the musicians will never forget. It was a particularly poignant gig for the Hub's Warrior Band with many of them leaving this year as they reach the end of college. Denzel Dela Pena has been singing with the Music Hub since the age of 8 and seeing the transformation of his voice over the years and his passion for performing is a real priviledge."

The Bands' enthusiasm and commitment to performing last night was inspirational and their director, Stu Brewer leads by example putting a huge amount of time and effort into their training and performances.

Portsmouth Music Hub runs Rock Bands, from beginners to more advanced young performers, each week during term time. To find out more call 023 9237 5655 or visit www.portsmouthmusichub.org.uk.

CARNIVAL PARADE

Hundreds of children descended on Guildhall Square on Wednesday 5 July bringing a flavour of the Latin American Carnival to Portsmouth.  8 schools came dressed in carnival costumes, with masks, flags, drums, streamers and whistles for a cultural celebration of music and dance.

The carnival atmosphere was buzzing with the Pompey Pluckers ukulele band, a pianist and maypole dancers entertaining the children as they arrived. The children started the carnival with a rousing performance of the 'The Carnival Song' which had been composed especially for the event by one of the Music Hub's composers.

Proud parents and enthusiastic passers-by were treated to singing, African drumming and Japanese Taiko drumming. The Carnival procession took all the children around the Guildhall Square and into Victoria Park. There was plenty of enthusiastic dancing, chanting, singing and flag waving as the children paraded around the park and back into Guildhall Square for a surprise massed dance led by Carnival Queen Becki Short from the Music Hub.

Heidi Smith aged 7, from Cottage Grove Primary School, said; "It was great fun and I really loved the Carnival. We drummed all round the park and all the way back to school!"

Portsmouth Music Hub produced the event bringing together artists and musicians to celebrate the cultural diversity and creativity in the city.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said after the event: "It was a fantastic carnival with so many children celebrating cultural diversity in our city. The enthusiastic smiles, colourful costumes and fantastic singing and dancing made this an event to be remembered."

Rocking Recorders!

Almost 100 children from Portsmouth schools came together for a Recorder Festival held at Northern Parade Infant School. The primary-aged children rehearsed all morning and at the end of the morning they performed a concert for parents, with pieces including 'Samba', 'Caribbean Carnival' and the children's favourite 'Let's Rock'.

The children performed as a massed recorder ensemble with different parts played by the more advanced players. They also had the opportunity to hear six different sized recorders played, from the tiny garklein flautlein to the large bass recorder.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub said: "Festivals like this enable children to experience playing in a large instrumental group and is the foundation for them joining a band orchestra later on in their musical journey. The children's enthusiasm was infectious and the audience were very pleasantly surprised at the quality of sound and the standard of playing in the concert."

At the end of the Recorder Festival Matthew Roons, aged 8, said: "Today has been exciting and fun, and I loved seeing all the different sizes of recorder. The best song was 'Recorder Rock' - it was very cool and I loved it!"

WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCE FOR YOUNG SINGERS

The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth came to life with a stage full of excited young singers telling the story of Bombay the cat's adventures in Portsmouth in a brand new musical for the city.

On Friday 30 June, in front of proud parents, the public and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, over 200 children aged between 6 and 8 sang their hearts out in a world premiere performance.

In keeping with the show's story, all the children came dressed as cats - from house cats to tigers and even a pink panther and the Cheshire cat, the singers performed in a feline frenzy of songs and music.

Bombay's Big Adventure, a show produced by Portsmouth Music Hub, showcased a range of songs written by the Music Hub's composers, which included 'Spinnaker Salsa, 'Cool Cat' and a firm favourite with the audience 'Bombay Rock'. The songs were linked to iconic venues around the city including the Guildhall, Kings Theatre and the Wedgewood Rooms.

The highlight of the show for the young performers was a surprise appearance on stage by the star of the show, Bombay the cat who took his starring role in his stride, purring and sporting a very classy bow tie!

Charlie Oatley, aged 8, from Milton Park Primary School said: "I loved singing songs about the city where I live and I really loved meeting Bombay. I'm still buzzing with excitement!"

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "Bombay's Big Adventure was an uplifting celebration of the sights and sounds of Portsmouth especially written for young singers, musicians, dancers and a marching band. Concerts like this are full of talent and enthusiasm and they are absolutely unforgettable, not only for the audience, but for all the young performers who took to the stage."

IT'S A RECORD! 900 DRUMMERS MAKE DRUM HISTORY ON BBC MUSIC DAY

Hundreds of school children from schools across Portsmouth descended on Guildhall Square to smash a Guinness World Records®  Record for the largest Djembe Drum Ensemble.

900 infant, junior and secondary school pupils showed off their musical talents as they took part in the challenge for BBC Music Day. Organised and inspired by Portsmouth Music Hub they smashed the record which previously stood at 476 drummers.

The children spent weeks training for the record attempt which was held as part of BBC Music Day. The music was written by one of the Music Hub's composition team and was a firm favourite with the children.

Sue Beckett , Chief Executive of Portsmouth Music Hub said "The children drummed brilliantly and it was a fantastic event that enabled everyone to celebrate the power of music as part of BBC Music Day. To smash the record was a huge triumph for everyone and the children were so excited that all their hard work had paid off."

The young drummers were joined by the Taiko drummers and a Samba Band, with a special finale performance by the Corps of Drums from the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines.

Sofia Doan, aged 11 from St. John's RC Cathedral Primary School said "Drumming today was the most amazing day of my life - I will never forget it as it was incredible."

An enormous cheer rang out across Guildhall Square as Paulina Sapinska, the Guinness World Records® Adjudicator announced that the record had been broken and that the drummers were "officially amazing".

 

The Secret Garden

More than 500 local children were part of Image Music Theatre's production of the Secret Garden performed at the New Theatre Royal on the morning of Tuesday 6 June.

The new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic story, tells the magical tale of hidden places, personal secrets, revelation and transformation. When the central character Mary, finds herself alone and unwanted in a manor house, it is the simple joy of two moorland children that cause her to change. In turn, when she shares the wonderful secret of her hidden garden, the entire household is brought back to life.

Primary-aged children from Portsmouth Schools participated in the interactive production, singing many of the heart-warming songs, and 8 lucky children were chosen to be part of the on-stage action, rehearsing with the actors before performing as villagers, woodland creatures and flowers.

Later in the day, the Company travelled from the New Theatre Royal to Isambard Brunel Junior School, where they performed The Secret Garden to the entire school.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, who brought Image Music Theatre to Portsmouth, said: "Today has been an enriching experience for hundreds of children. Joining in with the songs and being part of a magical production fires up their imagination, and it was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm for live theatre."

Image Music Theatre will be back in November for their new production of the classic fairy-tale, Hansel and Gretel.