Born to be wild!

Rock is unbeatable. It's more than a passing fashion, and it's not a quiet night out. Rock is rebellion. Rock is passion. Rock is the heart pounding sound of a guitar solo. It's a sense of belonging to something; a community much larger than you think. Rock is emotion. Rock is dynamic, and Rock is the twist, the shout and the thrill of being part of a moment you'll never forget.

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On Wednesday (3 July) Rock the Rooms lived up to its name as young people from across the city came together with guitars, bass and drums, powerful voices and unforgettable performances that shook the room and left the audience wanting more.

With music from the Beatles, Ed Sheeran, the Artic Monkeys and Nirvana, Rock the Rooms is a regular feature at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms, and a chance for a new generation of young performers to take the stage.

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Musicians from Portsmouth Grammar School, Castle View Academy, Admiral Lord Nelson School, Charter Academy, Trafalgar School and Portsmouth Music Hub's very own Warrior and Victory Rock Bands gave electric performances to an audience that danced the night away.

To find out more about Portsmouth Music Hub's Rock Bands click here

MUSIC FOR CLEAN AIR DAY

Portsmouth Music Hub is playing its part in the UK's Clean Air Day with two new songs that put an 'energy-saving' spotlight on the perils of indoor and outdoor pollution.

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The songs have been written by the award-winning team of composers at the Music Hub, and they draw attention to the changes we can all make to create a safer and healthier environment to live, work and play in. The songs form part of the One World environmental campaign which has been running since September 2018.

Over the past 10 months beach cleans, art and poetry competitions, performances in schools, together with concerts, events and a special performance for BBC Music Day 2018 have inspired thousands of local children and young people to take action to protect and save our environment.

On Clean Air Day (20 June) the Music Hub will be releasing footage on Twitter of children singing the Clean Air Day song during their rehearsals for the One World Showcase.

The Showcase, which will be performed at Portsmouth's Guildhall on Thursday 4 July, is an evening of music and entertainment that highlights local environmental issues that may have a global impact, and children from schools across the city will take to the stage to encourage us all to take action to help save our world.

Sue Beckett continued: ‘Children understand how important it is to change behaviours and they've responded with so much energy, with clarity and a real determination. Children really care, and when you fire up their imagination, they really can change the world!"

To see the Clean Air Day song rehearsal footage follow the Music Hub on Twitter @portsmouthmusic.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub has led the One World campaign. She said: "In the past year the One World campaign has received overwhelming support from so many people and organisations. People really care about the environment and the impact our actions are having on the planet. However, the enthusiasm of thousands of local children and young people really has been inspirational.’

YOUNG POETS CHANGING THE WORLD

Why would a Music Hub, which is committed to providing musical opportunities for children and young people, start dabbling in poetry?

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 It's not that Portsmouth Music Hub has run out of ideas, or that the staff have nothing better to do, quite the opposite, the award-winning team are busy developing new programmes, planning shows, composing music, visiting schools and inspiring thousands of local children and young people to pick up an instrument, to sing and take part in music-making.

However, since September 2018 Portsmouth Music Hub has been working hard to highlight a range of environmental issues that may have an impact on our planet, and poetry has played its part.

Portsmouth Music Hub's One World campaign harnesses the power of music and the arts to engage children and young people, to challenge their thinking and inspire them to change behaviours. The message is simple; how we interact with our environment and how we sustain our planet's precious resources really will shape our future, and the future of generations to come.

Music lies at the heart of One World, but the campaign has included art competitions, short films, story-telling in schools and an extensive use of web-based media, and on Thursday 23 May, at a special prize-giving ceremony at Milton Park Primary School in Portsmouth, poetry was in the spotlight. Children and young people of all ages put pen to paper, fingers to keyboards, and described their feelings for the environment. Deforestation, ocean pollution and recycling plastics were just some of the many aspects of environmental awareness on display.

 Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub who attended the prize-giving, said: "Creativity knows no bounds and from the very start of our One World campaign we wanted to ensure that we communicated an environmental message utilising as many art forms as possible. Tapping into the creativity of young minds with music, words and art, has fired up the imagination of children and young people, engaged a wider community of people and made the messages of One World far more compelling and, we hope, enduring."

D-DAY TO BE REMEMBERED WITH THE ROYAL MARINES

On Friday 7 June military musicians and children from across Portsmouth will be taking part in the D-Day 75 commemorations, performing a special open-air concert and a song composed especially for the national event.

Portsmouth Music Hub and more than 40 young musicians from the Portsmouth-based Royal Marines School of Music have joined forces to stage an hour-long concert that conjures up the words and music of the war-time period, and more than 1,000 primary aged children will be watching, singing and joining in.

The finale of the concert will see 30 children take to the stage to perform alongside the Royal Marines. The children will be singing '6 June 1944', a new song which remembers the courage and commitment made by so many on D-Day.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub said: 'It's difficult to imagine a more poignant way to commemorate D-Day 75 than by bringing together musicians from the Royal Marines School of Music and hundreds of local children. We'll conjure up the unforgettable music, the memories and the irrepressible humour of the war-time period, and the children will be encouraged to take part and have fun! However, for everyone involved it will be a time to reflect on the bravery and the sacrifices of an incredible generation, and a moment for us all to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy today.

BRINGING FAIRY TALES TO LIFE

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Hundreds of infant children dressed as fairy tale characters took to the Guildhall Stage at the Infant Voices Showcase on Wednesday 20 March.  From Goldilocks and Puss in Boots, to the Big Bad Wolf and the Gingerbread Man, the children brought the characters and stories to life with their vibrant costumes and enthusiastic and expressive singing.

 The songs were composed by Portsmouth Music Hub's award-winning team of composers and the children delighted a packed Guildhall with their captivating performance.

The blue lights and the smoke were amazing. I was so excited when the audience cheered. I love singing!
— Abraham, aged 7 from St. John's Cathedral Catholic Primary School

Children from fifteen schools across the city took part in the showcase which was the culmination of a city-wide singing festival involving over 1500 infant children.

The music festival was so good, I looked that we had to sing it was so much fun. I wish we had to go again.
— Student from Southsea Infant School

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub and one of the show's conductors said, "Enabling young children to perform at such a prestigious venue as the Guildhall is an excellent opportunity for children to develop their self-confidence, self-esteem and performance skills through singing. Pre-show nerves were transformed into focused concentration and beaming smiles as soon as the show started."

SOUNDSATIONAL PERFORMANCES!

Children and young people came together on Wednesday (13 March) at Portsmouth's Guildhall for an evening of music, drama and dance. Soundsational was a celebration of musical talent in Portsmouth and it was an opportunity for the young performers to take to the stage in front of enthusiastic audience of friends, families and members of the public.

In the company of the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, schools and colleges from across the city performed a variety of familiar songs, stage hits and extracts from musicals. Elton John's Circle of Life, Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me Kate and songs from Fame were just some of the songs performed alongside music from the Kings of Leon, Nirvana and Foo Fighters.

The stage was packed with rock bands, choirs, dance groups and the audience were delighted by the eclectic mix of music that left everyone wanting more.

Councillor Suzy Horton, said after the show: "It's been an incredible night, with a wide range of captivating performances. The enthusiasm of so many young people is truly inspiring for everyone involved, and the audience responded so positively to the skill, the passion and the commitment of our talented, young performers. The creative future of Portsmouth is definitely in safe hands."

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS PERFORM FOR LOCAL CHILDREN

The University of Portsmouth Concert Band gave a special performance for local school children at the New Theatre Royal on Wednesday 27 February.

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 Over 400 children were treated to an afternoon of exciting live music with the band, conducted by Ken Wharton-Emms. A dramatic opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey led on to a wide variety of music, including such familiar favourites as medleys from Moana, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen, as well as music from  the film How To Train Your Dragon, which was conducted by University student Martin Douglas. In addition, each section of the band performed individual pieces, giving children the opportunity to learn more about each instrument.

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 Colin Jagger, Director of Music at the University of Portsmouth, said: "It was wonderful to see the University of Portsmouth Concert Band providing such a musical feast for so many young school children from across the city. The unique atmosphere of the New Theatre Royal contributed to a truly special occasion for all concerned."

CHILDREN LEARN LIFE-SAVING SKILLS

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Recently the Government confirmed plans for children to be taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as part of the National Curriculum. In some countries that teach CPR to children the survival rates for a heart attack outside of hospital almost double and now the UK will follow suit, providing important life-saving skills to children and young people in secondary schools.

 For the past 2 years Portsmouth Music Hub has been ahead of the game, providing CPR training to primary-aged children in Portsmouth and around the country.

 The team at the Music Hub created an award winning songbook called It's CPR, with each song focussing on the techniques necessary to perform CPR. Initially the Hub's team of composers had to consider several important criteria for the development of the songbook. First, the lyrics had to meet the medical standards required to implement CPR, and the songs have been written at the speed of 100 - 120 beats per minute which is the speed for giving chest compressions. The songs had to be composed for a specific target market, and It's CPR has been written for Year 3 - 6 students. Finally the songs, which contained important medical information, had to be user-friendly, they needed to be exciting, memorable and contemporary.

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On Thursday (31 January) more than 80 home educated children attended a series of workshops at the Music Hub's head office in Paulsgrove.  The children, aged 6 to 11, had the opportunity to learn, sing and play, meeting each other and developing the skills and confidence to perform CPR and perhaps one day save a life. For the younger children there was an opportunity for them to practice their CPR skills on their favourite cuddly friends; after all, who wouldn't want to save their teddy bear!

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Catherine Brentnall, Senior Leader at the Music Hub said after the workshops: "It's been a very exciting and rewarding afternoon of singing and learning. Undeniably the children are better able to deal with a situation that for many people would be alarming and confusing, but the children we met today and the many thousands of children we have worked with over the past 2 years, with the help of memorable music and song, now have the skills to confidently approach a very difficult situation, whether that's by calling for assistance or, if they feel able, to take direct action themselves and perform CPR which could, potentially save a life."