Out of this World

On Monday 29 March Primary-aged children from schools across Portsmouth went on a galactic journey at Portsmouth's Guildhall for a very special concert of interstellar music and entertainment.

The children were there to take part in Space-scape, a musical all about the planets, comets, shooting stars and the universe beyond.

The stage was packed with hundreds of young singers dressed in every conceivable costume, which included astronauts and aliens, rockets and stars, there was even a young performer ambitiously dressed as the International Space Station!

Space-scape is one in a series of songbooks which has been composed to support the teaching curriculum in schools. Like all Portsmouth Music Hub publications Space-scape has been created with children in mind; inspiring their imaginations and nurturing their passion for music.

The Portsmouth Music Hub Band was there to support the show and hundreds of parents and family members joined the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth for two hours of live music that was 'out of this world'. The concert included the children's favourite songs Big Bang Planet, Through the Black Hole and Moon Rock Boogie, which had members of the audience dancing in the aisles.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, who conducted the show said afterwards: "The children have been rehearsing for weeks and tonight was the culmination of all their hard work. Space-scape really has inspired the children, not only have they all come dressed in the most amazing costumes, but the performances have been excellent. The teachers and parents should be very proud of all the young performers who took to the stage to give us all such a wonderful night of music and entertainment. If anyone was in any doubt about Portsmouth's cultural future then Space-scape has shown us all that an enthusiastic new generation of young performers are more than ready to take to the stage."

Infant Voices Festival

On Tuesday 20 March thousands of proud parents and family members filled the Kings Theatre in Southsea to see the culmination of the week-long Infant Voices Festival.

The festival brings together primary schools from across the city for a week of musical education and rehearsals, and more than 500 infant children took to the Kings Theatre stage to perform the culmination of their weeks work, with a concert packed with songs taken from Portsmouth Music Hub's recently composed songbook 'My Dream Job'.

The songbook, created by the award-winning team of composers from the Music Hub, is all about the jobs that we all imagined we would do when we grew up.

The young children sang about becoming firefighters, vets and footballers, but it wasn't just the traditional careers, the evening included songs about becoming website developers, paramedics and band members.

The children came dressed in their favourite costumes, and the stage was full of firefighters, doctors and nurses, even Harry Potter made an appearance!

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub was one of the conductors on the night, she said: "It's been a heart-melting night of wonderful music performed by our very young performers. The Infant Voices Festival is a wonderful occasion, and I congratulate all the primary schools, the teachers and the hundreds of children for all their hard work, and for making it such an amazing concert. I defy anyone not to be both impressed and moved by the children's enthusiasm and excitement. They represent the future of our city, and seeing so much creativity on stage, we can rest assured that Portsmouth's cultural future is in safe hands."

Hub Wins Top Award

On Wednesday 14 March at a special ceremony in Winchester Portsmouth Music Hub received the High Sheriff of Hampshire's Award for its music education publication called It's CPR.

The songbook has been created to teach primary-aged children Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and it brings together music and medicine to teach children the skills they might one day need to help save a life.

All the songs meet the medical standards required to implement CPR, and they have been written at the speed of 100 - 120 beats per minute which is the speed for giving chest compressions. Heartbeats Heroes, The Defibrillator Song and The CPR Rap are just some of the songs which are inspiring children, and it's the combination of words, music and actions that has produced such a positive response from teachers, children and their parents.

In the past year the songbook has been enjoyed by thousands of children in Portsmouth and recently other Music Hubs have started to teach the songs to children in their areas. The songbook is fast becoming a teaching tool which is used around the country.

Speaking at the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday Sue Beckett, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Music Hub said: "From the start our goal was to develop a songbook that had real appeal for children, that's always been the benchmark for the work we do and for all the songbooks we've composed in the past. However, It's CPR is different, it still has the music and lyrics that children enjoy, it's still engaging and exciting, but we've deliberately developed a songbook that has an important key message. It's a songbook that can change lives, a songbook with a social agenda, and we believe that developing cultural initiatives that impact on the wider community is part of our job; it's not just about creativity for its own sake, it can be about influencing and improving the world around us."

The Awards Ceremony, which took place in Winchester Great Hall, recognises the work of individuals and groups in Hampshire that make a difference to the wider society.

The High Sheriff, Mary Montagu-Scott, speaking after the Awards Ceremony, said: “The Awards Ceremony was a truly enjoyable occasion and I am delighted to recognise the inspirational work of Portsmouth Music Hub in teaching young people across Hampshire these vital life-saving skills through music education. The Hub provides a resource that both children and adults can use to save lives, which can make a valuable difference not only to the residents of Hampshire but much further afield. I congratulate Portsmouth Music Hub for their contribution in making Hampshire a safer place to live, keep up your fantastic work”

Soundsational!

Young people from schools, academies and colleges from across Portsmouth took part in a production of Soundsational at Portsmouth's Guildhall on Wednesday 14 March.

The cabaret-style annual event gives young performers from all over the city the chance to show off their creative skills. The evening included performances from Charter Academy, Priory School, King Richard School, Mayfield School, Havant and South Downs College, Springfield School, Trafalgar School, Admiral Lord Nelson School, St. Edmunds Catholic School and Portsmouth College.

The large cast had been rehearsing for weeks, and on the night hundreds of proud parents and members of the public were treated to a wide range of world-famous music, including hits from Adele, the Artic Monkeys and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Parys Reid, aged 15, from Portsmouth Music Hub's own Rock Band 'The Warriors' composed and performed 'Waste of Time', which was followed by the Band playing Blondie's hit 'Call Me'.

Children from Admiral Lord Nelson School performed songs from the hit musical 'Matilda', and the audience were given rousing renditions of 'The Smell of Rebellion' and a firm favourite with the audience and all the young performers 'Revolting Children'.

Catherine Brentnall from Portsmouth Music Hub said: "It's been a fantastic evening of singing, dancing, and performing live music, and all those who have come along to support the young cast have had the chance to experience a night of really high-quality music and entertainment. The young people in our city really do bring the stage to life with their enthusiasm and commitment, and the energy they bring to their performances is unforgettable."

SPECIAL CONCERT FOR HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN

Portsmouth University performed a very special concert for hundreds of local children at the New Theatre Royal on Wednesday 7 March.

The University students were there to rehearse and perform their production of Leonard Bernstein's world famous musical West Side Story, but the students decided to take some time out of their busy schedule to invite local primary schools along to experience an afternoon of live music. The University musicians performed music from Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the children's firm favourite the 'Lion King' medley.

Sue Beckett, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "There is something magical about leaving school for the afternoon and visiting one of the most beautiful theatres in the country, and we're very grateful to the University students for putting on such a great show. The children had a wonderful time, hearing familiar music and seeing a whole range of instruments on stage, and seeing all those young musicians perform together really does fire up the children's imagination. Portsmouth is a city rich with culture, and we're incredibly lucky to have such exciting opportunities for children and young people to enjoy."

The University of Portsmouth Dramatic and Musical Society performed West Side Story at the New Theatre Royal from 8 to 10 March 2018. To find out more about the Society visit Twitter @PompeyDMS.

City Figures Unite for National Charity

On Monday 5th February Portsmouth Music Hub, hundreds of local children and leading city figures, including the Lord and Lady Mayoress, took part in a special music video to support the national charity sign2sing. It was part of a week of national events to support the ongoing work of the charity, which helps fund projects that improve the lives of vulnerable deaf children and adults by helping them access support and advice. To see Portsmouth Music Hub's video click here. To read The Portsmouth News article about the event please click here..